ECON225-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023

Environmental Economics

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 20 February 2023
End Date: Sunday, 25 June 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 5 March 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 14 May 2023


Economic theory and tools will be applied to the study of the environment and policy. In particular this course will examine how economists look for least cost ways of achieving environmental objectives even if those objectives are not set according to cost benefit analysis. This course will examine how market, incentive based regulatory mechanisms affect environmental outcomes and how the economy and the environment interact.

We live in a world where concern for the environment has never been greater.  Everywhere you look you will see phrases such as “climate change,” “sustainability,” “zero waste,” “resource use footprint” and so on.  

The issue of how our economy should interact with the environment is a multi- disciplinary topic.  But it is one that economics has much to contribute to. Economics cannot tell you how much the planet is warming or how much oil is left in the ground.  But it can shed some light on questions such as

• Rather than just contributing to environmental problems, can markets be used to help solve them?
• How can governments address environmental problems efficiently, both when they have a lot of information, and when they don’t?
• How much pollution is too much in economic terms?
• Why has the international response to limiting greenhouse gas emissions been so limited, when scientists are confident there is a major problem?
• Does globalisation and trade help or harm the environment?

Learning Outcomes

  • The objectives of the course are that by its end, students will be able to demonstrate:
  • an understanding of how market, incentive based and regulatory mechanisms affect environmental outcomes;
  • how marginal analysis is applied to environmental issues;
  • how cost benefit analysis can be extended to value unpriced environmental amenities;
  • current economic contributions to the climate change challenge
  • an understanding of the interaction between international trade and the environment.
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

      Employable, innovative and enterprising

      Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.


Course Coordinator

Jeremy Clark


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Assignments 20% Four. Handed out in week 3, week 4, week 7, and week 9, due in the following week. 5% each.
Final exam 50%
Mid semester test 30%

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended Reading

Hanley, Nick , Shogren, Jason F., White, Ben; Introduction to environmental economics ; Third edition; Oxford University Press, 2019 (N.B. The course will follow the textbook closely and students are strongly advised to acquire a copy. Other readings will be provided on the course Learn site).

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $868.00

International fee $4,075.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Department of Economics and Finance .

All ECON225 Occurrences

  • ECON225-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023