12011682041Jeff_Vincent_-Syllabus_(2008)

12011682041Jeff_Vincent_-Syllabus_(2008) - ENV 298.88...

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ENV 298.88 Environment and Development Economics Spring 2008 W 11:40-12:55, LSRC A211 Instructor: Prof. Jeffrey R. Vincent LSRC A118A 613-8025 [email protected] Office hours: Tu, Th 1:30-2:30 or by appointment Overview Developing countries tend to be more dependent on natural resources and to have higher pollution levels than developed countries. They also tend to have lower institutional capacity and fewer financial resources. The latter characteristics create challenges for improving the management of natural resources and combating pollution in developing countries. Economic analysis can help meet these challenges by providing more sophisticated explanations of the causes of environmental degradation than superficial ones such as overpopulation or excessive consumption. It can also help determine whether prospective policies succeed in aligning the private incentives of individuals, households, and firms with the public interest in improved resource management and higher environmental quality. ENV 298.88 is a 1-credit readings course that surveys a range of important natural resource and environmental issues in developing countries. It emphasizes the use of economic principles to understand these issues and to formulate effective policy responses to them. The material it covers is more empirical than theoretical. The course has theoretical content, but it deals with theory more qualitatively than mathematically. Essentially, it provides an opportunity for learning how economic theory taught in other courses, especially ENV 270, can be applied to natural resource and environmental issues in developing countries. About three-fourths of the readings employ linear regressions and related econometric methods. Knowledge of statistical methods at the level of ENV 210 is necessary to understand these readings. The overall objective of the course is to familiarize students with key portions of the literature on environment and development economics and to foster students’ abilities to read this literature critically. Format The course is a discussion-oriented seminar. Students are responsible for reading all the assigned readings carefully before class. Students will be called on randomly to give their views on material in the readings.
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