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Environmental Economics (MSc Economics)

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In the Environmental Economics track you explore which effect climate change will have on future welfare. What is the link between human activities, economic development and environmental problems? This track is 1 of 6 tracks you can opt for in our Master's in Economics.

Help analyse and design solutions

In this track you learn to understand the complex interactions between economic decisions, market forces, governmental policies and the environment. You will be trained to think comprehensively about problems involving multiple challenges related to environmental policies, such as inequalities, unemployment, economic and human development, urban organisation, and many others.

You will focus on the economic analysis of environmental issues such as global warming, loss of biodiversity, pollution and exhaustion of natural resources. So you can identify possible solutions and make an impact through strong policy design and valuable recommendations.

Why choose the Environmental Economics track?

  1. Beside the 3 general courses of the MSc Economics in your curriculum, you will have 3 courses with focus on how economic decisions, market forces, governmental policies and the environment interact.
  2. You will learn from professors and experts working in a wide range of economic organisations and fields. Therefore, you have access to up-to-date cases and learnings from the field of environmental economics.
  3. After graduation, you have an excellent job prospect at e.g. national ministries, policy analysis bureaus and consultancy firms with international focus.
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Track-specific courses

Apart from the 3 general courses of the full programme, you will take 3 track-specific courses.

  • Environmental Economics and Policies

    This course introduces you to the 2 main challenges of environmental economics: how to determine the right pollution targets to set, and how to achieve these targets. Special attention will be given to the choice of policy instruments, and to the challenges related to their implementation, such as coordination problems, distributional effects, public support, or the role of lobbies in decision-making.

  • Natural Resource Economics

    You will be trained to think about the use and protection of natural resources. This includes reflecting on many key challenges such as the optimal extraction of a non-renewable resource, the effect of market power on resource depletion, the existence of a 'resource curse', as well as problems related to open-access to renewable resources and solutions for managing the 'commons'.

  • Climate Change Economics

    You will learn how economic tools can be used to measure the impact of climate change and determine the best policies to combat it. Lectures will cover a wide range of topics, including the link between the economic and climate systems, methods used to discount the future, the risk of disasters and irreversibility, and many more.

Real-life case: 'Green Deal' launch

Climate change and environmental degradation are growing threats that require a rapid and ambitious policy response. In order to coordinate actions at the European level, the European Commission has launched a 'Green Deal', a comprehensive investment plan to accelerate Europe's ecological transition and achieve the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. It is Europe's 'Man on the moon moment', according to Ursula Von der Leyen. This unprecedented plan raises a number of questions for economists and policymakers. What are the most effective policies to achieve Europe's environmental target? Will these policies stimulate growth and employment or will they penalise the European economy? How can we ensure that this transition leaves no-one behind? How to generate broad support for ambitious policies?

Contemporary issues

Examples of current newspaper headlines and relevant issues that could be discussed in your classroom:

  • From scarce resources to climate change: do we have too much oil?
  • Technological progress and rebound effect: will digitalisation bring green growth?
  • Effectiveness, equity, and political feasibility: when should emission standards be preferred to emission taxes?

Career prospects

Graduates of the Master's programme in Economics/Environmental Economics track have excellent job prospects for positions as researchers and experts at:

  • National ministries and governmental agencies
  • International organisations, such as EU and OECD
  • Bureaus for policy analysis
  • Nationally or internationally oriented consultancy firms
  • Applied research institutes
Facts & Figures
Degree programme Economics
Mode Full-time
Credits 60 ECTS, 12 months
Language of instruction English
Starts in September
CROHO code 66401
Location Roeterseiland campus