API 905Y: Seminar in Environmental Economics and Policy (fall)

API 905Y: Seminar in Environmental Economics and Policy (fall)

Term: 2021 Fall / Full Term

Course Instructor(s): Robert Stavins and James Stock

Meeting Time: Wednesday 04:30 PM - 05:45 PM

  • Course Description:

    Selected topics in environmental and resource economics. Emphasizes theoretical models, quantitative empirical analysis, and public policy applications. Includes invited outside speakers.

    Part one of a two part series. The curriculum for this course builds throughout the academic year.  Students must to complete both terms of this course (parts A and B) within the same academic year in order to receive credit.

  • Notes: Primarily for graduate students in economics or related fields with environmental interests.

This is a year-long research seminar on topics in environmental and natural resource economics. It meets on Wednesdays from 4:30 to 5:45 PM, and will be remote via Zoom in the fall semester. Seminars emphasize theoretical models, quantitative empirical analysis, and public policy applications, featuring presentations by invited speakers. Auditors are welcome. A brief information (shopping) session for students who may wish to enroll will take place remotely on August 30th at 4:30 pm. The first meeting of seminar will be on Wednesday, September 22nd. The complete fall schedule is available at the Canvas website, and follows on the next page. If the seminar meets in person in the spring, it will be in Room L-382 of the Harvard Kennedy School at 79 JFK Street, Cambridge. For the fall semester, Zoom links for the information session and all meetings of the seminar will be available at the Canvas course website:


Schedule Fall 2021


Welcome video from Professor Robert Stavins


Course Requirements:


Registered students must enroll for the full year of the seminar and attend all sessions, which will be on line, at least during the fall semester.  They prepare a research paper, an outline of which is due at the conclusion of the fall semester.  Papers are due at the conclusion of the spring semester, and should be at the level of the seminar, i.e. Ph.D.-level economics.  In addition, students prepare brief (two-page) essays related to each seminar presentation and discussion throughout the year.  Required reading consists of papers presented at each session.




The course is intended primarily for Ph.D. students in economics, political economy and government, public policy, health policy, and related fields with interests in applications in the environmental and natural resource area.  Prerequisites include Ph.D.-level course work in microeconomic theory, such as Economics 2010A/B, Economics 2020A/B (cross-listed as Kennedy School API-111/112), and API-109i/110i.




Robert N. Stavins                                                        James Stock

Office: Kennedy School, Room L-306                       Office: Economics Department, Room M-27

Phone: 617-495-1820                                                 Phone: 617-496-0502

E-Mail: robert_stavins@harvard.edu                         E-Mail: james_stock@harvard.edu


The faculty assistant for the course is: Jason Chapman

Office:  Kennedy School, Opposite L-306

Phone: 617-496-8054

E-Mail:  jason_chapman@hks.harvard.edu


Harvard Seminar in

Environmental Economics and Policy



Robert Stavins and James Stock


Fall 2021, Wednesday, 4:30-5:45 pm

Support from Enel Endowment for Environmental Economics

and the Department of Economics is Gratefully Acknowledged


August 30, Shopping Session, 4:30 - 5:30 pm 


September 22 Jonathan Colmer, University of Virginia, Ralf Martin, Mirabelle Muuls, Imperial College London, and Ulrich Wagner, University of Manheim. “Does Pricing Carbon Mitigate Climate Change?  Firm-Level Evidence from the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme.”


October 6 Shweta Bhogale, Harvard University, and Shamil Khedgikar, Indian School of Business. “Run on the Reservoir:  Implications of Competition for Groundwater on Agriculture in India.”

Click here to view the seminar recording.

October 20 Alan Finkelstein-Shapiro and Gilbert Metcalf, Tufts University. “The Macroeconomic Effects of a Carbon Tax to Meet the U.S. Paris Agreement Target: The Role of Firm Creation and Technology Adoption.”

Click here to view the seminar recording.

October 27  Stefano Ramelli, Alexander Wagner, Alexandre Ziegler, University of Zurich, and Richard Zeckhauser, Harvard University. “Investor Rewards to Climate Responsibility:  Stock-Price Responses to the Opposite Shocks of the 2016 and 2020 U.S. Elections.”

Click here to view the seminar recording.

November 3 Frank Pinter, Harvard University.  “Regulatory Mandates and Electric Vehicle Product Variety.”

Click here to view the seminar recording.

November 10 Jonathan Hawkins-Pierot, Yale University, and Katherine Wagner, University of California, Berkeley. “Technology Lock-In and Optimal Carbon Pricing.”

Click here to view the seminar recording.

November 24  Lala Ma, University of Kentucky, and Elaine Hill, University of Rochester. “Drinking Water, Fracking, and Infant Health.”

Click here to view the seminar recording.

December 1 Elizabeth Spink, Harvard University. “Utilities as Creditors: The Enforcement of Water Bill Payment in Zambia."

Click here to view the seminar recording.

Note:  Name of presenter is in Bold.


For further information, contact Professor Stavins at the Kennedy School, Professor Stock at the Department of Economics, the course assistant, Jason Chapman (617-496-8054; Jason_Chapman@hks.harvard.edu), or visit the seminar web site.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due