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Environmental Economics

Concentration Adviser: Lynne Lewis

Environmental and natural resource economics deals with the economics of pollution control, policies and economic incentives for dealing with pollution and the basic economic principles for the management of renewable and non-renewable resources. The purpose of this concentration is to teach students how to apply the principles and methods of economics to real world environmental problems. In this concentration, students will learn the economic tools needed examine the proper roles of the public and private sectors in the management of natural resources and the protection of the environment. In an attempt to determine these roles students will consider policy options available for the elimination of externalities, the costs of such intervention and the likelihood that such intervention will be successful. Students will also learn how to examine the distribution of any benefits or costs from different management regimes and appropriate policies for environmental protection.

Methods in the environmental economics include applied statistics. Quantitative skills will be learned in all courses and students will learn about data analysis and policy analysis.  By completing a course on statistics and a course on econometrics, as well as 300 level field seminars, students acquire key tools needed to complete their senior thesis, gain greater appreciation for the richness and the rigor of applied economics methods, and become aware of the assumptions, strengths and limitations of various methods relative to particular kinds of research questions.

Courses that count for the fourth course (200- or 300-level) requirement within the core:

Concentration Requirements:

    1. Economics 101: Introductory Microeconomics
    2. Economics 222: Environmental Economics*
    3. Economics 250: Statistics
    4. Economics 255: Econometrics (Extra Prerequisite: Mathematics 105)
    5. 2 300 level courses, one of which should be
      ECON 325: Prices Property and the Problem of the Commons or ECON 315: Energy Economics*

*Students who double major in Economics may NOT count Econ 222 as their economics elective and only 1 of the 2 300 level economics courses listed above may count toward their Economics major.


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