Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Designing a High Quality Environmental Economics Course

When I was an undergraduate, the middle aged Professors seemed to be lecturing from "yellowing" sheets of paper that looked older than my grandfather. At the time, I thought this was curious but I didn't investigate this matter. Now that I am a "supplier" of middle aged lecturers, I have the opportunity (and the time) to reflect on this point. This issue takes on a certain urgency because UCLA actually expects me to teach starting in 2 weeks. To my surprise, 200 talented undergraduates want to hear what I have to say about environmental economics. I believe that 500 of them would have registered if UCLA would have been willing to give me more than 1 TA to help me teach this class! These are tough times.

I am not a modest man so I will talk about the history of my thinking on this topic.

1. We will discuss my past green cities work

2. "Urban Growth and Climate Change Paper" Posted Here

3. My Carbon Geography paper (joint with Cragg) Posted Here

4. My China work (joint with Zheng)

But, we will then turn to other scholar's work. In particular, we will focus on
articles published in the Review of Environmental Economics and Policy . Charlie Kolstad and Rob Stavins have put together an excellent journal that I am now helping them on.

Here are just a few of the articles that I will be teaching in Spring 2010.

1. Carson on the Environmental Kuznets Curve

2. Levinson on Trade and the Environment

3. Metcalf on Designing a Carbon Tax

4. Corporate Social Responsibility

Each of these pieces is written by a star researcher who is boiling down the key ideas of the subject to their essence. Please tell my Deans that I am trying to devote some effort to be a decent teacher. For Professors thinking about updating their materials and trying something new, REEP will not disappoint you.