ENR-20306 Environmental Economics and Environmental Policy


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work4
Independent study
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. EC van Ierland
Lecturer(s)AP Doddema
prof. dr. EC van Ierland
dr. ir. CSA van Koppen
Examiner(s)dr. ir. CSA van Koppen
prof. dr. EC van Ierland

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Economics (BBC/BIN), Sociology (BBC/BIN). Basic calculus (notably derivatives).

Continuation courses:

Advanced Environmental Economics and Policy, Economics and Management of Natural Resources, Cost-Benefit Analysis and Environmental Valuation.


The main aim of the course is to gain insights into the most important environmental issues from an economic and policy point of view. The course provides an introduction into environmental economics and environmental policy and their application. The central theme is the relationship between the economy and the environment, characteristics of the sustainability discussion and policy and control methods to manage and monitor environmental problems. Problems will be analysed on an (inter)national as well as on a sectoral and company level. During the course, it will be discussed which aspects are important for setting up and executing environmental policies. Furthermore, much attention will be paid to policy and economic instruments used for changing environmentally damaging behaviour.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- explain the relation between the environment and the economy and its relation with sustainability issues;
- apply basic theories and tools from economics and policy science to the most important environmental issues;
- understand the performance of different economic and policy instruments in environmental policies;
- analyse international environmental problems from an environmental economic and environmental policy point of view;
- create well written and well-argumented essays dealing with the way economic and policy theories can contribute to solving or analysing environmental problems.


Students have to study the literature discussed during the lectures and solve a number of exercises in order to learn to apply some of the methods discussed. Furthermore, students will work in groups of 2 to 3 students on a case study in which they apply the subjects discussed during the lectures to analyse an important environmental issue.


- written exam with open questions (60%);
- small group essay (20%);
- 3 Small group assignments (20%).
Each component requires a 5.50 to pass the course.


Textbooks will be announced at a later stage.

Compulsory for: BBNForest and Nature ConservationBScA: Policy and Society3WD
BINInternational Development StudiesBSc5MO
BEBEconomics and GovernanceBSc5MO
Restricted Optional for: BBCManagement and Consumer StudiesBScB: Consumer Studies3WD
Compulsory for: WUECPBSc Minor Economics and Policy5MO
WUESDBSc Minor Economics of Sustainable Development3WD
WUPPNBSc Minor Policies, People and Nature Conservation3WD