You are visiting the course Wiki page for Economics 371 at UBC Okanagan, for the 2010 fall term. This is the root page for the group project component of this course.
The purpose of this project is to use your knowledge of economics to analyze news stories that you find. Each of you are part of a group, and your group will have a theme which should link together all the stories you comment on. Your comments must have three parts: (1) a link to the news story you are commenting on, (2) a short (one or two paragraph) summary of the news item, and (3) an analysis. The analysis can be broken down into further sections, and you can provide links to other material you find interesting.
The reason for using a Wiki is that it facilitates collaboration. The Wiki pages that your group creates can be edited by anyone in the group at any time. Thus, you do not need to meet to work together. Meeting is still valuable for getting to know each other, brainstorming ideas, etc. However, once you have started, you can each make your contributions from where ever you happen to be.
Group Wiki Pages
- Group 1: Agribusiness
- Group 2: The effects of Pollution on Wildlife
- Group 3: Mining in North America
- Group 4: Ecosystem Services
- Group 5: Off Shore Drilling
- Group 6: The Environmental Impact of Hydroelectric Dams
- Group 7: Environmental Impacts of Technological Change
- Group 8: Alberta Oil Sands
There are a few basic elements that should be part of each analysis you do. First is the link to the article. Second is a brief summary of the article. This should be a paragraph or two. Third, your analysis. Your analysis should draw on the economics you learn in this course, and elsewhere. Early in the course, a good discussion of the economic issues in the article, using concepts from principles, is sufficient. However, as the course develops, I expect you to use concepts from the class. If you end up discussing articles with a lot of overlap, I expect you to to offer some comparison between the articles.
Remember that this is Environmental Economics, not Natural Resource Economics. The topic you choose, and the articles you review, should relate to the impacts of economic activities on the environment, rather than the impact of resource availability on the economy. Thus, while the impact of pollution on fish stocks fits into this course, the impact of overfishing on the sustainability of a fishery fits better in Natural Resource Economics.
Some questions you may want to consider are:
- Is the situation described in the article economically efficient? Why or why not? If not, what would be efficient? - If it is not efficient, why not? Who would gain and who would loose by a move towards efficiency? Are things changing? Why or why not?
These are suggestions, and the core issues in the articles you are looking at will be unique to those articles. I will be marking less on length and more on content, so that simply using these questions as a template when they are not appropriate will not earn you full marks. Rather, I'm looking to see if your analysis makes good use of the concepts we have used in class, with an analysis that is reasonable for the situation described in the article.
For a bit more guidance, see last year's work, at Course:ECON371/UBCO2010WT1/
There are a range of sources for news items related to the environment. Many newspapers will have an environment section, particularly in their on-line versions. Some news sources that are specific to the environment are:
- Environmental News Network
- Environmental News Service
- The Environmental Magazine
- People and Planet
Keep in mind that your personal mark on this project is a scaled version of the group mark, where the scaling depends on how the other members in your group assess you. You will learn a lot more by reading and discussing each other's analysis than if you adopt a rotation schedule to divide up the work. You may want to rotate the responsibility for selecting an article, but beyond that I strongly encourage you to work together.
The best page to start your search for help on editing pages is the root page of this website. It is at wiki.ubc.ca.