APME77-Environmental Economics

Module Provider: School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Francisco Areal

Email: f.j.areal@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module covers the main issues in the fields of environmental economics and resource economics combining theory with applied material taught using computers. The module explains the relationship between ecological and economic system. In particular, the role of the natural environment in sustaining the socio-economic system will be discussed (i.e. the sustainability problem). Important market failures (environmental public goods, environmental externalities) and policies aiming at solving them will be explained.  Such policy measures require a good understanding of the environmental impact of the economic activities. Also, some policy measures would require the economic valuation of the market and non-market goods and services provided by nature. The module explains some of the techniques used by environmental economists such environmental valuation and resource economics modelling. For this, a number of practical sessions in the computer lab are designed to familiarise students with applying these modelling techniques. Finally, the module also covers environmental input-output modelling and main international environmental problems and policies.


To provide the students with the basic tools necessary to understand the importance of the environment in human welfare.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module students will be able to:

1. To discuss and analyse the role the environment in supporting human welfare

2. To analyse environmental problems from an economic perspective

3. To develop analytical skills of one particular issue in environmental economics

4. To apply at least one environmental valuation method 

5. To carry out simple environmental input-output analysis

Additional outcomes:

Students will learn through a set of tutorials some of the main applied techniques in environmental economics using statistical software and developing basic programming knowledge (e.g. Gretl and R)  

Outline content:

The module will provide an understanding of the role of natural environment in supporting the socio-economic system. The effect of an increasing world economy on natural environment will be discussed, with particular attention to the emergence of market failures. The problem of accounting for the value of environmental goods and services will be discussed in depth and students will have the opportunity to practice at least one particular environmental valuation technique.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Teaching will be delivered through a series of 2-hour lectures, which will include also opportunities for students to work in group and discuss specific issues. Also a series of practicals will help the students to familiarise with two environmental valuation techniques and environmental input-output tables.

Material from different textbooks and various articles will be used during this module. However, as a reference the following are indicated:


  • Daly, H.E. and Farley. Ecological Economics. Principles and applications. Island Press

  • Perman, R., Ma, Y., McGilvray, J. and Common, M. Natural Resource & Environmental Economics. Pearson

  • Phaneuf, D.J. and Requate, T. A course in Environmental Economics. Theory, Policy and Practice. Cambridge

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 14
Practicals classes and workshops 6
Guided independent study 80
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Practical skills assessment 60
Class test administered by School 40

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Autumn Term:

1 In-class test during the last week of term (40%)

One practical in environmental valuation (60%)

Formative assessment methods:

Sample test questions will be put in Blackboard

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:

A mark of 50% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:

By new assignment.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 20 April 2018


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