Bryan Caplan  

Environmental Econ Textbook Bleg

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What's the best undergraduate environmental econ textbook?  Constraints:

1. It has to be engaging enough to hold the attention of someone who isn't taking an environmental econ course.

2. It should have decent empirics on the cost-savings of taxes and tradable permits over direct regulation.

Update: Matthew Kahn's shameless self-promotion of his Fundamentals of Environmental and Urban Economics has won me over.  A steal at $1.




COMMENTS (8 to date)
Floccina writes:

If you do not care if it is accurate or all dis-proven since it was written, I was assigned Paul Erlich's 'Population, Resources, and Environment,'. It is well written and engaging. It is also so completely wrong that you might find it fun to read because it is unintentionally very humorous.

Matthew Kahn writes:

Bryan,

I vote for my $1 Amazon book, Fundamentals of Environmental and Urban Economics, http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E1U992U

University of Chicago trained economists are under-represented in modern environmental economics. I apply price theory to the study of the causes and consequences of urban pollution. Coase, Becker and Heckman's work are all discussed. Pollution permit markets and the political economy of introducing these markets are discussed. I pack a lot in for the $1 price tag!

Wintercow20 writes:

My former colleague David Anderson has a very readable and engaging book but as I recall it was not very strong on the empirics. It does touch on a lot of the more popular questions/issues that may resonate with the non-economist such as everyday environmentalism such as bicycling to work, ecofeminism, etc.

Tietenberg's book is probably most widely used and most traditional approach.

Goodstein's is a nice blend of the two, and has a big section on the empirics of various trading systems not just the cursory reference to the SOx program but also others including Mercury, NOx and others.

ColoComment writes:

It's been a long time since I've been in a classroom, but with today's ubiquitous availability of up-to-date data, opinion, and general information via the internet, why not just present issues and/or hypotheses and have your class research the proven v. asserted, the estimated costs v. benefits v. political possibilities, and the class create its own policy consensus(es).

Feature/Bug: this would also save your students the cost of a textbook.

John Fast writes:

"Cleaning Up the Environment: Sometimes Cheaper is Better," Chapter 5 of Blinder's Hard Heads, Soft Hearts.

austrartsua writes:

The Ultimate Resource, Julian Simon

would be valuable reading material, although probably not the main textbook you would use.

Damian writes:

http://islandpress.org/markets-and-environment

I use this book in my class. It is the third book I have used. It is simple and short and keeps attention. I wouldn't have posted it because its strength is not empirics, but Kahn's book didn't strike me as fitting your constraints either, so tale a look. Email me dpark scu edu if you want a pdf copy rather than waiting for a exam copy.

ThomasH writes:

@ Matthew Khan

Congratulations,

Yours is the first e book I've ever bought. HOw can I go wrong for a dollar?

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