Fall 2022 - ECON 260 D100

Environmental Economics (3)

Class Number: 4055

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    EDB 7618, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 18, 2022
    3:30 PM – 6:30 PM
    WMC 3520, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    ECON 103 with a minimum grade of C- or ECON 113 with a minimum grade of A-.



Economic analysis of environmental problems (water and air pollution, etc.). Evaluation of market failures due to externalities and public goods. Market and non-market regulation of environmental problems. Students with credit for ECON 360 may not take this course for further credit. Quantitative.


This course introduces students to the relationship between economic activity and the environment. The objective is to familiarize students with the causes, consequences and possible solutions to local and global environmental issues. Topics covered include externalities, public goods, cost-benefits analysis, environmental degradation and policies for environmental regulations. The course will also cover global environmental issues such as ozone depletion and biodiversity.

1. Introduction (Field & Field, Ch. 1, 2)
- Environmental Problems and Economic Approaches, Incentives,
- Externalities and Property Rights, Sustainability
- Linkages between the Economy and the Environment
2. Fundamental Concepts and Analytical Tools (Field & Field, Ch. 3, 4, 5)
- Markets and Competition, Market Valuation
- Market Failures (Monopoly, Externalities, Public Goods, Common Property Resources, etc)
- Scarcity and Economic Rent
- Social Efficiency and Economic Welfare concepts and measurement
- Environmental Quality and Socially Efficient level of Emissions
3. Valuing the Environment and Benefit Cost Analysis (Field & Field, Ch. 6, 7, 8)
- Measuring Environmental Benefits and Costs
- Discounting and Interest Rates, Social vs. Private Discounting
- Theory vs. Practice: Benefit-Cost Analysis, Cost-Effectiveness Analysis, and Environmental
Impact Analysis
- Uncertainty and Risk Analysis
4. Environmental Policy Analysis (Field & Field, Ch. 9, 10, 11-14)
- Environmental Policy Evaluation Criteria
- Strengths and Weaknesses of the Market Valuation Approach
- Efficiency vs. Equity (Fairness) and Environmental Issues
- Liability Laws, Property Rights, and the Coase Theorem
- Environmental Standards, Emission Taxes and Subsidies, Transferable Pollution Permits
5. Environmental Policy in Canada (Field & Field, Ch. 15-19)
- Control of Water Pollution
- Air Pollution
- Hazardous Wastes, Solid Waste and Recycling issues
6. Global Environmental Problems and Sustainability (Field & Field, Ch. 20)
- Limits to Growth Issues, Sustainable Development
- Non-Renewable Resource Problems and Issues, Conservation, Re-Cycling
- Renewable Environmental Resource Problems and Issues
- Biodiversity and Endangered Species
- Macroeconomic Approaches to Global Environmental Problems, Sustainable Development
- Global Climate Change and GHG Emissions, Kyoto Protocol


  • Projects/Assignments 20%
  • Tutorial 10%
  • Midterm 30%
  • Final Exam 40%



Field, B. C. and Field, N., Environmental Economics, 8th edition, McGraw-Hill Ryerson, ISBN 9781260243062


Additional readings can be found on course website: http://www.sfu.ca/~wainwrig


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

Please note that, as per Policy T20.01, the course requirements (and grading scheme) outlined here are subject to change up until the end of the first week of classes.

Final exam schedules will be released during the second month of classes. If your course has a final exam, please ensure that you are available during the entire final exam period until you receive confirmation of your exam dates. 

Students requiring accommodations as a result of a disability must contact the Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL) at 778-782-3112 or caladmin@sfu.ca.


Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html