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The course focuses on the economic theory and application of environmental policy instruments. The course covers both the conceptual and the practical understanding of regulatory as well as incentives-based approaches. Topics include pollution control, urban and rural water use, climate change, transportation, biodiversity loss, fisheries management and energy policy. Case studies from Australia, Europe, and the U.S. are used to analyse a range of policy instruments, including taxes, rebates, fees, permit trading, bans, informational policies, and legal instruments. The course will enable students to evaluate policy options using cost-effectiveness, economic efficiency, equity, fairness and other economic concepts as criteria.
Intended learning outcomes
Critically evaluate different regulatory approaches for dealing with environmental degradation;
Explain the difference between command-and-control and incentives-based policy instruments;
Explain the causes of market failure and their relationship to environmental problems;
Assess the reasons for and evaluate the effects of government intervention;
Understand the difference between taxes, tradable permits, subsidies, legal and information-based instruments, design standards and how they may be used to address environmental problems;
Apply the theories discussed in class to real-world environmental issues, including water use, energy use, climate change, pollution control, biodiversity, and fisheries management.
- High level of development: oral communication; written communication; application of theory to practice; critical thinking; synthesis of data and other information; evaluation of data and other information.
- Moderate level of development: collaborative learning; problem solving; team work; statistical reasoning; interpretation and analysis; accessing data and other information from a range of sources; receptiveness to alternative ideas.
- Some level of development: use of computer software.
Last updated: 18 December 2020