ENV 200B, ESP/ECL 212B, Fall 2020, Schedule and assigned readings

Date Topic Readings 

*Note: To access certain readings you will need to be either (1) on the campus network or (2) using the library VPN Client with your UCD LoginID.

1.  Introduction and welcome.  What is this course?  What is economics?  Environmental economics? The place of economics in policy? 


Video - Part 1 - Live Zoom Session

Video - Part 2 - Asynchronous Lecture
(38 minutes)

Keohane & Olmstead (K&O): Chapter 1 

Don Fullerton and Robert Stavins, How Economists See the Environment, Nature, 395:6 701 (1998).  (Note: this is a key reading in only 2 pages.  I will refer back to this reading many times over the course of the quarter.  It is worth digesting and rereading.)

1. What are Fullerton and Stavins' four myths about how economists view the environment?
2. What is meant by the 'efficiency' of competitive markets?
3. What is an 'externality'?
4. What does it mean for a `market (to) fail'?  (What is market failure?)

2. Economic Efficiency and Environmental Protection  


Video - Lecture - Part 1 (24 min)

Video - Lecture - Part 2 (40 min)

Zoom discussion
K&O: Chapter 2

Note: I've changed the reading below since our first lecture
McCarthy, Gina. The Role of Environmental Economics in U.S. Environmental Policy. Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Volume 13, Issue 2, Summer 2019, Pages 299–307.

  1. Who is Gina McCarthy?  What makes her a credible commentator on issues of environmental policy? What caveats might there be to her being an “objective” commentator. 
  2. What’s McCarthy’s view on what it means to do things right?
  3. According to McCarthy, what are the two key tools that environmental economics has contributed to federal regulatory and policy action?  (This might be hard to see at first.) 
  4. According to McCarthy, what is the most common argument used to criticize policies that improve the environment?  What is her position on that argument? 
  5. What’s your view on this statement, particularly the underlined part (p. 301): “In 1981…President Ronald Reagan issued an executive order (EO) requiring benefit–cost analysis for every economically significant regulation. The EO stated that to the extent permitted by law, “Regulatory action shall not be undertaken unless the potential benefits to society for the regulation outweigh the potential costs to society.”  At the time, I thought this EO was a clear example of a road to hell paved by bad intentions. Admittedly, sometimes I still do.
3. Rationality and the Efficiency of Markets


Video - Lecture 3 - Part 1 (45 min)
Zoom discussion

For a refresher on market models: Video explanations from MRUniversity:           The Equilibrium Price 
K&O: Chapter 4

Shogren, J. F. and L. O. Taylor (2008).  On Behavioral-Environmental Economics  Review of Environmental Economics and Policy 2: 26-44.
Focus: (1) What is meant by 'behavioral failure' and why might it be a particular problem for modeling choice with respect to environmental goods?  (2) How can behavioral failures affect thinking about environmental policy? (3) Is behavioral failure just another form of market failure?

Optional additional readings:
Jolls, C. and Sunstein, C.R. and Thaler, R. (1998). A behavioral approach to law and economics.  Stanford Law Review, 1471--1550.
This is a long article -- just focus on sections I, V and the conclusion.
1. Behavioral economics stresses three main types of bounds on human behavior that represent departures from the standard economic assumption of rational choice.  Describe each of these three bounds.
2. What is nonmarket behavior?  Why do the authors suggest that behavioral analaysis is particularly promising given the presence of nonmarket behavior (p. 1473)?
3. If behavior is not rational does that mean it is necessarily unpredictable?

On soft paternalism:
Sunstein, C. R. (2011). Empirically informed regulation. The University of Chicago Law Review, 1349-1429.


3. Rationality and the Efficiency of Markets, cont'd

Video - Lecture 3 - Part 2 (17 min)
Zoom discussion

4. Market Failure, Externalities and Public Goods


Video - Lecture 4 - Part 1 (35 min)
Video - Lecture 4 - Part 2 (29 min)
Zoom discussion


See this BrainCraft/PBS video on The Prisoner's Dilemna  

See this Conservation Strategy Fund (CSF) video on Private vs. Public Goods.

K&O: Chapter 5

Stavins, R. N. (2011). The Problem of the Commons: Still Unsettled after 100 Years. The American Economic Review, 101(1), 81-108.
Focus on 81-92 and the conclusion.  Skim the rest--which will be useful for our study of climate change and market based instruments to come.
1. How is spatial scale of a resource likely to affect the probability of the tragedy of the commons, i.e. the likelihood that citizen collective action (as described by Ostrom) won't be successful?
2. How is the nature of a good (rival/non-rival, excludable/non-excludable) as summarized in Table 1 related to the type of problem we might expect in efficient provision of the good (e.g. positive/negative externality, over/under-provision)?
3. Given the assumptions of the basic bioeconomic model in sections I.A and I.B, why is the efficient level of fish harvest less than the maximum sustainable yield?


4. Market Failure, Externalities and Public goods, cont'd

Video - Lecture 4 - Part 3 (20 min)
Zoom discussion

Ostrom, E. (2009). A General Framework for Analyzing Sustainability of Socio-Ecological Systems. Science 325: 419-422.

1.  What are characteristics of resource systems are predictive of collapse?
2.  What is the core argument of Hardin (1968) as summarized by Ostrom and what summary of research findings does she use to (at least partially) refute it?

The Benefits and Costs of Environmental Protection (BCA):

5. Theoretical foundations, steps and discounting   


Video - Lecture 5 - Part 1 (23 min)
Video - Lecture 5 - Part 2 - discounting (38 min)
Zoom discussion

This series of videos on Cost-Benefit Analysis from CSF is a great introduction to the topic.  We won't cover all of these concepts but the series is definitely worth a view.  See in particular the three videos on Discounting, Time Horizons and Net Present Value.

K&O: Chp 3. (Especially later sections on benefit-cost analysis.  We'll return to earlier parts of the chapter on measuring costs and benefits later.)
Review K&O Chapter 2, pp. 31-34 (Discounting and Present Value)

Must read/digest before class: Discounting handout

Lawrence H. Goulder and Robert N. Stavins.  'An eye on the future.'  Nature 419, 673-674 (17 October 2002).  (1) Does discounting mean giving less weight to future generations? (2) Is the appropriate discount rate to use for social programs known or uncertain?   What are the implications for conducting BCAs?


Class cancelled


BCA: Theoretical foundations, steps and discounting     

Video - Lecture 5 - Part 3 - discounting mechanics (16 min)  {
Here’s the whiteboard that goes along with the video--you can comment on any component, e.g. to ask a question, using the comment tool.}
Video - Lecture 5 - Part 4 - expected value (25 min)
Zoom discussion

Optional (
  Video explanations from Kahn Academy:
Computing Expected Value

Various authors. (1997)  "Policy Forum -- Introduction: benefit-cost analysis and the environment in developing countries,
Environment and Development Economics, 2. 
--> The link above is to a collection of short papers -- focus on:  Arrow et al. (1997). "Is There a Role for Benefit-Cost Analysis in Environmental, Health, and Safety Regulation?" Environment and Development Economics, 2, pp 196-201.   (NOTE: This article was also printed in Science (1996, Vol. 272, pp. 221-222.)  {This is short and explicitly outlined--the important parts are pretty obvious.}

Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, Federal Register page 58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993.  
Focus: introduction, Section 1 and Section 6. {See how many concepts from class you can identify in the text, either explicitly or implicitly referred to.}
(Note: This is the Clinton administration executive order regarding use of CBA in assessing Federal regulations; kept in place (though amended) by administration of G.W. Bush; kept in place by Obama administration which rescinded Bush amendments. For Obama's amendment to EO 12866 see EO 13563.  For electronic text of EO's see Executive Orders Disposition Tables.)


Pearce, D. (1997).  "Benefit-cost analysis, environment, and health in the developed and developing world."  Environment and Development Economics, 2, pp 210-214.  {Recommended.  Very short and offers interesting commentary on Arrow et al. (1997) from an international and developing country perspective.}

Boyle, K. and Kotchen, M., 2018. Retreat on economics at the EPA. Science, 361(6404), p. 729.  {Discussion of the erosion of economic analysis at the EPA since 2016.}


BCA: Theoretical foundations, steps and discounting (finish)

BCA: Measuring Benefits, Part I

Video - Lecture 6 - Environmental Valuation (54 min)
Zoom discussion

Recommended videos:
CSF video on Classes of Value
MRU video introduction: Interpreting the Regression Line

Averill, Merilyn (2003). Arsenic in Drinking Water, Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University case study, available on-line (for $3.95) at:  https://case.hks.harvard.edu/arsenic-in-drinking-water/.
(1) BCA almost always requires making simplifying assumptions about the situation of study.  What key assumptions (over parameters, functional relationships, relevant variables) drive this analysis? (2)  What was the EPA's objective?  That is, what metric were they considering when evaluating which a policy was preferred?  (3) Should such drinking water standards be set at the federal level or at a finer scale?  Is your reasoning here consequentialist or about something intrinsic?}

BCA:  Measuring Benefits, Part II

Video - Lecture 6 - Environmental Valuation - Part 2 (54 min)
Zoom discussion

Recommended video:
CSF video on Travel Cost Method of valuation

Pearce, D., G. Atkinson and S. Mourato (2006) Chapter 7: Revealed Preference Methods for Valuing Non-market Impacts in Cost-Benefit Analysis and the Environment: Recent Developments, OECD. ***PDF via Canvas.

NOTE!: Don't print the whole thing unnecessarily.  Chapter 7 spans pages 91-103 and then there's a large index at the end of the pdf that's for all chapters. 


Anna Alberini. Revealed versus Stated Preferences: What Have We Learned About Valuation and Behavior?  Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Volume 13, Issue 2, Summer 2019, Pages 283–298.

Blossey, B. (2012). The Value of Nature (guest editorial).  Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 10(4), 171.

First 30 minutes of class: Midterm Quiz
Zoom, pt 1, pt 2
Possible midterm topics:
  • Efficiency (link to the two basic value/ethical systems, First Thm of Welfare Economics)
  • Rational model (credibility, usefulness, reasons why non-rational behavior is particularly important for environmental policy/economics)
  • Open access resources (tragedy of the commons, collective action, property rights, policy responses, Stavins' model of (1) maximum sustainable yield, vs. (2) efficient harvest, vs (3) open access harvest). 
  • Benefit-cost analysis (best practice, arsenic case study)
  • Discounting (rationale, choice of rate, sensitivity of present value calculations)
  • Valuation (total economic value; taxonomy of types of value and how that interacts with appropriate choices from the taxonomy of valuation methods; revealed versus stated preference)
  • {Might not yet be covered this year:} More and less comprehensive measures of cost; opportunity cost.


Veterans Day -- University Holiday

BCA: Measuring Costs and Distributional Impacts

Video - Lecture 7 -
Measuring Costs and Distributional Impacts (39 min)

K&O: Chapter 3

Bento, A. (2013). The Equity Impact of Environmental Policy. Annual Review of Resource Economics, 5(1).

Focus: sections 1 & 2

What does it mean for a policy to be regressive?  What reasons do we have for thinking that environmental policies are likely to be regressive?   How can regressivity be counteracted (see discussion of Bento et al. (2009))?


Bento, Antonio, L Goulder, M Jacobsen and R Von-Haefen (2009). Efficiency and Distributional Impacts of Increased U.S. Gasoline Taxes, American Economic Review 99 (3). 

Motoko Rich and John Broder. "A Debate Arises on Job Creation and Environment."  New York Times, (4 September 2011)


Climate: Social cost of carbon  
Video - Lecture 7.5 - Social Cost of Carbon

Greenstone, M., Kopits, E., & Wolverton, A. (2013). Developing a social cost of carbon for US regulatory analysis: A methodology and interpretation.  Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, 7(1), 23-46.

  1. What is the social cost of carbon (SCC) meant to reflect/include?
  2. How is it meant to be used in policy analysis'what is the objective behind generating this estimate?
  3. Who is generating and then publishing an estimate of the SCC?
  4. What are the three steps in the 'reduced-form' approach to estimating the SCC (not the numbered list on p. 25)?
  5. What are the three key modeling assumptions made (i.e. input parameters used) in the estimation of the SCC highlighted by the authors?
  6. What is the 'equilibrium climate sensitivity'?
  7. What is the half-life of CO2?
  8. What regions of the world are captured by the SCC estimate used by the U.S. and why?
  9. Why does the SCC grow over time (e.g. for a unit generated in 2010 versus 2025)?
Here' s the actual report by the IWGSCC that Greenstone et al. (2013) talk about, except that instead of the 2010 estimates they write about, this is the 2013 update:  IWGSCC (2013).  Just check out the table on page 3.
Optional/see also:
IWGSCC (Interagency Working Group on Social Cost of Carbon) 2010. Social Cost of Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysis Under Executive Order 12866.  February. United States Government.

Economics of climate change  --  Big bang vs. policy ramp 
Video - Lecture 8 - Big bang vs. policy ramp

Note: We'll just be reading the 4-page summary of major conclusions from the Stern Review, but see the link to the full report to follow any threads of interest.
"Summary of Conclusions" excerpt (pp. vi - ix) from the Stern Review:
Stern, N., Peters, S., Bakhshi, V., Bowen, A., Cameron, C., Catovsky, S., Crane, D., Cruickshank, S., Dietz, S., Edmonson, N., Garbett, S.-L., Hamid, L., Hoffman, G., Ingram, D., Jones, B., Patmore, N., Radcliffe, H., Sathiyarajah, R., Stock, M., Taylor, C., Vernon, T., Wanjie, H., & Zenghelis, D.  (2006).  
Stern review: the economics of climate change. London: HM Treasury.
 How does the Stern Review express estimates for the costs of climate  change  (i.e. what are the units)?
2.  What is the Stern Review's range of estimates for the costs of climate change?

Nordhaus, W. (2007).  Critical assumptions in the Stern Review on climate change.  Science 317, 201-202.
1.  **How does Nordhaus express the stringency of his policy ramp ("DICE baseline") versus the big bang approach of the Stern review?  In these terms, how much more stringent is the Stern recommendation?
2.  What is the economic logic of the policy ramp?

Optional:   Here's a link to Nordhaus' DICE model in MS Excel
Nordhaus, W. (2013) DICE-2013R Model in MS Excel (published Nov. 15, 2013).


The economics of climate change:  public attitudes
Slides   (no video)

Krosnick, Jon A., and Bo MacInnis. 2020. Climate Insights 2020: Policies and Politics. Washington, DC: Resources for the Future, pp 1-37 (pages are sparse).  HTML version.
1.    The survey data was collected during the Covid-19 pandemic (May-Aug 2020).  Does that seem to have influenced the responses?
2.    What policies were most/least popular?
3.    How do you explain the discrepancy between the support for GHG-mitigation policy in this report and lack of broad national U.S. policy to reduce GHGs?

Krosnick, J. A., & MacInnis, B. (2013). Does the American Public Support Legislation to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions? Daedalus, 142(1), 26-39.
Note:  'American Clean Energy and Security Act' = Waxman-Markey Bill.
1. How does public support differ depending on whether the policy instrument is a tax versus a subsidy (sometimes misspelled as 'tax break').

2. Consider the depictions of cap and trade on page 30.  Do you think this background allows respondents to make an educated decision on cap and trade?  Are the strengths and weaknesses of cap and trade well represented?

3. How did the authors construct an estimate of the average American household willingness to pay for an 85 percent reduction in air pollution by 2050 (which is similar to the target of the Waxman-Markey Bill)?  What reasons are there to think that the estimate might be conservative?  What reasons are there to think that the estimate might not be conservative?

See  this website listing updates on efforts for "Surveying American Attitudes toward Climate Change and Clean Energy
"  from Krosnick and others.


The economics of climate change:
California: Cap & Trade with Complementary Measures  
Video - California: Cap & Trade with Complementary Measures (38 min)

K&O: Chapter 8

Burtraw, D., McLaughlin, D., & Szambelan, S. J. (2012). California's New Gold: A Primer on the Use of Allowance Value Created under the CO2 Cap-and-Trade Program. Resources for the Future DP, 12-23.
Note: They put the focus on allowance value here but really it's a nice overview of California's GHG mitigation policies.
1. What exactly is 'allowance value'?  How is it generated?  Who pays for it?
2. Why is it the case that giving permits to industry for free (instead of auctioning) won't necessarily keep firms from raising their prices?
3. What might California drivers expect to pay extra at the pump for gasoline in 2015 when fuels are covered under the cap and trade policy?

Stavins, R. (2016). State's Low Carbon Fuel Standard doesn't cut net emissions. Capitol Weekly, January 27.  Available online: http://capitolweekly.net/low-carbon-fuel-standard-emissions-cut8909-2/.

1. What's the logic behind Stavins' argument that California's so-called 'complementary policies' that augment cap and trade, for example the Low Carbon Fuels Standard (LCFS), actually have a 'perverse effect' and undermine California's capacity to serve as a leading example to the world?


Policy for market failure:

Market based instruments--Cap and trade 
Video - Market based instruments--Cap and trade (35 min)

K&O: Chapter 9,  Chapter 10

How to Save a Planet (2020). Cold Hard Cash for Your Greenhouse Gas. Gimlet Media (podcast), Oct. 22, available at  https://gimletmedia.com/shows/howtosaveaplanet/kwhnz8b/cold-hard-cash-for-your-greenhouse-gas.
(Listen at the link or see “Where to Listen” links for specific podcasting apps further down the page. Great story about guys driving around in a van looking for GHGs to destroy...and getting paid to do it through California's offset mechanism attached to the cap and trade program. Listen for the discussion that ties into the slide on key attributes for carbon offset effectiveness.)


Policy for market failure:
Market based instruments--Price instruments 
Video (42 min)

Sandel, M. J. (2012). What money can't buy: the moral limits of markets. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. (Excerpt covering tradable pollution permits and offsets, pp. 72-79).
What message does Sandel believe is conveyed by using government regulation (as opposed to tradable permits) to control pollution?
2. Buying the right to pollute does damage to which two norms?
3. Does Sandel believe that the effect of market instruments (like cap and trade) on norms implies  that they are always a bad idea?

McCloskey, D. N. (2012) The Poverty of Communitarianism, Book Review of What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets, by Michael J. Sandel. Claremont Review of Books XII(4), pp. 57-59.
1.  According to McCloskey, what are Sandel's two key moral arguments?

Last day of class

First 30 minutes of class: final "quiz"

Possible quiz topics:

  • Climate change policy
    • policy ramp vs. big bang, role of discounting
    • social cost of carbon
    • basics of CA policy developments (e.g. ways in which policy design is likely to enhance or erode cost-effectiveness).
  • Criteria for policy choice and how these apply to instrument options (efficiency, cost-effectiveness, equimarginal principle [MB=MC,MD=MAC, MACA=MACB], incentives for innovation, equity)
  • Command and control policies (performance and technology standards)
  • Market based instruments (cost-effectiveness, tax, Pigovian tax, cap and trade, allowance value)
  • Readings: Please also have a sense of the key ideas from the readings as expressed in the focus questions under each.


International climate agreements ppt

Discussion:  International climate policy
First 7 pages (pp 65-71):
Olmstead, S. M., & Stavins, R. N. (2012). Three key elements of a post-2012 international climate policy architecture. Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, 6(1), 65-85.
1.    What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Kyoto protocol?
2.    What are the four main arguments for expanding participation by developing countries?  Explain the tension between equity and cost-effectiveness when considering the question of whether to expand participation in a global GHG mitigation agreement to include meaningful reductions by developing countries. 

Calliari, E., A. D'Aprile and D. Marinella (2016). Unpacking the Paris Agreement. Review of Environment, Energy and Economics (Re3), FEEM online Feb. http://www.feem.it/userfiles/attach/2016291758554Re3-Calliari_DAprile_Davide_Unpacking-20160204.pdf.
  1. There is one mitigation objective of the Paris Agreement stated in explicit numeric terms--what is it? 
  2. What is an 'NDC'?
  3. With respect to adaptation, are countries required to take any specific measures by a specific deadline?
  4. What compromise was reached between developing and developed countries with respect to developed country liability for loss and damage from climate change?
  5. What is the Global Stocktake and how is it linked with submission of new NDCs?
  6. Are the emissions targets and/or financing commitments legally binding?

Optional:  The Climate Action Tracker

Arrow, K. J. (1999). "Discounting, morality, and gaming. In P. R. Portney, & J. P. Weyant (Eds.), Discounting and intergenerational equity, 13-21, Washington, DC: Resources for the Future.
1. **What does Arrow mean by universalizability?  What does the universalizability perspective imply for the proper pure rate of time preference?   (Do a Google search for "Kant universal law" to see where this perspective comes from.)
2. The implications of universalizability come into conflict with what competing idea?  How is the conflict illustrated by the question of how much to save for the future?  Specifically, what does universalizability imply for how much we should be saving today?

Note 1:  Focus just on the first 10 pages of this paper:
Arrow, K., Cropper, M., Gollier, C., Groom, B., Heal, G., Newell, R., Nordhaus, W., Pindyck, R., Pizer, W.,  Portney, P., Sterner, T., Tol, R., and Weitzman, M. (2012). How Should Benefits and Costs Be Discounted in an Intergenerational Context? The Views of an Expert Panel. The Views of an Expert Panel (December 19, 2012). Resources for the Future Discussion Paper, (12-53).   
1.  **What does it mean to select a discount rate (or parameters that determine the discount rate) using 'prescriptive' approach, and how does that differ from a 'descriptive' approach?

Policy for market failure:

Command and control strategies:   ppt

Decentralized policies:    ppt

Recent video of Ronald Coase: "Markets, Firms, and Property Rights"  (Optional...just to get a sense of the man behind the famous theorem).

Domestic climate policy -- the Clean Power Plan: ppt

Discussion: Domestic climate policy -- the Clean Power Plan

Fowlie, M., L. Goulder, M. Kotchen, S. Borenstein, J. Bushnell, L. Davis, M. Greenstone, C. Kolstad, C. Knittel, R. Stavins, M. Wara, F. Wolak, and C. Wolfram (2014). An Economic Perspective on the EPA's Clean Power Plan.  Science 336(6211), pp. 815-816.
  1. **What is the emissions reduction goal of the Clean Power Plan (CPP)?
  2. What are the three key steps involved in the plan?
  3. What are the expected net benefits in 2030?
  4. **What are the two major categories of estimated benefits and what do they include?  Which of these forms the majority of the estimated benefits?
  5. **What does it mean for state-level emissions standards to be 'ratio-based'?  How are energy efficiency improvements accounted for under this metric?
  6. What are two possible problems/concerns with the ratio-based approach that don't apply under a mass-based target? 
  7. What are the advantages of a ratio-based approach?
  8. **How is the plan designed for cost-effectiveness (flexibility) within and across states?

Environmental Protection Agency (2015).  "Executive Summary," Regulatory Impact Analysis for the Clean Power Plan Final Rule, pp. ES-1:ES-28.
What is the proposed regulation?  What sectors does it cover? What is the primary objective?  How does it propose to achieve that objective?  Where does the EPA's authority to do this come from?  What impacts did the EPA include on the benefit side?  What benefits outside of the social cost of carbon (SCC) were included?

Environment & Energy Publishing: Clean Power Plan -- A Summary

Economics of biodiversity

Case study on cost-effective conservation under uncertainty
Newbold, S. C. and J. Siikam'ki (2009). Prioritizing conservation activities using reserve site selection methods and population viability analysis. Ecological Applications 19(7) 1774-1790.  
Focus:  (1)  What is the authors' operational definition of "cost-effectiveness"?  What is the assumed management objective?  What is the key constraint?  How is a cost-effectiveness analysis different than a comprehensive optimality approach?  (2)  What is PVA?  RSS? (3)  What's the connection between this approach and the "production function" approach we've discussed before?  (4)  What is the management choice?  What is the spatial scale of the management choice?  Is the management choice continuous or discrete?  

Optional (good review articles on economics and biodiversity):
Perrings, C., S. Baumg'rtner, W.A. Brock, K. Chopra, M. Conte, C. Costello, A. Duraiappah, A.P. Kinzig, U. Pascual, S. Polasky and others. 2009.  The economics of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Chapter 17 in Biodiversity, Ecosystem Functioning, and Human Wellbeing: An Ecological and Economic Perspective, Oxford University Press, pp. 230-247.

Stephen Polasky, Christopher Costello, Andrew Solow, The Economics of Biodiversity, Chapter 29 in: Karl-Goran Maler and Jeffrey R. Vincent, Editor(s), Handbook of Environmental Economics, Elsevier, 2005, Volume 3. Pages 1517-1560. 

Environmental policy under uncertainty.
Adaptive management

Presentation and discussion:
Doremus, H. (2010). Adaptive management as an information problem. NCL Rev. 89, 1455.


K&O: Chapter 8

Presentation and discussion:
Armsworth, P.R., Acs, S., Dallimer, M., Gaston, K.J., Hanley, N. & Wilson, P. (2012). The cost of policy simplification in conservation incentive programs. Ecology Letters 15(5), 406-414.
Focus: (1) What are the components of the tradeoff curve?  What does it mean for a point to be on the curve?  Interior to the curve?  Are points outside of the curve feasible?  (2) What exactly are landowners paid for in this analysis?  By what metric would we verify that the landowner has met the obligation? (3) Conceptually, does the proposed payment to landowners reflect the supplier's  (landowner's) WTA or the demander's (public's) WTP?  What are the implications for surplus from the transaction? (4) We have discussed two definitions of cost-effectiveness. Which one matches this analysis?

K&O: Chapter 9,  Chapter 10  

Nelson, E., Plantinga, A. J., Polasky, S., Withey, J. C., et al. (2014). Projected land-use change impacts on ecosystem services in the United States. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(20), 7492-7497.

Boyd J and Banzhaf S. 2007. What are ecosystem services? The need for standardized environmental accounting units. Ecological Economics 63:616-626.

Doremus, H. (2001). Adaptive Management, the Endangered Species Act, and the Institutional Challenges of New Age Environmental Protection. Washburn LJ, 41, 50.
Focus: (1) What is the key tradeoff or downside of increasing agency flexibility to manage adaptively? (2) What does Doremus argue we need to do to improve institutions for scientifically-intensive natural resource management?   

Davis, M.A. and Chew, M.K. and Hobbs, R.J. and Lugo, A.E. and Ewel, J.J. and Vermeij, G.J. and Brown, J.H. and Rosenzweig, M.L. and Gardener, M.R. and Carroll, S.P. and others (2011).  Don't judge species on their originsNature 474(7350), 153--154.              
       --> See also this critical reply by Simberloff  (2012) entitled "Non-natives: 141 scientists object"

2. Sustainability and Economic Growth   ppt

K&O: Chapter 11  

Kenneth J. Arrow, Partha Dasgupta, Lawrence H. Goulder, Kevin J. Mumford and Kirsten Oleson (2012). Sustainability and the measurement of wealth. Environment and Development Economics, 17, pp 317-353.
Please focus on sections 1, 5, and 6.  Sections 2:4 are worthwhile but a bit technical and could be scanned.  In particular you might want to skip to section 5 and then search out the description of terms you want to know that you encounter.

1. As their metric of sustainability the authors focus on the "per capita comprehensive wealth growth rate" (PCCWGR), in particular whether it is positive or negative (see Table 3).  Unpack this metric: (a) what is comprehensive wealth? (b) Why/how is population included? (c) What is total factor productivity (TFP) and why is it included?
2. How important are (1) human capital and (2) health capital and how are they valued? 
3. Is this approach to evaluating sustainability more consistent with (as we will discuss in lecture) 'weak sustainability' or 'strong sustainability'?  Why does the distinction matter?