ECONOMICS 1370
ECONOMICS AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Semester: Spring 2012
Instructor: George Berger
Office: 120 Biddle
Phone: 269-2982/2990 or 2991
Office Hours: MWF 2-3, TH 2:00-3:30 or by appointment

I. TEXTs:

George Berger, Supplementary Readings, Part 1 and Part 2, Spring 2012.

II. ORGANIZATION OF COURSE

A. Introduction: Basic Economic Principles

1. Basic Concepts

2.  Institutional Framework: Property Rights Analysis

SUPPLEMENTARY READINGS (34)

a. Lawrence Reed, “Privatization: Best Hope of a Vanishing Wilderness,” The Freeman, February 1988, pp. 52-57.

b. Robert J. Smith, "Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association," Center for Private Conservation Case Study, April 1, 1999, pp. 1-7

c. Michael De Alessi, “Wildlife Enrichment and Oil Exploration: A 2-for-1 Deal at the Welder Wildlife Refuge,” Tech Central Station, May 15, 2001, 3 pps.

d. Dwight Lee, “To Drill or Not to Drill,” The Independent Review, 6:2, Fall 2001, pp. 217-25.

e. Terry L. Anderson and Donald R, Leal, “Energy and Ecology: Prospecting for Harmony,” excerpt from Free Market Environmentalism, Revised Edition, Palgrave, 2001, pp. 81-86.

 

 

3. Economics of Externalities

SUPPLEMENTARY READINGS (74)

a.  Roger Meiners and Bruce Yandle, "The Common Law: How It Protects the Environment"  PERC Policy Series #13, pp. 1-20.

b. Robert W. Crandall, "Clean Air and Regional Protectionism," The Brookings Review, Fall 1983, pp. 17-20.

c. Richard Stroup and Jane Shaw, "Environmental Harms from Federal Government Policy," in Roger Meiners and Bruce Yandle, eds., Taking the Environment Seriously, Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 1993, pp. 51-70.

d. Peter J. Hill, "Environmental Problems under Socialism," Cato Journal, 12:2, Fall 1992, pp. 321-33.

e. Institute for Energy Research, “Carbon Taxes: Reducing Economic Growth-Achieving No Environmental Improvement” March 11, 2009, pp. 1-6

f. Kenneth Green, Steven Hayward and Kevin Hassett, “Climate Change: Caps versus Taxes,” Energy and Environment Outlook No. 2, June 2007, pp. 1-6

g. Kenneth Green, “Climate Policy: What’s Best—Emission Reduction or Adaptation and Sequestration,” AEI Environmental Policy Outlook No. 4, October 2006, 5 pp.

h. EXTRA CREDIT: Kenneth P. Green and Steven F. Hayward, “The Dangers of Overreacting to the Deepwater Horizon Disaster,” AEI Energy and Environment Outlook Series/No. 1, June 2010, 10pp.

i. EXTRA CREDIT: Bruce Benson, “Unnatural Bounty,” PERC Policy Series No. 37, November 2006, 17 pp.

4. Natural Resources: An Overview

SUPPLEMENTARY READINGS (55)

a.  Ronald Bailey,  "The Progress Explosion: Permanently Escaping the Malthusian Trap," Earth Report 2000, edited by Ronald Bailey, Competitive Enterprise Institute, pp. 3-21

b.  David Osterfeld, "Chapter 4: Resources,"  Prosperity versus Planning: How Government Stifles Economic Growth, Oxford University Press, 1992, pp. 84-102.

c.  Daniel K Benjamin, “Eight Great Myths of Recycling,” PERC Policy Series # 28, September 2003, pp. 10-26

 

EXAM 1

 

B. Topics

 

1. Oil and Renewable Energy

SUPPLEMENTARY READINGS (44)

a. Morris Adelman, “The Real Oil Problem,” Regulation , Spring 2004, pp. 16-21.

b. Robert Murphy, “Oil Prices,” Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, 11 pp.

 

c. Max Schulz, “The Quiet Energy Revolution,” The American.com, February 4, 2010,  6 pp.

 
d. Vaclav Smil. “Moore’s Curse and the Great Energy Delusion,” The American, November/December 2008. pp. 35-36, 38-41.

 

e. Sallie Baliunas, “Solar Delusions,” May 21, 2002; “Let the Sunshine In,” June 11, 2002; “Gone with the Wind,” September 25, 2002; “Wind Magic,” October 17, 2002, TCS Daily, 15 pp.

 

2. Fisheries and Commercially Valuable Species

SUPPLEMENTARY READINGS (36)

a. Donald Leal, “Saving Fisheries with Free Markets,” The Milken Insitute Review, First Quarter 2006, pp. 57-66.

b. Howard Baejter, "Conservation Texas Style," LD/ Extemp Monthly, October 1986, pp. 1-2

c. Richard Stroup, "The Endangered Species Act: Making Innocent Species the Enemy," PERC Policy Study #3, April 1995, pp. 1-22.

 

3. Hazardous Waste

SUPPLEMENTARY READINGS (35)

a. Eric Zuesse, "Love Canal", Reason, February 1981, pp. 16-33.

b.  Richard Stroup, "Superfund versus Environmental Progress: Explaining a Disaster" Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation, Studies in Social Cost, Regulation, and the Environment, No. 7, 2001,  17 pp.

c. EXTRA CREDIT: Aaron Wildavsky, "Love Canal: Was There Evidence of Harm?" But Is It True?: A Citizen's Guide to Environmental Safety and Health Issues, Harvard University Press, 1995, pp. 126-52.

C. Overview

 

1. Sustainable Development

SUPPLEMENTARY READINGS  (55)

a. Jerry Taylor, "Sustainable Development: A Dubious Solution In Search of a Problem," Policy Analysis No. 449, August 26, 2002, pp. 1-21.

b. Richard Stroup, " Political Control versus Sustainable Development," PERC Resource Book on Pollution, Trade, and Aid, August 1992, pp. 31-39.

c. Students whose last name start with A through Ma should read the two articles in option (1) while students whose last names start with Mu through Z should read the article in option (2)

(1) Bruce Yandle, “Environmental Turning Points, Institutions and the Race to the Top,” The Independent Review, 9:2 (Fall 2004), pp. 211-26 and Kenneth Green, “Climate Change: The Resilience Option,” Energy and Environment Outlook, No. 4, October 2009, 9 pp.

(2) Robert G McCormick, “The Relation Between Net Carbon Emissions and Income,” in You Have to Admit It’s Getting Better, edited by Terry Anderson, Hoover Institution Press, 2004, pp. 173-98.

EXAM 2

III. COURSE POLICIES

1. The total number of points in the course will be distributed as follows:

Exam 1 100
Exam 2 100
Quizzes 100   

     Total 300

 

While I cannot specify what number of points equals an A, what number of points equals a B, etc., I will indicate these grades as the semester progresses.

2. Your grade can be calculated as follows: (1) Assume you earned a 73 on the first exam. Assume that all scores that fall into the range 70-79 are Cs and all scores that fall into the range 80-89 are Bs. (2) Assume you earned an 83 on the second exam. Assume that all scores that fall into the range 80-89 are Bs. Your total number of points earned after the second exam add to 156. What is your letter grade? Add together the minimum scores for a B which in this case is 160 points. Since your point total is less than the minimum score to earn a B, you have a C+ in the course after the second exam. (NOTE: The ranges used in this example are not necessarily the ranges that I will use during the course of the semester.)

3. The Homework Problem Set is available to students on my website. Answers to the Homework Problem Set are also  posted on my website. PLEASE NOTE THAT EXAM QUESTIONS WILL BE DIFFERENT FROM THE HOMEWORK PROBLEMS; but if you have worked on the latter, you should be able to answer the former.

4. Exams are NOT cumulative but cover only the material after the previous exam.

5. All exams will be a combination of definitions and essay questions. A typical test will include 10 definitions (30 points) and approximately 3 essay questions usually with two or three parts (75 points). These exams will draw on material selected from the definition sheets, assigned homework exercises, and supplementary readings. Extra credit questions will be included on all exams. This is the only place extra credit can be done.

 

6. Exams will be given in two stages. In the first stage, students must match the appropriate word to the correct definition. This must be done BY MEMORY (no notecards allowed). In the second stage, students may consult an unlimited number of notecards to complete the essay section of the exam. NOTE: THESE NOTECARDS MUST BE HANDWRITTEN. XEROXED OR TYPED NOTECARDS OR NOTECARDS WITH XEROXED OR TYPED MATERIAL PASTED ON THEM ARE UNACCEPTABLE. I WILL REQUIRE ALL STUDENTS TO TURN IN THEIR NOTECARDS TO ME AFTER THE EXAM. THAT MEANS YOUR NAME MUST APPEAR ON EACH NOTECARD YOU USE. IF I DISCOVER THAT SOMEONE HAS USED XEROXED OR TYPED NOTECARDS THAT PERSON WILL RECEIVE A ZERO ON THE EXAM.

7. Exam 1 will have very tight time constraints so you must be prepared to deal with them. This means writing short summaries of the supplementary reading articles and homework questions; these summaries should answer all of the questions asked on the appropriate question sheets and summarize key ideas in solving particular homework problems.

8. Exam dates will be:

Exam 1 – Feb 24 (approximately)
Exam 2 – Friday, April 29 @ 12:30PM

 

Exam 2 must be taken on the assigned day. Exceptions will be allowed only if students provide evidence of one other exams on the scheduled date.

 

9.  Make-up exam policy.

 

a. In the event of a prolonged absence (more than a single class or single day), students must immediately contact the Office of the Assistant to the Vice President of Academic Affairs, Blackington 248, (814-269-2078) to be excused from classes. All other absences on the test date must be accompanied by a doctor’s excuse. Students who do either of these things will be able to take a make-up exam if the excused absence occurs on an exam date.

 

b. If the student does neither of these things the instructor will allow the student to take a make-up exam score minus a penalty to be determined by the instructor.

10. Final grades will be assigned using +'s and -'s where appropriate.

11. Class attendance is mandatory. Students may miss THREE classes without penalty. HOWEVER, EVERY CLASS MISSED AFTER THOSE  WILL BE PENALIZED THREE (3) POINTS FOR EACH CLASS MISSED.

12.  I want to emphasize two particular points of class etiquette that are important to me.

a. I CONSIDER TEXTING IN CLASS RUDE AND DISTRACTING. THEREFORE IF I EVEN SEE A CELL PHONE DURING CLASS I WILL TAKE THAT PERSON’S CELL PHONE AND PUT IT ON THE PODIUM ( IT MAY BE  RECLAIMED AFTER CLASS).  FOR EVERY CLASS AFTER THIS OCCURS, THIS PERSON MUST PUT HIS/HER CELL PHONE ON THE PODIUM BEFORE CLASS BEGINS. IF THIS PARTICULAR PERSON IS LATE, HE/SHE MUST PUT THEIR CELL PHONE ON THE PODIUM BEFORE TAKING A SEAT IN THE BACK OF THE CLASS.

b. IN THE PAST STUDENTS IN MY CLASS HAVE OFTEN LEFT DURING CLASS (TO GO TO THE BATHROOM, TO TAKE A PHONE CALL, WHATEVER) AND HAVE RETURNED SHORTLY THEREAFTER.  I ALSO CONSIDER THIS RUDE AND DISTRACTING. SO THIS BEHAVIOR MUST STOP. IF ANYONE LEAVES IN THE MIDDLE OF CLASS: (i) I WILL MARK YOU ABSENT AND (ii) ASK THAT YOU NOT COME BACK FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE CLASS. IF YOU ARE ILL BY ALL MEANS LEAVE CLASS IF YOU NEED TO.

13. Anyone caught cheating on any exam will get a zero on that exam. This will make passing the course very difficult. Additionally, anyone copying another person's written work and submitting it as his own will receive a zero. (NOTE: The person from whom it was copied will also receive a zero.)

14.  FYI: DEADLINE FOR DROPPING THE CLASS WITH A W ON YOUR TRANSCRIPT IS MARCH 2.

 

 

 

 

15. READING SCHEDULE

          Week 02: Jan 10-12-Reed; Smith; De Alessi

          Week 03: Jan 17-19-Lee; Anderson and Leal

          Week 04: Jan 24-26-Meiners and Yandle; Crandall

          Week 05: Jan 31-Feb 02-Stroup and Shaw; Hill

Week 06: Feb 07-09-Institute for Energy Research; Green,       

                                 Hayward and Hassett

          Week 07: Feb 14-16-Green; Bailey; Osterfeld

          Week 08: Feb 21-23-Benjamin

          Week 09: Feb 28-Mar 01-Adelman; Deming

          Week 10: Mar 13-15-Murphy; Schulz; Smil

          Week 11: Mar 20-22-Baliunas; Leal

          Week 12: Mar 27-29-Baetjer; Stroup

          Week 13: Apr 03-05-Zuesse; Stroup

          Week 14: Apr 10-12-Taylor ; Stroup

          Week 15: Apr 17-19-Yandle; Green/McCormick

 

16. QUIZ SCHEDULE: There will be 12 quizzes given on Thursday on the following dates covering the material listed in the syllabus by author. You may drop two of the 12 quizzes.

 

Week 03: Jan 19-Reed; Smith; De Alessi; Lee

Week 04: Jan 26- Anderson and Leal; Meiners and Yandle; Crandall

          Week 05: Feb 02-Stroup and Shaw; Hill

          Week 06: Feb 09-Institute for Energy Research; Green, Hayward and

                                      Hassett

          Week 07: Feb 16-Green, Bailey, and Osterfeld

          Week 08: Feb 23-Exam

          Week 09: Mar 01-Adelman; Deming

          Week 10: Mar 15- Murphy; Schulz; Smil

          Week 11: Mar 22-Baliunas; Leal

          Week 12: Mar 29-Baetjer; Stroup

          Week 13: Apr 05-Zuesse; Stroup

          Week 14: Apr 12-Taylor; Stroup

          Week 15: Apr 19-Yandle; Green/McCormick

 

 

 

 

17.  If you have a disability for which you are or may be requesting an accommodation, you are encouraged to contact both your instructor and the Office of Health & Wellness (OHW), G-10 Student Union Building, (814) 269-7119 to schedule an appointment as early as possible in the term. OHW will verify your disability and determine reasonable accommodations for this course.