AREC 217
Resource & Environmental Economics


Class Materials

University of Arizona

Syllabus for Fall 2009

AREC 217
Resource & Environmental Economics
Fall 2009
Tu Th 12:30–1:45 PM, 218 Koffler

Course Description
The course provides an introduction to environmental and resource economics. Students will develop analytical skills to evaluate environmental policies in terms of their economic impacts and effectiveness at achieving environmental objectives. The course surveys US federal policies regulating water pollution, air pollution, toxic and hazardous substances, state and local environmental management, and international environmental problems and agreements.

Instructor: Dr. George Frisvold
Office: 426 Chávez Building
Phone: 621-6269
Email: frisvold@ag.arizona.edu
Office hours: Tu 11–noon & 2–3:15, Th 2–3:15 or by appointment

Teaching Assistants:
Todd Gaston
Office: 4
18 Chávez Building
Phone: 621-974
Email: toddg@email.arizona.edu
Office hours:
Tu & Th 3:30–4:30

Fei Yi
Office: 438 Chávez Building
Phone: 621-9748
Email: feiyi@email.arizona.edu
Office hours:
Tu 9:30–10:30, W 2:30–3:30

ECON 200 or ECON 201A.

Course Website
Problem sets, problem set answer sheets, and quiz answer sheets will be handed out in class and posted to the course website (http://ag.arizona.edu/classes/arec217) throughout the semester.

Course Reading, Resources, Requirements and Grading

Required Reading
•Text: Field, Barry C. and Martha K. Field, Environmental Economics: An Introduction. 5th Edition. Boston: Irwin / McGraw-Hill, 2006.
• Handouts: Additional short articles will be handed out in class.

• Five (5) problem sets
• Five (5) short in-class quizzes (closed book)
• An open book, open note final exam
• The problem sets, quizzes, and final exam will be based on readings from Field & Field, articles handed out in class, and from class lectures.

Your grade will be based on a simple point system. There are 400 possible points.

360+ A (90%+)
320 - 359 B (80%–89%)
280 - 329 C (70%–79%)
240 - 279 D (60%–69%)
Below 240 F (Below 60%)

Points are allocated as follows.

Problem Sets 100 points 25% Based on best 4 out of 5 scores on problem sets
Quizzes 100 points 25% Based on best 4 out of 5 scores on quizzes
Final Exam 200 points 50%  

What happens if you turn in a problem set late?
Students are to turn in problem sets in class on the day they are due. If you know you are going to be away, you can always turn a problem set in early. Scores on late problem sets will be marked down 20%. After the answer key and graded problem sets are handed out in class, you will get no points for turning in that problem set.

What happens if you are absent for a quiz?
Only your best 4 of 5 quizzes count toward your grade. The lowest score is dropped. If you miss a quiz, you receive a zero and that becomes your lowest quiz score. Your other quiz scores will count toward your grade.  There are no make-up quizzes. If you miss 2 quizzes, one score of "0" will be dropped, but the other "0" will count toward your final grade.   

Special Needs
Students needing special accommodations or special services should contact the Disability Resource Center (http://drc.arizona.edu) and/or the SALT Center (http://www.salt.arizona.edu). Students with disabilities who require reasonable accommodations to fully participate in course activities or meet course requirements must register with the Disability Resource Center (DRC). If you qualify for services through DRC, please bring your letter of accommodation to me as soon as possible.


Week Topics Textbook Readings Assignments


Course overview: what will you learn?
What is environmental economics?
Introduction to the environment & the economy
Ch. 1–2  

(9/1, 3)

Measuring benefits and costs
The equimarginal principle
Efficiency, equity, and externalities
Ch. 3–4  

(9/8, 10)

Measuring pollution damages and abatement costs. Economic efficiency & pollution control Ch. 5 PS 1 due 9/10


Types of environmental analysis Ch. 6 Quiz 1 9/17


Benefit-cost analysis Ch. 7  

(9/29, 10/1)

Benefit-cost analysis / Criteria for evaluating environmental policies Ch. 8–9 PS 2 due 10/1

(10/6, 8)

Introduction to environmental law Ch. 10 Quiz 2 10/8


Pollution standards, taxes, and subsidies Ch. 11–12  


Tradable permits Ch. 13 PS 3 due 10/22



US water pollution control policy

 Ch. 14

 Quiz 3 10/29



US policies to control air pollution and toxic and hazardous substances

Ch. 1516




Environment and development

Ch. 19

PS 4 due 11/12



Global environmental problems

Ch. 20

Quiz 4 11/19



International environmental agreements

Ch. 21




International environmental agreements

Ch. 21

PS 5 due 12/1, Quiz 5 12/3



Review of course topics


Final Exam (12/15)

Final is open book, open note


Final 11 AM –1 PM (12/15)

Last updated September 3, 2009
Document located at http://ag.arizona.edu/classes/arec217/syllabus.html
website contact: arecweb@ag.arizona.edu

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