Energy, Environmental, and Resource Economics


In the second year, students decide on a major field of study, taking at least two courses in the field and preparing for the field exam at the conclusion of the second year. The following are the graduate course offerings in the Energy, Environmental, and Resource Economics Field for the 2004-2005 academic year.

ARE 261: Environmental and Resource Economics

Theory of renewable and nonrenewable natural resource use, with applications to forests, fisheries, energy and climate change. Resources, growth and sustainability. Economic theory of environmental policy. Externality; the Coasian critique; tax incidence and anomalies; indirect taxes; the double dividend; environmental standards; environmental regulation; impact of uncertainty on taxes and standards; mechanism design; monitoring, penalties, and regulatory strategy; emissions markets.

ARE 262: Non-Market Valuation

The economic concept of value; historical evolution of market and non-market valuation; revealed preference methods; single site demand, multi-site demand, corner solution models, and valuation of quality changes; averting behavior; the hedonic method; contingent valuation; other stated preference methods: ranking, choice, conjoint analysis; the value of life and safety; sampling and questionnaire design for valuation surveys.

ARE 263: Dynamic Methods in Environmental and Resource Economics

This course prepares students to conduct research using dynamic analysis and optimization. It emphasizes methods, illustrating these using applications in environmental and resource economics. We introduce dynamic programming and the Euler equation, showing how to conduct comparative statics of a steady state. We discuss the use of dynamic modeling in the climate policy problem. We consider specific functional forms, for which closed form solutions are available, and emphasize numerical methods for problems that do not admit closed form solutions. We develop the dynamic analog of familiar static problems (e.g. “taxes versus quantities”). We discuss the role of risk and anticipated learning in dynamic models. Methods of phase portrait analysis are used to analyze two-dimensional differential systems. We study the necessary conditions for optimality in both deterministic and stochastic continuous time models. Decision making under the threat of catastrophic events (e.g. abrupt climate change) illustrates these methods. We show how non-convexities, such as those arising in the “shallow lake”, change the optimization problem. We consider dynamic games, e.g. where two or more agents harvest a stock, and the related problem arising under non-exponential discounting. We show how the disentanglement of risk aversion, intertemporal substitutability, and ambiguity aversion requires richer models.

ARE 264

This course is designed to help prepare graduate students to conduct empirical research in energy and environmental economics. This course has two broad objectives. The first is to develop an in depth understanding of specific empirical methods and research designs that are commonly used in the field of energy and environmental economics. The second is to familiarize students with the empirical literature that uses these methods to address important energy and environmental economics questions. Methods include experimental research designs, semi-parametric and parametric estimation of treatment effects, instrumental variables, discrete choice methods, and more structural estimation approaches. Applications include electricity supply/demand, the economics of energy efficiency, environmental policy design and implementation (with an emphasis on market¿based emissions regulation).

ARE 269: Seminar in Natural Resource and Environmental Economics.

Weekly presentations by students, faculty, and outside speakers on current research in the areas of environmental and natural resource economics.


Max Auffhammer
Fields: Climate Change, Forecasting, Air Pollution and Development, Spatial Analysis.
Peter Berck
Fields: The economy-wide costs and employment effects of natural resource policy and environmental regulation; forest and fishery economics and policy.
Anthony Fisher
Fields: Environmental decisionmaking under uncertainty, optimal timing of climate change policy, potential impacts of global warming on agriculture and other sectors of the economy.
Meredith Fowlie
Fields: Energy, environmental regulation.
J. Keith Gilless
Fields: Economics of forestry, especially forest management planning, wildland fire protection, international trade in forest products, and regional economics.
Michael Hanemann
Fields: non-market valuation, discrete choice modelling, water demand and pricing, water utility economics, uncertainty and irreversibility in environmental management, environmental policy, climate change.
Larry Karp
Fields: Trade in carbon permits, trade liberalization and environment, nonrenewable resources models, taxes vs. quotas in global warming, agriculture and environment in China, fisheries, learning in pollution regulation.
Gordon C. Rausser
Fields: Environmental regulations, air quality, water quality, quantification of environmental externalities, biodiversity, stigmatized property values, collective decision-making and multilateral bargaining in water resource systems.
David Roland-Holst
Fields: Development; Energy; Environment and climate change; Trade; Food and Agricultural Policy.
Jeff Romm
Fields: Distribution, growth, and resource sustainability; watershed and basin policy; race and resources.
Leo K. Simon
Fields: Multilateral negotiations over common property resource allocation, esp. water allocation; mechanism design and environmental regulation; comparing agri-environmental policy processes in the U.S. and Europe.
David L. Sunding
Fields: Water resources, pesticides, wetlands, pollution monitoring, nonuniform regulation.
Christian Traeger
Fields: Environmental Economics, Decision Theory, Intertemporal Welfare Analysis, climate change
Catherine Wolfram
Fields: Energy economics, environmental regulation in the energy sector.
David Zilberman
Fields: Environmental policy, water, pest control, climate change, environmental risks and technologies.

Past Student Placements

2012Sarah DobsonAssistant ProfessorDepartment of EconomicsUniversity of Alberta
2012Leslie MartinAssistant ProfessorDepartment of EconomicsUniversity of Melbourne
2012Charles SeguinAssistant ProfessorDepartment of EconomicsL'Université du Québec à Montréal
2012Steven SextonAssistant ProfessorDepartment of Agricultural EconomicsNC State
2011Damian Bickett Assistant Professor Williamette University
2011Howard Chong Assistant Professor School of Hotel Admin Cornell University
2011Alan Fuchs Research Economist Human Development Report Office UNDP
2011Brian Gross Assistant ProfessorHumboldt State University
2011Santiago Guerrero Researcher Central Bank of Mexico
2011Koichiro Ito Assistant Professor School of Business Boston University
2011Biswo Poudel Visiting ScholarAgriculture and Resource EconomicsUC Berkeley
2010Jenny Liu Assistant Professor Department of Economics Portland State University
2009Zhen Lei Assistant Professor Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering Pennsylvania State University
2009Jesse Tack Assistant Professor Department of Agricultural Economics Mississippi State University
2008Ryan Kellogg Assistant Professor Department of Economics University of Michigan
2008James Manley Assistant Professor Department of Economics Towson University
2008Hugo SalgadoAssistant ProfessorEconomics DepartmentUniversidad de Concepcion, Chile
2008Susan Stratton Assistant Professor Department of Economics Smith College
2007Ralf Steinhauser Research Fellow Economics Program Australian National University
2007Hendrik Wolff Assistant Professor Department of Economics University of Washington
2006Meredith Fowlie Assistant Professor Ford School of Public Policy/Economics University of Michigan
2006James Hilger Economist Bureau of Economics/Consumer Protection Division Federal Trade Commission
2005Karina Schoengold Assistant Professor School of Natural Resources/Agricultural Economics University of Nebraska, Lincoln
2005Jason Scorse Assistant Professor International Policy Studies Monterey Institute of International Studies
2004Yanhong Jin Assistant Professor Agricultural Economics Texas A&M University
2003Nick Brozovic Assistant Professor Agricultural & Consumer Economics University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign
2003Wolfram Schlenker Assistant Professor School of International & Public Affairs Columbia University