ECON19031 - Environmental Economics
Term 2 - 2017


All details in this unit profile for ECON19031 have been officially approved by CQUniversity and represent a learning partnership between the University and you (our student). The information will not be changed unless absolutely necessary and any change will be clearly indicated by an approved correction included in the profile.

Overview

Resource use and environmental issues are difficult for society to evaluate and balance. This unit introduces some of the most important economic concepts that relate to environmental issues, and provide a framework for evaluating policy choices. Among the topics covered are project and policy assessment tools, environmental valuation and accounting methods, and the efficiency of different institutions and mechanisms that guide environmental choices.

Details

Career Level Undergraduate
Unit Level Level 2
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band 3A
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125

Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Prerequisite: Minimum of 24 Units

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Offerings

Term 2 - 2017
  • Distance
  • Rockhampton

Website

This unit has a website, within the Moodle system, which is available two weeks before the start of term. It is important that you visit your Moodle site throughout the term. Go to Moodle

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Class Timetable

Assessment Overview

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Written Assessment 30%
2. Written Assessment 30%
3. Written Assessment 40%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%). Consult the University’s Grades and Results Procedures for more details of interim results and final grades.

All University policies are available on the IMPortal.

You may wish to view these policies:

  • Grades and Results Procedure
  • Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework)
  • Review of Grade Procedure
  • Academic Misconduct Procedure
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – Domestic Students
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – International Students
  • Refund and Excess Payments (Credit Balances) Policy and Procedure
  • Student Feedback – Compliments and Complaints Policy and Procedure
  • Acceptable Use of Information and Communications Technology Facilities and Devices Policy and Procedure

This list is not an exhaustive list of all University policies. The full list of University policies are available on the IMPortal.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Feedback Source Recommendation
"Application of the concepts to real world examples in assignments was good. It made me read more widely." Course evaluation Continue with the current case study approach
"The course coordinator was extremely helpful with any questions regarding course material and assessment pieces. it made me feel much more at ease with this difficult subject knowing i had such wonderful assistance." Course evaluation Continue with the current support level.
"Balance the marks given to mini assessment pieces." Course evaluation Review the Assessment 1 mark distribution
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. identify how market mechanisms work to allocate resources, and how markets and ecological mechanisms can be viewed in a systems approach
  2. demonstrate that many environmental problems arise because of market failure and government failure problems, leading to inadequate signalling and incentive mechanisms used in society to allocate resources
  3. identify different approaches to evaluating environmental issues
  4. understand how valuation of environmental impacts can allow more accurate assessment of environmental issues
  5. develop an understanding of environmental accounting and impact assessment methodologies
  6. understand how there are a variety of ways of viewing and using sustainable development concepts
  7. develop an understanding of the potential for market-based instruments to help in addressing environmental problems.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 - Written Assessment      
2 - Written Assessment    
3 - Written Assessment        

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

  • Introductory Level
  • Intermediate Level
  • Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1. Communication
2. Problem Solving
3. Critical Thinking
4. Information Literacy
5. Team Work              
6. Information Technology Competence
7. Cross Cultural Competence              
8. Ethical practice              

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

  • Introductory Level
  • Intermediate Level
  • Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 - Written Assessment        
2 - Written Assessment      
3 - Written Assessment        

Prescribed Textbooks

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics
Author/s: Tietenberg, T. and Lewis, L. Year: 2014
Edition: 10th edition (Global Edition) Publisher: Pearson UK, Taylor and Frances
City: London
Country: UK
View textbooks at the CQUniversity Bookshop
Note:

There is also an electronic version of the text available directly from the publisher.

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics Global Edition VitalSource eText (10e), ISBN 9781292069951.

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
All submissions for this unit must use the American Psychological Association (APA) referencing style (details can be obtained here). For further information, see the Assessment Tasks below.
Unit CoordinatorJayanath Ananda (j.ananda@cqu.edu.au)
Note: Check the Term-Specific section for any additional contact information provided by the teaching team
Week Begin Date Module/Topic Chapter Events and Submissions
Week 1 10-07-2017

The Economic Approach

Tietenberg and Lewis Chapters 1 and 2

Week 2 17-07-2017

Understanding why environmental problems occur

Tietenberg and Lewis Chapter 2

Week 3 24-07-2017

Valuing the environment

Tietenberg and Lewis Chapter 4

Week 4 31-07-2017

Evaluating tradeoffs: Cost Benefit Analysis

Tietenberg and Lewis Chapter 3

Week 5 07-08-2017

Dynamic efficiency and Sustainable Development

Tietenberg and Lewis Chapters 5 and 20

Assignment 1 Due Friday (11 Aug 17) 11:45 PM AEST
Vacation Week 14-08-2017
Week 6 21-08-2017

Depletable Resource Allocation over longer term horizons

Tietenberg and Lewis Chapter 6

Week 7 28-08-2017

Energy: the transition from depletable to renewable resources

Tietenberg and Lewis Chapter 7

Week 8 04-09-2017

Forests: Storable, renewable resources

Tietenberg and Lewis Chapter 11

Assignment 2 Due Friday (08 Sep 17) 11:45 PM AEST
Week 9 11-09-2017

Common Pool Resources and Fisheries

Tietenberg and Lewis Chapter 12

Week 10 18-09-2017

Economics of Pollution Control and Climate Change

Tietenberg and Lewis Chapters 14 and 16

Week 11 25-09-2017

Water Pollution

Tietenberg and Lewis Chapter 18

Week 12 02-10-2017

Unit revision

Assignment 3 Due Friday (06 Oct 17) 11:45 PM AEST
Review/Exam Week 09-10-2017

Review Period

Exam Week 16-10-2017

1 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Assignment 1
Task Description

Written Assessment 1 covers general economic concepts and environmental valuation techniques and requires short-answer responses.

As a guideline, the total length of your response should be around 1000 words.

Diagrams should be used to illustrate specific aspects of the response. Please ensure that you correctly cite/reference all sources of diagrams used, unless they are original and composed by you. This is an important aspect of academic integrity. It is also important that you familiarize yourself with the Plagiarism policy. The University Academic Misconduct Procedure Policy is available from the CQUni website.

Further details of the Assessment are available on the Moodle page for the unit.

Late submissions will incur penalties (5% of the total assessment marks for each day the work is overdue). All assignment extension requests must be forwarded through the Moodle Assignment Extension portal with verifiable supporting documents.

Assessment Due Date Week 5 Friday (11-Aug-2017) 11:45 PM AEST
Penalties apply to late submissions without an approved extension.
Return Date to Students Week 7 Friday (01-Sep-2017)
Weighting 30%
Assessment Criteria

Assessment Criteria for Assignment 1 are as follows:

(a) Demonstrate a clear understanding and purpose of economic theory and models.

(b) Application of economic theory and models to given real-life and hypothetical scenarios.

(c) Demonstrate a clear understanding of the selected valuation technique and its application.

(d) A critical review of the key strengths and weaknesses of the relevant valuation technique.

Referencing Style American Psychological Association (APA)
Submission Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. identify how market mechanisms work to allocate resources, and how markets and ecological mechanisms can be viewed in a systems approach

2. demonstrate that many environmental problems arise because of market failure and government failure problems, leading to inadequate signalling and incentive mechanisms used in society to allocate resources

3. identify different approaches to evaluating environmental issues

4. understand how valuation of environmental impacts can allow more accurate assessment of environmental issues

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy



2 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Assignment 2
Task Description

The focus of this assignment is to test your understanding of the issues around renewable and non-renewable resources, and the issues in dealing with long time horizons. In the assignment, you should choose a major environmental issue in Australia that can be classified as a renewable or non-renewable resource management issue. Issues may be drawn from a number of areas, including Energy, Minerals, and Forestry. To complete the assignment, you should:

  1. Provide a brief overview of the issue
  2. Identify issues with the rate of resource allocation and the time horizon issues
  3. Explain how marginal benefits and costs of extraction or harvest can change over time
  4. Identify the appropriate economic analysis to identify optimal rates of harvest or extraction.
  5. Identify the implications of extraction or harvest rates in terms of sustainable development.
  6. Review available government policies to deal with these kinds of issues, and identify preferred options to address the issue of interest.

This assignment is to be written as a single essay and include diagrams and references. You should aim to develop a logical framework for your arguments in a structure that allows you to address the key questions posed.

The choice of a particular environmental issue is yours as a way of bringing some interest to the topic. Do not spend too much time on describing the case but use it to demonstrate the economic principles that you have learnt in the Unit.

There are many possible types of environmental issues that you might focus on. Try to narrow it down in some way to a particular case study or development proposal so that it is easier to apply different frameworks to the issue of interest. You should choose an issue that is relevant to the analysis presented in Chapters 5, 6, 7 and 11 in your text. The chosen environmental issue can be at any scale (i.e. local, regional, national or international), but remember that smaller, less complex and well-defined problems are generally easier to analyse than larger multi-faceted issues.

It is important to describe what type of economic principles and analysis can be applied to evaluate the problem so that it is clear how to conceptualise the issues in economic terms.

Other details to note are:

  • As a guideline, the length of the main body of your essay should be around 2000 words or so, excluding references.
  • Diagrams should be used to illustrate specific aspects and please ensure that you correctly cite/reference all sources including diagrams used since this is an important aspect of academic integrity.
  • The list of references should form the last page or two, at the end of the assessment. The APA Referencing style should be used.
  • Further instructions on assignment submission, formatting, referencing, etc. are provided on the Moodle site for this unit.
Assessment Due Date Week 8 Friday (08-Sep-2017) 11:45 PM AEST
Return Date to Students Week 10 Friday (22-Sep-2017)
Penalties apply to late submissions without an approved extension.
Weighting 30%
Assessment Criteria

Assessment Criteria for Assignment 2 are as follows:

  1. Selection and description of a suitable case study issue relevant to the assignment topic
  2. Demonstrate a clear understanding and purpose of the economic concepts involved
  3. Demonstrate knowledge about application of economic analysis
  4. Critical evaluation of the case study issues and policy mechanisms
  5. Standard of writing, explanation and referencing.
Referencing Style American Psychological Association (APA)
Submission Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

3. identify different approaches to evaluating environmental issues

4. understand how valuation of environmental impacts can allow more accurate assessment of environmental issues

5. develop an understanding of environmental accounting and impact assessment methodologies

6. understand how there are a variety of ways of viewing and using sustainable development concepts

7. develop an understanding of the potential for market-based instruments to help in addressing environmental problems.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy

8. Ethical practice



3 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Assignment 3
Task Description

The focus of this assignment is to identify an environmental issue that involves pollution or an open-access resource and use it as a case study to explain how the problem can be evaluated using economic analysis and to identify appropriate policy mechanisms. The case study approach means that students can choose a major environmental issue in Australia that can be classified as a common pool resource problem or a pollution problem. Common pool problems are an open-access or tragedy of the commons type of problem, while pollution problems are examples of negative externalities. Some environmental problems, such as air pollution, exhibit both characteristics and are sometimes called 'wicked' problems because of the difficulties of addressing them.

Students need to complete the following tasks for their case study:

  1. Provide a brief overview of the issue.
  2. Explain in economic terms why the problem exists, and who bears the costs.
  3. Identify the appropriate economic analysis that can be applied to identify more sustainable or efficient resource use.
  4. Review economic mechanisms that are available to address these types of environmental problems.
  5. Critically review current government policies that are in place and the extent to which they are consistent with economic mechanisms.

This assignment is to be written as a single essay and should include references. You should aim to develop a logical framework for your arguments in a structure that allows you to address the key questions posed.

The choice of a particular case study is yours as a way of bringing some interest to the topic. Do not spend too much time on the descriptive aspects of the case study but use it to demonstrate the economic principles that you have learnt in this Unit.

There are many possible types of environmental issues that you might focus on. Try to narrow it down in some way to a particular case study or development proposal so that it is easier to apply different frameworks to the issue of interest. You should choose a case study topic that is relevant to at least some of the analysis presented in Chapters 12, 14-16 and 18 in your text. The case study can be at any scale (i.e. local, regional, national or international), but remember that smaller, less complex and specific problems are generally easier to analyse than larger multi-faceted issues.

It is important to describe what type of economic principles and analysis can be applied to evaluate the problem so that it is clear how to conceptualise the issues in economic terms.

Other details to note are:

  • As a guideline, the total length of the essay should be around 3000 words or so, excluding references.
  • Diagrams should be used to illustrate specific aspects and please ensure that you correctly cite/reference all sources including diagrams used since this is an important aspect of academic integrity.
  • The list of references should form the last page or two, at the end of the assessment. The APA Referencing style should be used.
  • Further instructions on assignment submission, formatting, referencing, etc. are provided on the Moodle site for this unit.
Assessment Due Date Week 12 Friday (06-Oct-2017) 11:45 PM AEST
Penalties apply to late submissions without an approved extension.
Return Date to Students Following the exam week once unit results are approved
Weighting 40%
Assessment Criteria

Assessment Criteria for Assignment 3 are as follows:

  1. Selection and description of a suitable case study issue relevant to the assignment topic.
  2. Demonstrate a clear understanding and purpose of the economic concepts involved.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge about the application of economic analysis.
  4. Critical evaluation of the case study issues and policy mechanisms.
  5. Standard of writing, explanation and referencing.
Referencing Style American Psychological Association (APA)
Submission Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

2. demonstrate that many environmental problems arise because of market failure and government failure problems, leading to inadequate signalling and incentive mechanisms used in society to allocate resources

6. understand how there are a variety of ways of viewing and using sustainable development concepts

7. develop an understanding of the potential for market-based instruments to help in addressing environmental problems.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy




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