Course code ECN271

ECN271 Cost Benefit Project Evaluation and Environmental Valuation

Norsk emneinformasjon

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2022 - 2023 .

Course responsible: Ståle Navrud
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: School of Economics and Business
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Spring parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Spring parallel.
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2004-2005
Course contents:
The course gives an overview of theory and methods for economic appraisal of projects, in terms of cost-benefit analysis (CBA) and theory and methods for economic valuation of environmental goods including the damage function approach, environmental and health valuation methods and benefit transfer techniques. Applications to environmental impacts from renewable and non-renewable energy investments (e.g. wind farms, hydro power plants, gas-fired power plants), noise and other impacts from transportation projects, air and water pollution policies, landscape aesthetics, biodiversity preservation, recreational fishing and hunting, marine oil spills, and health impacts from air pollution. Environmental valuation in developing countries. Laws and guidelines for CBA in Norway, EU, USA and developing countries. Welfare theoretical basis for CBA and the value judgements/assumptions made in CBA. A stepwise approach to CBA, with special emphasis on risk/uncertainty, distributional impacts, economic valuation of environmental impacts, and treatment/presentation of non-valued impacts.
Learning outcome:
After the course, students should be able to carry out, interpret and critically evaluate Cost-Benefit Analyses (CBAs) of projects and policies, including the treatment and economic valuation of environmental impacts, public health impacts and impacts on cultural heritage.
Learning activities:
Lectures and extensive supervision of student groups in their preparation of semester assignments. 1-2 weeks prior to the deadline, the students presents a "near complete" draft of the semester assignment to the class, and get feedback from the teacher and fellow students. Lectures on campus without streaming. 
Teaching support:
All groups have a start-up meeting with the teacher to identify and define the topic of their semester assignments. Afterwards each group make appointments with the teacher when they need supervision. 1-2 weeks before the deadline of the semester assignment, all groups present their "near complete" semester assignment in class, and get feedback from the teacher and fellow students.

Boardman, A.E, D.H Greenberg, A.R. Vining & D.L. Weimer (2018): Cost-Benefit Analysis. Concepts and Practice. 5th edition. Pearson New International edition. Prentice Hall, Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, USA

Selected journal papers will be posted at the course website.

ECN210 Intermediate Microeconomics- Consumers, Producers, Market and Welfare; or similar introductory course in microeconomics.
Recommended prerequisites:
ECN170 Environmental and Resource Economics or a similar course.
Term paper: A semester assignment (100 %), which is prepared by groups of 3-4 students. In the semester assignments the students will apply what they have learned about theory and methods to a case of their own choice, i.e. an economic analysis of a project with environmental impacts. In the semester assignment, the students will also have to answer questions from a check list, which covers the curriculum of the course. If one fails on the term paper, the course has to be taken over again. No re-examination is offered. The term paper can be written in English or in Norwegian.
Nominal workload:
250 hours
Entrance requirements:
Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse)
Type of course:
28-30 hours plus extensive supervision of student group on the term papers.
The course is in English. Incoming students can contact student advisors at the School of Economics and Business ( for admission to the course.
External examiner will control the quality of syllabus, questions for the final examination, and principles for the assessment of the examination answers; and evaluates the term papers.
Examination details: Term paper: Letter grades