Behavioural Environmental Economics Course + WorkshopS 2021 (Online)

Last changed: 12 April 2021

This popular course, first offered in 2018 (when it received the best PhD course prize from SLU), and then 2019, is being offered again in 2021 (being postponed in 2020 due to COVID-related disruption). The course aims to provide understanding of topics in environmental and resource economics from a behavioural economics perspective. Participants will learn how to apply the theory and the methods such as field and laboratory experiments to the environmental issues to discover how individuals actually behave, and how normative theories and frameworks fail to capture the actual behaviour. There is no tuition fee. This course consists of lectures and student seminars, which is meant to ensure that participants receive feedback related to their research ideas from the lecturers and other participants. The course meetings run from 16-24 June, and will be entirely online (via zoom). The course instructors are drawn from different Universities and research Centers across Europe, including the UK, Netherlands, and Sweden.

The course especially invites graduate students who are working on topics in environmental economics from a behavioural economics perspective. Master students, early career researchers and students from other fields of social sciences are also welcomed to participate in the course. While applying for the course, each student will be required to provide a short (maximum of 300 words) description their current work and research interests. The text will be used in selection process and, if accepted, to allocate the student's seminar to the related section.

Number of credits: 7.5 ETCS

Marking scale: Pass/Fail

Location: Online

Language: English

Prerequisites: The course is specifically aimed at PhD students within social sciences, in particular economics. Knowledge in basic microeconomics and good knowledge in English (spoken and written) are vital for participating in the course.

Student Seminars: Student activities are an important part of the course. These may involve presentation of their own research or related work, presenting papers chosen from the reading list etc.

Time:

Course period: June 9-29

Lecture period: June 16-24, the remainder consists of self-study time.

The detailed daily schedule may be found below.

Content and Implementation

The course includes a blend of lectures, group discussions, practical exercises, and home-assignments.

Behavioral Economics integrates insights from psychology into economic thinking. It attempts to increase the explanatory power of economic models by incorporating a better understanding of human behavior and its underlying factors. The knowledge provided within this course is important for researchers, future managers, analysts, and consultants and policy makers, because it is about understanding how actually people (customers, competitors, colleagues, and themselves) make decisions regarding the environmental economics, since the neoclassical economics fails to portray the behavior in a realist way. This course introduces the tools and perspective from a behavioral economics perspective and how to use them in environmental economics.

A description of the specific lectures is provided below.

The course begins with a self-study period of course material, continues with an intensive week of lectures and is finalized with an individual essay. During the pre-lecture period, students will work on also preparing their presentations and during the lecture they will present to get feedback about their work from the lecturers and the other students. The course meetings consist of six days, each of which includes lectures and/or student seminars.  For the seminars, participants may be assigned to present their work or a chosen paper based, where feasible, upon their self-described research interests. The seminars are intended to provide an opportunity for the students to receive feedback from subject experts and other participants.

Examination

The post-lecture period includes a take home for master and PhD level students and a discussion essay (2000 words) for PhD students

Estimated workload

Total time is 200 hours divided between:

  • 20 hour of lecture
  • 10 hour of seminar
  • 170 hour of independent work (take home exam)

Formats and requirements for examination/Pass Grade Requirements

Passed take-home task, passed seminar and also participation in all course activities is a  requirement to receive a passing grade: (i) All participants will give a seminar during the course meeting period and write a take-home home exam post this period (Master and PhD level students). (ii) PhD students will also be asked to write a 2000 words discussion essay to receive the full 7.5 credits. PhD students who only complete the task (i ) successfully will receive 4 credits.

Application

Complete and send the pdf form below, together with your CV to application.sekon@slu.se before 23:00 hrs CET, May 23, 2021.

Other information

The Department of Forest Economics reserves the right to cancel the course if there are not more than 5 students who have applied and is accepted to the course.

There is no tuition fee for students. Students are expected to cover their own costs of travel, accommodation and miscellaneous.