research paper 728

The paper should provide a critical review of an existing environmental problem, policy, or proposal, with particular attention to the economic aspects of the problem. The paper should illustrate that you can apply some of the concepts developed in class to a real-world problem.

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You may select any topic related to environmental economics, subject to my approval. You will need to select an appropriately narrow topic because of the page-length requirements (see below). Climate change, for example, is too broad of a topic. The costs and benefits of a U.S. carbon cap-and-trade program is a better choice. You may focus on a local, regional, or global topic. I strongly encourage you to discuss your topic with me before the outline is due.


The paper should be five-eight pages typed using 8.5”x11” paper, double spaced text, 11-point type face, and one-inch margins on all sides. Be sure to number your pages and use section headers to organize content. Do not right justify the text.

You need to have a cover page and bibliography. The cover page, bibliography and any tables, graphs, or charts are excluded from the page-length requirements.


You need to provide supportive data and cite your sources for the information you present. You must include a minimum of three refereed journal articles in your paper. Keep internet citations to a minimum; be careful about their reliability. No Wikipedia or blog references, please. You may cite the textbooks on reserve or other textbooks. Please refer to handouts on proper citation methods .


The outline is due via Canvas by noon on Thursday, September 27th, and is worth 10% of the project grade. The purpose of the outline is two-fold. First, it helps you organize your thoughts. Second, it helps me prevent two students from choosing the same topic. Make sure to include a key sentence that describes your paper. For example, if you choose air quality impacts from motor vehicle emissions, your topic sentence could be “Should the United States raise the average fuel economy standards of cars and light trucks in order to reduce mobile source air pollution?”

You need to include at least one reference (a refereed journal article) at the bottom of the outline. Format your outline in the traditional way (I. A. i. ii. B. i. ii. II. etc.). Students may “reserve” their topics by sending me an email any time prior to September 27th. Topics will be determined on a first-come first-served basis.

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