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OAFP 5330 - Economics of Environement

Type d'enseignement : Elective

Semester : Autumn 2018-2019

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English


No prerequisites needed except for general knowledge of economics. Knowledge of principle of public economics is a plus

Course Description

Humanity is having a growing impact on the planet and closing to the limits to human activity as defined in Rockström et al (2009&2015). Economic development added to demographic pressure are building a major ecological crisis. The first part of the course will deal with what is at stake, ranging from climate change to resource depletion or water management. The aim is to evaluate what is needed as a change to allow 10 billions humans living as well as possible on a limited planet. The second part of the course will review theorical economic approach and real world tools to deal with the aims defined in the first part. How do we deal with cost and benefit analysis when coming to intergenerational questions ? How and why do we implement trade system for right to pollute ? Is it better to tax or to cap ? Why international negotiations on climate seem to stall ? Students will present a each session case studies to explore real world solutions or problems in the fields of ecology and economics.


TIMBEAU, Xavier (Directeur du Département analyse et prévision à l'OFCE)

Pedagogical format

Each session is divided into 2 non equal parts. The first one is the presentation by a group of students and discussion with the class. I may complement the presentation with some inputs if needed. Then, I'll go alog with the main course. Discussion is also open in that part (and expected to be lively).

Course validation

Evaluation is based on a presentation conducted in small groups. Presentations are delivered in class and are followed by a discussion. The second part of the evaluation is a paper (20k car.) based on the reading of a book or a report and written individually. The topic of the paper has to be related to the issue of environment.


Workload is minimal. Some reading before each session, preparation of the presentation and writing of the paper.

Required reading

  • Nicholas Stern, A blueprint for a safer planet
  • Tim Jackson, Prosperity without growth
  • An unconvenient truth, Al Gore movie
  • Jared Diamond, Collapse

Additional required reading

  • Weitzman&Wagner, Climate Shock
  • Naomi Klein, This changes everything, Capitalism versus the Climate
  • David Keith, A case for Climate Engineering