ENR-21306 Environmental Economics for Environmental Sciences


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper1
Course coordinator(s)dr. AP Richter
Lecturer(s)dr. AP Richter
dr. SGM Gabbert
Examiner(s)dr. AP Richter
dr. SGM Gabbert

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

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

Continuation courses:

AEP-32306 Cost Benefit Analysis and Environmental Valuation;
ENR-31306 Economics and Management of Natural Resources;
YSS-35306 Theories and Models in Economics.
ENP-32306 Advanced Environmental Economics and Policy.


The course provides an introduction to environmental economics and is developed for students of non-economic study programmes. It is also suitable as an introduction to environmental economics for 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 economics provides guidance to address serious environmental problems such as global warming, ozone depletion, air and water pollution at different scales (global, regional). In particular, the course will establish the foundations of environmental economics. The students will learn how markets function and under which conditions markets fail, giving rise to a misallocation of resources causing environmental problems. These insights will then be used to analyse how policy interventions can correct market failure and enhance social welfare.

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 a specific case in the domain of environmental economics;
- compile and structure information about a topic in environmental economics for writing a scientific essay.


The course consists of two classroom lectures and one tutorial 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 work on assignments during tutorials. The aim of the assignments is to practice with the theories and methods acquired during the lectures. In addition, students write a case study report (individual paper) 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. Students are expected to attend all lectures and tutorials and to prepare themselves by studying the reading material prior to the lectures.


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


Perman, R., Y. Ma, J. McGilvray, and M. Common (2011): 'Natural Resource and Environmental Economics', 4th ed., Pearson Education, Harlow. Additional material will be announced in the course guide.

Compulsory for: BESEnvironmental SciencesBScA: Environmental Policy and Economics5AF
Restricted Optional for: MESEnvironmental SciencesMSc2MO, 5AF
MUEUrban Environmental ManagementMSc2MO
MCLClimate StudiesMScE: Climate, Society and Economics2MO
MAMAquaculture and Marine Resource ManagementMScC: Marine Governance2MO