Course:FRE527

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Environmental Economics and Policy: Empirical Analysis
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FRE 527
Section:
Instructor: Dr. Sumeet Gulati
Email: sumeet.gulati@ubc.ca
Office: MCML 341
Office Hours: TBA
Class Schedule: Tuesday, Thursday 10:30 AM -12:00 PM
Classroom: TBA
Important Course Pages
Syllabus
Lecture Notes
Assignments
Course Discussion

Course Description

We study the economics of urban environmental problems: topics such as urban development, transportation, and energy. We will learn how researchers typically find data, and establish causality and draw inference in analyzing government policies. To aid with student learning of such policies, you will also write blog posts about specified policies in regions across the world.

Course Goals

  • To understand how researchers use data to address real-world environmental issues.
  • To obtain familiarity with commonly used empirical tools used to analyze the effectiveness of environmental policies.
  • To become proficient in writing brief economic analysis reports describing the operation and effectiveness of environmental policies.

Course Format

12 lectures of 1.5 hours, twice a week for 6 weeks.

Course Requirements (Subject to changes)

Activity Date Percent of Grade
3 Blogs To be announced. 30% (10% each)
2 Quizzes Assigned every two weeks 30% (15% each)
Final Project/Exam To be announced. 35%
Class Participation Contributions to class discussions. 5%
Total: 100%

Blogs

The blogs will consist of a short essay (800 words) following a specific criteria published on Connect. The topics for the blog writing will be: carbon policy, congestion policy and densification policy for every blog respectively. These posts will enable the students to learn how researchers use data to address real-world environmental issues, to get familiar with and exposed to commonly used empirical tools used to analyze the effectiveness of environmental policies, and to practice writing brief economic summaries of environmental policy.

Quizzes

The quizzes will test students on analytical material taught in class, and on their reading of assigned material. Much of the analytical material is designed to help you understand commonly used applied econometric techniques. The quizzes will ensure that you review this material in preparation.

Project

The final project is a written report based on individual analysis. It will have a maximum 10-page (double spaced) length. You will be provided with a dataset and a specific research question to answer. Your report, will introduce the research question, provide visual and summary analysis of the data, and conduct appropriate regression analysis. You will be judged on the quality of analysis, and presentation through your report.

Class Participation

Your participation grade depends on your contribution to class discussions. All contribution is appreciated, even questions asking me to clarify previously taught material. The sole aim of assigning a participation grade is to encourage active learning for everyone. I will ascertain and assign this part.

The class twitter discussion: Almost every day, I shall tweet links or commentary to news and blog posts via my twitter page: https://twitter.com/sgulati. All material I consider relevant to this course will be marked with the hashtag: #mfre. You can contribute in two ways: 1) by providing your thoughts, or links to information relevant to this course, or 2) by commenting on what I, or your classmates, tweet.

Academic Dishonesty

Please review the UBC Calendar “Academic regulations” for the university policy on cheating, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty. Academic dishonesty will be dealt with very seriously in this course.

Online Course Material

Available at Connect: http://www.connect.ubc.ca. You are required to regularly login to your course page for FRE 526. Your syllabus, course-lecture slides, additional material, announcements, assignments, and grades are available.

Course Outline and Readings

How to use this course outline: This outline is a collection of papers, and topics commonly taught in agriculture and resource policy analysis. Wherever possible a stable link to the paper is provided. While some of these links will work anywhere, many of them are digitally protected requiring a subscription. You can access this material by logging in through your account at the UBC library, or on any computer connected via Ethernet on the UBC network. For some articles no link is provided, in that case, please search for the article (if you search via the UBC library you will find access to its electronic version).

How to use this course outline: This outline is a collection of papers, and topics commonly taught in the economics of the environment. Wherever possible I provide a stable link to the paper. While some of these links will work anywhere, many of them are digitally protected requiring a subscription. You can access this material by logging in through your account at the UBC library, or on any computer connected via Ethernet on the UBC network. For some articles I do not provide a link, in that case, please search for the article (if you search via the UBC library you will find access to its electronic version).

This outline is subject to change. I might add/replace material as the course proceeds.

1.The Urban Environment:

2. Transportation and the Environment:

a. Overview

  • Alex Anas and Robin Lindsey (2011), “Reducing Urban Road Transportation Externalities: Road Pricing in Theory and in Practice,” Rev Environ Econ Policy 5(1): 66-88 doi:10.1093/reep/req019
  • Stef Proost and Kurt Van Dender (2011), “What Long-Term Road Transport Future? Trends and Policy Options,” Rev Environ Econ Policy 5(1): 44-65 doi:10.1093/reep/req022
  • Werner Antweiler and Sumeet Gulati (December 2012), “Environmental Tax Policies Towards Transportation in British Columbia” Canadian Tax Journal, 20(12).
  • Werner Antweiler and Sumeet Gulati (August 2013) “Market-Based Policies for Green Motoring in Canada,” Canadian Public Policy, 39 (2).

b. Gasoline Prices/Taxes:

  • Christopher R. Knittel (Winter 2012), “Reducing Petroleum Consumption from Transportation,” Journal of Economic Perspectives, 26(1).
  • Busse, Meghan, Christopher R. Knittel and Florian Zettelmeyer (2011). “Pain at the Pump: The Differential Effect of Gasoline Prices on New and Used Automobile Markets.” Unpublished.

c. Fuel Efficiency Standards

  • Soren T. Anderson, Ian W. H. Parry, James M. Sallee, and Carolyn Fischer (2011), “Automobile Fuel Economy Standards: Impacts,
  • Efficiency, and Alternatives,” Rev Environ Econ Policy 5(1): 89-108 doi:10.1093/reep/req021.

d. Subsidizing new technology.

3. Energy:

4. International Environmental Issues – if time permits.

Tentative Lecture Schedule (to be finalized)

Date Topic Assignment
Tue, January 3rd, 2017 Introduction Assignment 1 given
Thurs, January 5th, 2017 Introduction
Tues, January 10th, 2017 Introduction Assignment 1 due
Thurs January 12th, 2017 Economics of Pollution Control Assignment 2 given
Tues, January 17th, 2017 Economics of Pollution Control Assignment 2 due
Thurs, January 19th, 2017 Midterm
Tues, January 24th, 2017 Marine Resources
Thur January 26th, 2017 Marine Resources Assignment 3 given
Tues, January 31st, 2017 Climate Change
Thurs, February 2nd, 2017 Climate Change Assignment 3 due
Tues, February 7th, 2017 Climate Change
Thurs, February 9th, 2017 Summary and Recap.
Tues, February 14th, 2017 Climate Change
Thurs, February 16th, 2017 Final.