here for sample exams
Economics 343 (Environmental Economics)
ECON 103 or ECON 215 or ECON 216, junior status, an overall GPA of at least 2.00
and a C- or better in HMXP 102.
Robert J. Stonebraker
Office Hours: MW 3:30 - 5 p.m.,
TR 9 - 11 a.m., F 11 a.m. - 12
p.m. (no appointment needed)
Other times are
available by appointment.
Discussions of environmental issues and policies are too often framed in
superficial rhetoric and clouded by uniformed emotion. Students completing this course should be better able to discuss these
issues rationally and coherently. This includes being able to:
1. Discuss the concepts of efficient and sustainable resource
use and environmental pollution.
2. Explain the circumstances in which free markets will and
will not generate efficient patterns of use and pollution.
3. Characterize the types of public policies being used to curb
environmental problems, and discuss their relative strengths and weaknesses.
- The course links to the following University-Level Competencies:
- Winthrop graduates think critically and solve
problems: The course will challenge students to think critically about a wide range of current
Winthrop graduates understand the interconnected
nature of the world and the time in which they live:
The course will examine the interconnectedness of environmental and economic
ecosystems and emphasize the value of collaborative efforts between natural
scientists and economists.
- In addition, as a Social
Science in the Touchstone Program, this course will assist students to better
analyze and understand human behavior. It involves the following Touchstone
- To acquire and appreciate quantitative skills: Quantitative data and relationships are an
integral part of any course in economics.
What is the value of saving an endangered species? What price is worth
paying to remove toxins from the air? Students will study how to calculate, critique and analyze
measures of environmental costs and benefits.
- To use critical thinking, problem-solving skills and a variety of research
methods: Students will be expected to critically analyze a wide variety of
- Understand the nature of social and cultural conflict and methods of resolution:
Social and cultural conflict often originates with the disparate goals of
consumers and producers, of competing producers, and of competing interest
groups. Students will learn to
appreciate how an efficient economic system can resolve these conflicts in a way
that maximizes overall social value.
- Examine problems, issues and choices that confront citizens of the world:
Students will be expected to analyze such critical issues as
sustainable development, energy use, climate change that will impact the
future of the U.S. and the world.
and Natural Resource Economics,
9th edition, by Tom Tietenberg and Lynne Lewis. This text is the standard in the field and
covers the material thoroughly. Unfortunately, it often gets bogged down in
minutia. Although we will follow the organization and broad topics presented in
the text very closely, we will ignore much of the detail. Read accordingly.
I also have included links below to a few supplemental readings and
instructional YouTube videos that you might find useful to help you better
understand course topics.
- Grades will be determined by the following:
- Exam with lowest grade:
- Other two exams (28% each):
questions will stress analysis rather than factual information and will be based
on the material presented in class. You will be expected to write short
essay/explanation answers and to solve graphical and numerical problems.
Students caught copying/cheating will be dealt with harshly. The final exam
will be given at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, December 11 and will include some specified review
material. You may use non-programmable calculators during exams, but graphing
calculators, cell phone calculators or other programmable calculators are NOT
allowed. The approximate grading scale will be
86 - 100%
72 - 85%
60 - 71%
50 - 59%
0 - 49%
- Make-up policy:
- Make-up exams will be given to students with what I judge to be a valid
excuse. Needing more time to study is not a valid excuse. If you cannot make
an exam I expect to be notified as quickly as possible, preferably before the
exam. Students who do not notify me in a
timely manner should not expect a make-up exam.
- In addition to exams,
there will an in-class presentation (10% of your grade) on an energy topic. For details,
Students also will be expected to keep a journal of news article summaries
(10% of your grade). For details,
- Cell phones and related devices:
- I expect to never see these in class. That means no texting and no
checking messages; even under the desk where you think I will not see them.
Each time I see a student using/checking such a device I will deduct one
point from his/her final average.
- Attendance policy:
While I expect you to attend every class on time and will hold you responsible
for all class material whether or not you attend, there are no attendance
requirements. Quite honestly, I do not want students in class
who do not want to be there. However, students who do miss frequently
should not expect me to go over the missed material with them, nor will they be
welcome in any review sessions that I might hold.
- Course withdrawal:
- Friday, October 19, 2012 is the last day to withdraw from this course. (Automatic N grade
is issued.) Students may not withdraw from a course after this date
without documented extenuating circumstances.
- Students with Disabilities:
- Winthrop University is dedicated to providing access to education. If you
have a disability and require specific accommodations to complete this course,
contact Gena Smith, Coordinator, Services for Students with Disabilities, at
323-3290 as soon as possible. Once you have your Professor Notification Form
please tell me so that I am aware of your accommodations well before the first
- As a student you should expect me to take my class responsibilities
seriously. You should expect me to deliver quality instruction in each class,
to start and end each class on time, to be responsive to student perspectives
and questions, and to treat each of you with respect. As an instructor, in
addition to adherence to Winthropís Code of Student Conduct, I expect similarly
responsible behavior from you.
- I. Introduction: Issues to Come
- chapter 1
- II. Environmental Economics: Basic Concepts and Tools
- A. Markets and efficiency
- chapter 2 (omit section on
on pp. 33-35)
- B. Cost-benefit analysis
- 1. Static and dynamic efficiency
2. Measuring costs and benefits
- chapters 3 and 4
- III. Economics of Natural Resources
- A. Human resources and population issues
- chapter 21
- Exam #1: Approximately Wednesday, September
- B. Non-human resources
- 1. General concepts: time and sustainability
chapters 5 and 6
- 4. Wood and wildlife
chapters 12 and 13
Exam #2: Approximately Wednesday, November 7
- IV. Economics of Environmental Pollution
- A. General issues
- chapter 14
- B. Air pollution
- chapters 15, 16 and 17
- Video: Cap and Trade I
- Video: Cap and Trade II
- Video: Cap and Trade III
- C. Water pollution
- chapter 18
- D. Toxic substances
- V. Quest for Sustainability
- Chapters 20 and 22
Exam: 3 p.m. on Tuesday, December 11
I reserve the right to modify this syllabus with cause if unexpected