Ecology 212B: Environmental Policy Analysis Evaluation

4 Units, Offered Winter Quarter, Alternate Years
Course Instructor:

1. Course format: Two two-hour sessions per week -- one session in seminar format, the other in lecture-discussion or workshop.

A. To develop a better understanding of the methods and practice of policy analysis.

B. To improve skills in the practice of policy analysis by: critical reading and discussion of the policy analysis literature (including articles showing both good and bad practice); working quantitative program evaluation problems; and carrying out an independent project evaluation.

C. To examine the philosophical and intellectual basis of policy analysis and the political role of policy analysis (the relationship between policy analysis and the political process in which it is used).

2. Prerequisites: Intermediate level microeconomics (e.g., Economics 100) and statistics (e.g., Statistics 108, Agricultural Economics 106) are strongly recommended. In addition, a course in policy analysis such as Environmental Studies 168A or equivalent, or a course in resource economics such as Agricultural Economics 176 is required.

3. Text used: Hufschmidt, Maynard M. et al. 1983. Environment, Natural Systems, and Development: An Economic Valuation Guide. Johns Hopkins University Press. Reader containing aproximately 30 current articles on benefit-cost analysis, risk assesment, and the practice of policy analysis.

4. Mode of grading: Papers on readings (2); problem sets (4 or 5); project report.

5. Topical outline:

A. Overview: different approaches to policy analysis.

B. Benefit-cost analysis; valuation of environmental and ecosystem effects (non-market goods).

C. Multiattribute decision analysis.

D. Analysis of uncertainty; decision analysis.

E. Risk assessment.

F. Equity analysis (distributional impacts).

G. Examination of case studies.

Registrar's Ecology Course Descriptions