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ECON207 Environmental Economics

An introduction to the economic analysis of environmental problems associated with the use of depletable and renewable resources; policy instruments for dealing with such problems.

Why did the New Zealand Government introduce a National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management in 2020 instead of tradable water rights or taxes? Can you put a monetary value on the Department of Conservation’s Great Walks? Who should get the economic rent from mining for rare earth metals used in batteries and smart phones?

The objective of ECON 207 is to provide you with an understanding of key environmental issues from an economic perspective. By building on the microeconomic concepts and tools introduced in the prerequisite paper, we will analyse such issues as: valuing the environment, cost-benefit analysis, depletable resource allocation, water, fisheries, forests, ecosystem goods and services, pollution and climate change.

Paper title Environmental Economics
Paper code ECON207
Subject Economics
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $912.00
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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BSNS 104 or BSNS 113
PLAN 414
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Commerce, Science

Students taking this paper should be familiar with these concepts and models: supply-demand, marginal benefit/cost, externalities, etc. We will employ some basic maths, but most of the analysis in the paper will be done with the aid of graphs.

Teaching staff

Co-ordinator and lecturer: Viktoria Kahui

Paper Structure
  • Revision of key economic concepts relevant for environmental economics
  • Weekly topics such as valuation of the environment, cost-benefit analysis, water, etc.

Tietenberg & Lewis (2018). Environmental & Natural Resource Economics, 11th edition, Pearson.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Critical thinking, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course will have:

  • Improved understanding of how and why the market system sometimes fails to allocate some natural and produced resources efficiently
  • Improved ability to identify and evaluate the methods available to governments, businesses and households to improve allocative efficiency, while taking wider societal impacts into consideration

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Monday 16:00-16:50 9-14, 16-22
Tuesday 11:00-11:50 9-14, 16, 18-22
Thursday 16:00-16:50 9-14, 16-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
T1 Tuesday 12:00-12:50 10, 12, 14, 19, 21
T2 Wednesday 14:00-14:50 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21
T3 Friday 10:00-10:50 10, 12, 17, 19, 21
T4 Friday 14:00-14:50 10, 12, 17, 19, 21