Environmental Economics Econ 5540
Instructor: Vijaya Sharma, Ph.D.
Guidelines for Term Paper
Each graduate student must write a term paper on a topic that either has not been covered in the
course or substantially expands discussions in the course. The topic can be a theoretical subject or an
actual problem related to environmental economics. The paper should analyze the subject/problem from
economic perspective to fully demonstrate that the student has understood the relevant economic theories.
Students need to obtain approval of topic from the instructor by submitting a proposal on or before
the proposal due date stated in the syllabus. The proposal has to be brief, preferably one page, and should
specify the topic, pose questions that the paper is expected to answer, present the rationale for choosing the
topic and mention at least two references that would be used in the study. The term paper must use at least
five references, which should be clearly cited in the paper. The paper has to be printed in 12-font size,
double space and at the most 10 pages in length, excluding the title page, the list of references and any
tables, graphs or appendices. On the title page, write the title of the paper, your name and email address,
and the course name and the semester.
The outline of the paper will differ with topic. At the minimum, the paper should present the
objectives and the importance of the study in the beginning, summarize the findings of the study in the end
and present the analysis of the subject in the main body.
The paper shall be graded according to its strengths on three counts: clarity of the purpose of the
study, extent of use of economics, and clarity of presentation.
One point (out of 25) would be deducted if the paper is submitted later than the due date, but on or
before the last day of the lecture. Two points would be deducted for further late submission by the date of
the final exam.
Some suggested theoretical topics for the paper:
1. Social efficiency, equity and distributional issues in environmental economics
2. Economic perspectives on the issue of sustainable development and intergenerational equity
3. Detailed explanations of hedonic price methods of evaluating environmental amenities
4. Detailed explanations of travel cost and/or random utility models of evaluating environmental
5. Frameworks and examples of environmental impact analysis
6. Methods and examples of risk analysis
7. On the issue of appropriate social discount rate for benefit-cost analysis of projects that have
8. Enforcement costs and second-best solutions of environmental problems
9. Recent experiences of emission charges and/or tradable discharge permits to control water and/or
10. Determination of efficient levels of cumulative pollutants
11. Control of hazardous wastes and toxic emissions
12. Mobile source pollution control
13. Problems and methods of pollution control when there are only few polluters
14. Control of nonpoint source pollution
15. Issues of economic development and environment in developing countries
16. Issues of global environment and international cooperation