ENR-21306 Environmental Economics for Environmental Sciences


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper2
Course coordinator(s)dr. SGM Gabbert
Lecturer(s)dr. SGM Gabbert
dr. X Zhu
Examiner(s)dr. SGM Gabbert
dr. X Zhu

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Preferably, a basic understanding of (micro-) economics.

Continuation courses:

Advanced Environmental Economics and Policy, Economics and Management of Natural Resources, Cost Benefit Analysis and Environmental Valuation, Theories and Models in Environmental Economics.


The course deals with the theory of environmental economics and its empirical applications. It is developed for students of non-economic study programmes who are interested in environmental economics. It is also suitable as an introduction to environmental economics for international MSc students of economic study programmes. The aim of the course is to show how environmental problems can be approached and analysed using economic theory. Furthermore, the course demonstrates how economic theory provides guidance to finding solutions to serious environmental problems such (e.g. global warming, ozone depletion, air and water pollution) at different scales (global, regional). The course consists of three classroom lectures per week. The economic concepts introduced in the lectures (twice a week) are applied to a number of case studies of important environmental issues and environmental problems such as, for example, pollution control. To deepen the understanding of economic concepts students will have to carry out take-home exercises. The aim of the exercises is to practice with the theories and methods presented during the lectures. We offer the opportunity to discuss exercises in detail during the third lecture. In addition, students have to write a case study report (essay) about an environmental economics and policy topic. The aim is learn how to apply the acquired theoretical knowledge to selected environmental economics and policy issues, how to compile and structure information and to learn scientific working skills.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- explain the theoretical foundations of environmental economics;
- explain key concepts, strengths and limitations of environmental economic analysis (e.g. sustainability, efficiency, Pareto optimality, market failure, externalities);
- analyse important environmental problems (e.g. pollution) from an economic point of view;
- understand and explain key economic instruments and policy measures for solving economic problems (e.g. taxes, subsidies, tradable permits) on an international scale;
- apply economic concepts to some specific cases (e.g. climate policy, water management, air pollution, risk management of hazardous materials);
- compile and structure information about a topic in environmental economics for writing a scientific essay.


The theory dealt with in the lectures (twice a week) is applied to a number of case studies of important environmental issues, in which students will actively participate.
To deepen the understanding of economic principles, review questions and exercises will be provided. It is strongly recommended to do homework on the exercises and questions.


- written exam;
- written exercises;
- case study report.


Textbooks will be announced at a later stage.
Additional reading material on micro-economic theory will be made available at the beginning of the course.
More details will be provided in the course outline.

Compulsory for: BESEnvironmental SciencesBScA: Environmental Policy and Economics5AF
Restricted Optional for: MESEnvironmental SciencesMSc2MO, 5AF
MGIGeo-Information ScienceMSc2MO, 5AF
MUEUrban Environmental ManagementMSc2MO
MCLClimate StudiesMSc2MO
MAMAquaculture and Marine Resource ManagementMScC: Marine Governance2MO