Course Schedule


The Economics of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (Vorlesung/Übung)

Dozent/in: David Abson

wöchentlich | Montag | 10:15 - 11:45 | 03.04.2023 - 07.07.2023 | C 12.006 Seminarraum
wöchentlich | Donnerstag | 10:15 - 11:45 | 03.04.2023 - 07.07.2023 | C 12.013 Seminarraum

Inhalt: In this course, students will critically assess 1) The current state of biodiversity loss and biological understandings of biodiversity, from genes to ecosystems 2) The changing way that economics has conceptualised the natural environment and its relation to human well-being 3) How economic theories seek to explain the loss of biodiversity and 4) How economics seeks to value and manage biodiversity, including the use of the ecosystem services concept. To this end, students in this course will learn concepts from ecological, environmental and resource economics, and integrate them/relate them to concepts from ecology, to gain an overview of theecological-economic understanding of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Part I Armageddon Time (The sixth great extinction and the Anthropocene) 1. The meaning, measurement and importance of biodiversity 2. Biodiversity loss, its causes and consequences 3. Ethics and conservation - The nature of value and the value of nature Part II Money is the root of all evil (An economic view of the environment) 4. Ethics and economics (judging states of the world) 5. Utility as the measure of intrinsic value 6. Marginality, scarcity efficient allocation and the invisible hand 7. Biodiversity as an economic good 8. Substitutability, rebound effect, the environmental Kuznets curve 9. Common pool resources, the tragedy of the commons Part III A love money can’t buy (Economic valuation and management of biodiversity) 10. Addressing the proximate causes of biodiversity loss 11. Positive and negative externalities 12. Green taxation 13. Ecosystem services (and the payment thereof) 14. Biodiversity valuation methods 15. Biodiversity offsetting; REDD+ Part IV Stop that train (economic growth, it causes and consequences) 16. Addressing the ultimate causes of biodiversity loss 17. Economic growth (e.g. Productivity and technical unemployment) 18. Alternative models to the growth economy (steady state and degrowth) 19. Tools for ending economic growth To explore each part of the course there will be a lecture followed by a seminar. The lectures will focus on theory and the seminars on contentious debates, and real world examples. There will be strong emphasis on student led discussions in the seminar sessions.