Programme And Module Handbook
Course Details in 2021/22 Session

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Module Title LM Environmental Economics
SchoolBirmingham Business School
Department Birmingham Business School
Module Code 08 34219
Module Lead Johannes Lohse
Level Masters Level
Credits 20
Semester Semester 2
Restrictions None
Contact Hours Guided independent study-152 hours
Tutorial-8 hours
Lecture-40 hours
Total: 200 hours
Description Students are introduced to the concept of the externality, the Coase theorem and the importance of property rights as a determinant of market failure. Alternative revelation methods for determining the value of public goods are presented. The optimality of the Pigouvian tax based solution is derived and contrasted to other regulatory methods of pollution control including tradable permits, environmental subsidies and command and control. The proper implementation of these measures is explored within the context of imperfect competition, imperfect mixing, imperfect monitoring ability, uncertainty and tax interaction effects. The final part of course also deals with the monitoring and enforcement of environmental regulations; and the ex-post regulation of environmental hazards using strict and negligence based liability versus ex-ante standards. The module will demonstrate how economic growth and an expansion of international trade affect the quality of the environment and the scale of pollution.

Students are also introduced to a variety of revealed preference methods of valuation including: hedonic pricing; travel cost methods; and the household production function approach. Students are also taught stated preference methods of benefits determination including contingent valuation and choice experiments. The teaching includes both familiarising students with the microeconomic foundations for the alternative techniques and with the empirical implementation of the techniques using real-world data and appropriate parametric and non-parametric statistical techniques. Students are made aware of the methodological controversies surrounding the use of these techniques including the discrepancy between Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept; as well as the debate about existence values.
Learning Outcomes By the end of the module students should be able to:
  • Understand the role of property rights as determinants of environmental degradation and apprehend the economic arguments in favour of particular forms of environmental regulations and how these are modified by problems relating to market structure, uncertainty and non-observability of polluting activities
  • Understand the economic issues underlying monitoring and enforcement, the relative advantages of ex-ante regulations and legal liability for dealing with environmental hazards and be able to comment critically on contemporaneous environmental issues from an economics perspective
  • Appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of alternative non-market valuation techniques and understand fully the microeconomic foundations of these techniques
  • critically comment on studies employing valuation techniques and be aware of the methodological controversies surrounding their use and be capable of conducting a valuation experiment and econometrically analysing the results
Assessment 34219-01 : Individual Essay : Coursework (25%)
34219-02 : Computer Project : Coursework (25%)
34219-03 : 2Hr Exam : Exam (Centrally Timetabled) - Written Unseen (50%)
Assessment Methods & Exceptions Assessment:

2 hour written unseen exam (60%), 1500 word essay (20%) and computer-based assignment (20%)


3 hour written unseen exam (100%)
Reading List