wir911 - Advanced Topics of Sustainability Economics

wir911 - Advanced Topics of Sustainability Economics

Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law (Economics) 6 KP
Module components Semester courses Summer semester 2024 Examination
  • Unlimited access 2.02.030 - Energy Markets and Policy Show lecturers
    • Prof. Dr. Emmanuel Asane-Otoo
    • Laura Schürer

    Tuesday: 10:00 - 12:00, weekly (from 02/04/24), Location: A05 0-055
    Thursday: 10:00 - 12:00, weekly (from 04/04/24), Location: V03 0-E003

    This is a 6 ECTS course designed to provide students with an introduction to the principles of energy economics and related policy applications. Energy is the lifeblood of industrial economies, and also a key factor in environmental and national security problems. Because of the extensive externalities associated with energy use, and the uneven distribution of energy resources around the globe, balancing the benefits and costs of energy use is one of the major challenges facing humanity. This balancing act involves blending markets and public policy in such a way as to align the incentives of businesses and individuals with the greater good of people and the planet. In several jurisdictions, the marketplace plays the predominant role in determining what energy sources are used, and how. But government policy – at the local, national, regional, and international levels – plays an extremely important role in molding aspects of energy policy. This course covers the economic tools for analyzing institutions and driving forces of energy markets, including coal, crude oil, gasoline/diesel, natural gas, and electricity with a focus on understanding supply and demand changes as well as the motives and consequences of policy or regulatory interventions. Students will be introduced to the environmental implications of energy use and the role of economic analysis in designing policies that address issues of pollution and climate change, and the distributive consequences of energy and climate policies. Throughout the course, theoretical discussions will be complemented with empirical evidence and research that explores different aspects of the energy markets to help students better understand the respective energy markets. Ancillary objectives of the course include supporting students in developing research topics and introducing them to academic writing. To this end, students will develop some expertise in working with real-world energy data and policies and writing a research paper. Learning Outcome: Upon completion of this course, it is expected that students are able to: 1. Analyze the fundamentals of energy markets, including demand and supply, market structure, and pricing mechanisms 2. Understand the rationales and instruments for policy intervention in energy markets and be able to critically evaluate current energy policies based on sound economic principles 3. Evaluate the role of government policies in shaping energy markets, including regulatory approaches, taxes, and subsidies for renewable energy 4. Understand the environmental, economic, and geopolitical implications of energy production and consumption The course starts with a series of lectures on selected topics. The lecture sessions aim to facilitate the development of students’ understanding of the economic theory related to the various energy markets. Students will also be guided to develop their research projects during the first half of the semester. At the start of the second part of the course, students will present their tentative research projects and receive input from instructors. They will then use the remaining period to work on their research projects with the support of instructors. Students will present their work in a scientific conference format towards the end of the semester and submit the final term paper afterward.

  • Unlimited access 2.02.823 - Inequality and Environmental Policy Show lecturers
    • Lukas Riesenbeck
    • Laura Schürer

    Thursday: 12:00 - 14:00, weekly (from 11/04/24)
    Dates on Friday, 06.09.2024 15:00 - 20:00, Saturday, 07.09.2024 10:00 - 20:00, Sunday, 08.09.2024 10:00 - 18:00

    Motivation and background: The distributive effects (‘incidence’) of environmental policies are becoming increasingly important for the political feasibility of environmental policies addressing e.g. climate change or biodiversity loss. The protest of the yellow vests that stopped Macrons petrol tax due to the expected distributional consequences are a prominent example. Also in Germany the incidence of environmental policies such as the coal exit, a pesticide tax or a land value tax is of high concern in public debates. The need for stringent environmental policies comes at a time where many countries of the world have become becoming increasingly unequal in the distribution of income and wealth. In Germany for example, the Gini index of disposable income increased from 0.25 in the 1980s to 0.293 in 2015. Therefore, the acceptance and political feasibility of environmental policies depends not only on their aggregate costs, but also on their distributional effects. On the global stage the trends are slightly different, but the challenge remains the same. Global income inequality has fallen over the last decades but the impact of fundamental global environmental changes caused by human action will have increasingly strong distributional effects not only within but also between countries. Therefore, also the (economic) resources for adaptation and mitigation strategies against climate change must be distributed within and between countries. While economics as a discipline has focused mainly on efficiency in the past, policy makers are frequently more concerned with distributive effects and justice. In this course, we aim at learning and extending state-of-the-art environmental economics methods to analyze, understand and manage the distributional implications of environmental policies and enable students to apply these to real world cases. Aims and scope: In this course, we will study the multifaceted relationships between inequality and environmental policy. The course starts with a series of lectures on inequality, distribute justice and environmental policy instruments. Thereby students will be encouraged and supported to stepwise develop their own project. This could be for instance an analysis of the distributive effects of the diesel car ban in German cities, pesticide taxes, the German coal exit or energy turn, house prices in urban centers or biodiversity loss. Further topics include the distribution of risks related to climate change, macroeconomic consequences of environmental policies or multilateral action against climate change in an unequal world. Students will present sketches for their projects early on. In the following seminar weeks student have time to work on their project under the support by the lectures. Finally, in a two days block course students will present their project in a scientific conference style and mutually review their papers.

Hinweise zum Modul
end of semester
Module examination
written exam
Skills to be acquired in this module
This course aims at giving students an understanding of reasons, goals and instruments for climate policy, as well as implied complications due to the long term characteristics and the international dimension of climate change. Students first learn basics about the natural science of climate change and the main statements of climate research about the anthropogenic contribution to climate change. The economic interpretation of high pollution as a symptom of a market failure then leads to the treatment of policy instruments, and the understanding of economic efficiency as a prerequisite for effective climate policy. Game theoretic analysis of international negotiations and agreements provides key insights about the international dimension of the problem. By means of practical examples students then see in detail the functionality and pitfalls of selected implemented (or currently discussed) policies, e.g. the EU-ETS.With successful completion of the course, students shall be able to judge climate policy issues on an informed scientific basis (natural science and economics).