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Environmental Economics

Course Code: ECON 2460
Faculty: Commerce & Business Administration
Department: Economics
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 Weeks X 4 Hours per Week = 60 Hours
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

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.

Methods of Instruction

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%


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.

course prerequisites

ECON 1150

curriculum 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 schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.