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ECON 311 Economics of the Environment

This course explores the economic aspects of environmental issues and regulations. Current incentives to degrade or preserve the environment are presented and the impact of present policies on those incentives are established. The tools of economic analysis are used to evaluate problems and suggest solutions.


4 Undergraduate credits

Effective August 1, 1998 to present

Meets graduation requirements for

Learning outcomes


  • Understand the economics of environmental quality and analytical tools of environmental analysis.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the criteria for evaluating environmental policies.
  • Apply economic principles to real-world environmental issues.
  • Critically analyze incentives offered by different types of environmental policies.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the current and past environmental policy in the United States and other countries.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the public policy approaches to environmental issues.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 5: History and the Social and Behavioral Sciences

  • Employ the methods and data that historians and social and behavioral scientists use to investigate the human condition.
  • Examine social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures.
  • Use and critique alternative explanatory systems or theories.
  • Develop and communicate alternative explanations or solutions for contemporary social issues.

Goal 10: People and the Environment

  • Explain the basic structure and function of various natural ecosystems and of human adaptive strategies within those systems.
  • Discern patterns and interrelationships of bio-physical and socio-cultural systems.
  • Describe the basic institutional arrangements (social, legal, political, economic, religious) that are evolving to deal with environmental and natural resource challenges.
  • Evaluate critically environmental and natural resource issues in light of understandings about interrelationships, ecosystems, and institutions.
  • Propose and assess alternative solutions to environmental problems.
  • Articulate and defend the actions they would take on various environmental issues.

Spring 2024

Section Title Instructor books eservices
50 Economics of the Environment Bellas, Allen S Books for ECON-311-50 Spring 2024 Course details for ECON-311-50 Spring 2024

Fall 2024

Section Title Instructor books eservices
01 Economics of the Environment Staff, Staff Books for ECON-311-01 Fall 2024 Course details for ECON-311-01 Fall 2024