Applied Environmental Economics

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Susana Mourato STC. S420 and Prof Eric Neumayer STC. S503


This course is compulsory on the BSc in Environment and Development and BSc in Environmental Policy with Economics. This course is available on the BA in Geography and BSc in Geography with Economics. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

Course content

This course is an introduction to the use of economic principles in the analysis of environmental change and natural resource use and in designing appropriate policy responses. The first part of the course largely covers the concepts and tools of environmental economics, while the second part applies these concepts and tools to specific challenges for real world policy-making. Topics to be covered include: the evaluation of regulatory and market based instruments in controlling pollution; moral suasion and voluntary regulation; economics of natural resource use; economic growth, the environment and sustainable development; cost-benefit analysis and environmental valuation; economics of biodiversity, tropical forest conservation, and payments for ecosystem services; economics of international environmental agreements; trade and the environment; behavioural and happiness economics and the environment.


15 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the MT. 15 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce a minimum of two (non-assessed) essays during the year and will also be expected to give class presentations.

Indicative reading

Detailed reading lists will be provided to support each course component. For an overview and introduction to the main issues covered by the course students may wish to consult the following: N Hanley, JF Shogren and B White, Introduction to Environmental Economics, 2001; J Kahn, The Economic Approach to Environmental and Natural Resources, 3rd ed. 2005; B Field and M Field, Environmental Economics, 5th ed. 2008; DW Pearce, G Atkinson and S Mourato Cost-Benefit Analysis and the Environment: Recent Developments, 2006; R Lopez and M Toman Economic Development and Environmental Sustainability, 2006 E Neumayer, Weak Versus Strong Sustainability: Exploring the Limits of Two Opposing Paradigms, Second Edition, 2003.


Exam (75%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (25%, 2000 words).

Student performance results

(2010/11 - 2012/13 combined)

Classification % of students
First 25.9
2:1 42.9
2:2 22.4
Third 7.5
Fail 1.4

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2012/13: 45

Average class size 2012/13: 12

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills

Course survey results

(2010/11 - 2012/13 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 69.2%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Lectures (Q2.5)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


Recommend (Q2.9)