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Econ 136: Week 9 Tasks

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ECON 136:  Week 9 Tasks

 Reminder:   I update my office hours by the end of Friday of the previous week.   If  none of those times work for you, then email me with all of the times you might be able to make work and I’m sure we can work something out.

Monday:  Valuing Amenities

Preparing for class:

Read this excerpt (pp. 43-54) from

Cairncross, F. (1992).   Costing the Earth: The Challenge for Governments, the Opportunities for Business. Harvard Business School Press. 

then read from middle of page 35 to top of page 39 of 

Tietenberg, T. and L. Lewis (2008).  Environmental & Natural Resource Economics, 8th ed.  Pearson.

The remainder of the excerpt contains additional details on valuation methods, if the topic particularly interests you.

Wednesday:  Valuing Life

Preparing for class:

The whole hour of this podcast of a talk by Ken Feinberg is worth listening to, but you’ll get a sense of the basic challenge by listening  from about the 4 minute mark to about the 25 minute mark.   It’s also available through iTunes. 

Read this excerpt (start through p. 688) of ch. 20 of

Viscusi, W.K., J.M. Vernon and J.E. Harrington, Jr. (2005). Economics of Regulation and Antitrust, 4th Ed. MIT Press.

I want you to focus on the issues Ken Feinberg raises and the concept behind a "statistical life" in the VVH reading.   But, I also don't want you to be distracted in class by the quantitative tools we'll be using.  So two questions for you:

1) If there is a 25% chance I will have to pay $10 and and 75% chance I will receive $15 as a result of a choice I make, would you agree that the expected payoff from my choice is $8.75?    If this is unclear to you, then I suggest you watch this Khan Academy video.

2) Is it straight-forward for you to see that 20/(1/5) = 100?   If not, then I suggest you watch this short video or this 9 minute Khan Academy video.

Friday:   The Wissahickon Creek corridor as a Public Good

360 Students:  Meet at Pem Arch at 10:00am  for Wissahickon Field Trip 

Non-360 Students: No class today.

Looking forward:   The Explaining an Externality Market Failure paper will be due Monday night, March 31



Cairncross-Costing-the-Earth-Ch-2.pdf674.69 KB
Tietenberg-Valuing-Environmental-Benefits.pdf2.68 MB
V_Valuing_Life.pdf745.23 KB
Week 09 Friday Assignment.xlsx30.47 KB
Explaining Externality Market Failure Paper.docx20.61 KB