COURSES » DoctoralMaster's

ECON 267: Natural Resource Economics


This course addresses both theoretical and empirical questions about the scarcity of depletable and renewable resources. This course introduces a broad set of theoretical tools used in natural resource economics with a focus on dynamic optimization and optimal control. This course highlights the application of empirical methods in evaluating the effectiveness of contemporary natural resource policies, such as ecosystem-based management, trade and resource depletion, and regulation of stock pollutants. This course appeals to PhD students in environmental and resources economics, public finance, development, and public policy.

IRGN 453: Sustainable Development


This course consists of two parts. First, we will discuss conceptual issues in sustainable development. The primary objective is to formalize conceptions of sustainability and thus provide a foundation for management decisions. Second, we will apply the theoretical framework to optimal management of environment and natural resources. The intended audience is MPIA students with a particular interest in sustainability. Preparations in calculus and intermediate microeconomics are recommended but not required.

IRGN 458: International Environmental Policy and Politics


This course includes three main themes: causes of global environmental problems, effectiveness of global environmental policies, and economic rationale for international environmental agreements. The topics cover trans-boundary environmental pollution, economic growth and the environment, trade and the environment, environmental policy-making, political institutions and environmental policy, international environmental agreements, climate change, and the involvement of developing countries. Students also gain practical knowledge through classroom debates and simulations on the international carbon market, US climate legislation, and UN climate negotiations.

IRGN 467: Chinese Environmental and Energy Policy


This course provides a venue for students to investigate the causes and consequences of environmental and energy problems in China. The course involves a combination of lectures and student-led discussions. The lectures introduce China’s environmental and energy governance, including the institutions, laws, and regulations. The discussions focus on the emerging policies on environment and energy; the discussion materials are adapted from news articles and policy documents for the most recent year.

IRGN 414: Economics of Energy Policy


This course uses economic theory to understand, analyze, and design energy policy. This course explores the patterns of energy demand and supply, energy market regulation, environmental consequences of energy consumption, and the effectiveness of energy policies. It covers the following energy-related issues: fossil fuels, renewable energy, electricity market, energy efficiency, transportation, green buildings, and climate change. This course introduces rigorous economic methods and encourages students to use these methods to solve real-world energy questions within policy constraints.

IRCO 481: Environmental Capstone


This environmental capstone will use a case-based curriculum to synthesize material learned over the course of the IR/PS environmental track curriculum. The course will include modules on sustainable economic development, environmental project design and the role of non-profits, government regulation, and international environmental negotiations. Students will be expected to participate in policy debates and simulations. The principal goal of the course is to facilitate the translation of core curricular concepts into a variety of real-world applications.

Econ Prep


This course prepares first-year master students for the core economics and management courses at IR/PS. We will primarily focus on consumer theory, producer theory, and market structure. Its content is between introductory and intermediate level. This course is self contained so that prior knowledge of economics is not required. However, basic calculus is expected for a better understanding of economic tools.