What determines the cost of a ton of coal? Is OPEC an oligopoly? Should we subsidize low-carbon or tax fossil energy? Do Prius owners drive more?
The course has two goals: to provide a set of tools to approach these and many other fundamental questions in energy economics, and to teach us to talk about them in plain English. Come prepared to argue both sides of each issue in class. Regular 1,000-word essays will reinforce class discussions and ask you to pick a side. Think Economist leader: crisp, logical, and always with a point of view.
I taught this class as U6065 The Economics of Energy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs from Spring 2011 through Fall 2015. For the latest iteration, see “Climate Policy—Past, Present, and Future” taught at Harvard.