- Air pollution
- Indoor air pollution
- Water pollution
- Greenhouse gas emissions
- Why does the answer differ across indicators?
Topic Three: Are We Running Out of Natural Resources?
- Will the world run out of oil?
- Will the world deplete all of the fish and farmland?
- The economics of property rights and resource extraction
The class then detours to the limits to growth and natural resource consumption both for oil and fish.
- Why is government intervention required?
- What is a pollution tax?
- What is regulation?
- The Economics of California’s AB32
- National Policy: The Clean Air Act
- The demand for “green cities”
- The demand for green products such as the Prius and solar panels
- The supply of green products
- What is the role for government?
- What is the “rebound effect”?
Ambec, Stefan and Paul Lanoie, Does it Pay to Be Green? A Systematic Overview
Kahn, Matthew E., 2007. "Do greens drive Hummers or hybrids? Environmental ideology as a determinant of consumer choice," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 129-145, September.
So, this is a "sexy topic" focused on whether the rise of the Prius and Solar panels and "green minded" consumers can truly "green" capitalism.
- Quantity vs. quality of children and household fertility choice
This is my homage to Gary Becker and the economics of the family. All environmental economists should know their labor economics because population growth plays a key role as a driver of many of the effects that interest us. This topic allows me to talk about the developing world.
We will have already spoken about carbon taxes and climate change mitigation under government in Topic 5 so this last topic allows me to focus on my favorite issue of adaptation and to highlight the implicit optimism in modern economics about the positive role that capitalism plays in our life.
If your research paper isn't listed above, do not worry. In class, I speak about dozens of studies and why I like them without requiring the students to read them. If you audit my class, you can see for yourself that the students are learning and are actively engaged. While I will never be "teacher of the year", I am trying.