Environmental Economics

Commerce & Business Administration
Course Code
ECON 2460
Semester Length
15 Weeks X 4 Hours per Week = 60 Hours
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Course Designation
Certificate in Global Competency
Industry Designation
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
Industrial societies incur environmental damage, in part, because the full "cost" of economic activities are not reflected in the market prices that direct production. This course examines market failure and applies microeconomic principles to markets for environmental resources. Methods of measuring the damages that result from polluting activities, and the benefits of improving environmental quality, are examined. The economic principles of pollution control and case studies in Canadian and International environmental regulation are discussed.
Course Content
  1. Review of microeconomic 'principles', as relevant to environmental issues.
  2. Introduction to environmental problems and issues.
  3. The static, dynamic and sustainability criterion for economic efficiency.
  4. The economics of property rights.
  5. Sources of market failure.
  6. Market failure and pollution.
  7. Economic 'instruments' and pollution control.
  8. Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) -- measuring the damages resulting from polluting activities and the benefits derived from improvements in environmental quality.
  9. Case studies -- economic analyses of different types of water and air pollution, disposal of waste, and recycling.
Learning Activities

Lecture and seminar.

Means of Assessment
Final Examination          30% - 40%
Term Test(s) 30% - 70%
Assignments   0% - 30%
Quizzes   0% - 20%
Participation   0% - 10%
Total         100%


Students may conduct research as part of their coursework in this class. Instructors for the course are responsible for ensuring that student research projects comply with College policies on ethical conduct for research involving humans, which can require obtaining Informed Consent from participants and getting the approval of the Douglas College Research Ethics Board prior to conducting the research.

Learning Outcomes

To provide students with an economics’ perspective on environmental issues.

At the end of the course, the student will be able to:

  1. apply economic principles to analyze specific environmental problems and issues;
  2. demonstrate an understanding of the static, dynamic and sustainability criterion for economic efficiency;
  3. identify the sources of 'market failure' (inefficiency) and the economic principles of pollution control;
  4. utilize various 'instruments' developed by economists to deal with environmental problems to evaluate alternative courses of action for policy makers;
  5. apply economic analyses to practical situations involving environmental regulation.
Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students

The main text is to be chosen from the following, as determined by the instructor:

  • Tietenberg, Tom.  Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, Latest Ed.  New York:  Harper Collins Publishers Inc. 

Supplementary materials may be chosen from the following, as determined by the instructor:

  • Barde, Jean-Phillipe and David W. Pearce.  Valueing the Environment:  Six Case Studies.
  • Doern, G. Bruce (editor).  Getting it Green, Case Studies in Canadian Environmental Regulation.  C.D. Howe Institute.
  • Pearce, David W. and Jeremy J. Warford.  World Without End:  Economics, Environment and Sustainable Development.
  • Pearce, David W. and R. Kerry Turner.  Economics of Natural Resources and The Environment.
  • Silverstein, Michael.  The Environmental Economic Revolution: How Business Will Thrive and the Earth Will Survive in Years to Come.  New York: Saint Martin’s Press, 1993.


Various published or unpublished articles pertaining to the course content.




No corequisite courses.


Courses listed here are equivalent to this course and cannot be taken for further credit:

  • No equivalency courses

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for ECON 2460
Alexander College (ALEX) ALEX ECON 260 (3)
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU ECON 2XX (3)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU ECON 2260 (3)
Langara College (LANG) LANG ECON 2260 (3)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU ECON 260 (3)
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU ECON 2XXX (3)
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO ECON_O 2nd (3)
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV ECON_V 2nd (3)
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC ECON 305 (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV ECON 1XX (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC ECON 381 (1.5)

Course Offerings

Summer 2024