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Unit of study_

ECOS3013: Environmental Economics

Semester 2, 2022 [Normal day] - Remote

The natural environment is invariably affected by production and consumption in our modern economy. In particular, environmental outcomes are important in the presence of market failures (externalities and public goods). This unit focuses on developing a student's detailed understanding of the economic techniques used by policymakers to address environmental issues. These techniques include: Pigovian taxes and subsidies; regulation with asymmetric information; marketable permits; pricing contributions for public goods; optimal damages; and the allocation of property-rights and market failures.

Unit details and rules

Unit code ECOS3013
Academic unit Economics
Credit points 6
Prohibitions
? 
None
Prerequisites
? 
AREC2005 or AREC2003 or RSEC2031 or ECOS2001 or ECOS2901
Corequisites
? 
None
Assumed knowledge
? 

None

Available to study abroad and exchange students

Yes

Teaching staff

Coordinator Kelly Neill, kelly.neill@sydney.edu.au
Lecturer(s) Kelly Neill, kelly.neill@sydney.edu.au
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam (Open book) Type C final exam Final exam
Final exam
50% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Online task Online Quizzes
Multiple-choice and short-answer questions
30% Multiple weeks 30 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment group assignment Essay
Written assignment
20% Week 05
Due date: 02 Sep 2022 at 23:59
500-1000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
group assignment = group assignment ?
Type C final exam = Type C final exam ?

Assessment summary

  • Online Quizzes: Six quizzes will be posted online throughout the semester. These quizzes will cover material from the previous lectures as well as the required readings for the upcoming lecture. The five best quiz marks will go toward your grade (ie, you can miss one without consequence).
  • Essay: The topic will be posted four weeks prior to the due date. Essays not submitted on or before the due date are subject to a penalty of 5% per calendar day late. If work is submitted more than 10 days after the due date, or is submitted after the return date, the mark will be 0.
  • Final Exam: The final exam will consist of multiple-choice, short-answer, and quantitative questions.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a High distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a Distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range

Description

High distinction

85 - 100

 

Distinction

75 - 84

 

Credit

65 - 74

 

Pass

50 - 64

 

Fail

0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

 

For more information see sydney.edu.au/students/guide-to-grades

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction and Social Decision Making Lecture (2 hr) LO1
Week 02 Markets and Market Failure Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4
Week 03 Market Failure (continued) Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4
Week 04 Optimal Regulation, Pigouvian Taxes Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4
Week 05 Coase Theorem, Tradeable Permits Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4
Week 06 Unknown Costs; Enforcement Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4
Week 07 Valuing Environmental Resources Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 08 Valuing Environmental Resources (continued) Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 10 Climate Change Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4
Week 11 Renewable Electricity Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 12 Risk and Uncertainty Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4
Week 13 Review Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: According to Faculty Board Resolutions, students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are expected to attend 90% of their classes. If you attend less than 50% of classes, regardless of the reasons, you may be referred to the Examiner’s Board. The Examiner’s Board will decide whether you should pass or fail the unit of study if your attendance falls below this threshold.
  • Lecture recording: All lectures will be recorded and made available to students on Canvas. 
  • Preparation: Students should commit to spend approximately three hours’ preparation time (reading, studying, homework, essays, etc.) for every hour of scheduled instruction.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

Required readings (published journal articles) for this unit can be accessed via the Library Reading List tab on Canvas. These readings will become available progressively throughout the semester. The lectures loosely follow topics from Kolstad, C.D., Environmental Economics, 2nd Edition, Oxford University Press, 2010, which is the suggested textbook for this unit.

Older versions of this textbook are okay to use. You can rent the ebook version here: https://www.vitalsource.com/en-au/products/environmental-economics-v9780197541111?term=9780199732647 

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. present a clear and coherent exposition of economic knowledge, ideas and empirical evidence both orally and in writing, in the context of environmental economics
  • LO2. frame problems in terms of core economic concepts and principles, and to apply economic reasoning and analytical skills, in order to make informed judgements and decisions
  • LO3. access data and implement appropriate empirical techniques to interpret the results
  • LO4. explain the nature and implications of assumptions and value judgements in economics.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
GQ1 GQ2 GQ3 GQ4 GQ5 GQ6 GQ7 GQ8 GQ9

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

Given positive student feedback about the current assessments and topics covered, no major changes have been made since this unit was last offered.

Disclaimer

The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.