do you know any textbook, or any website providing free lectures or lecture notes, or anything, that would introduce me to environmental economics? I have a master in economics so I am not against something with high mathematical formalization. Thank you

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    $\begingroup$ Are you looking for an introduction that assumes a good background in general economics (eg macro and micro), or an introduction assuming no previous knowledge of economics. $\endgroup$ Dec 12, 2021 at 13:28
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    $\begingroup$ Sorry I've edited my question for more precision! $\endgroup$
    – BAL
    Dec 12, 2021 at 13:36

2 Answers 2


I would recommend Natural Resource and Environmental Economics by Perman, Ma, Common, Maddison & McGilvray. The edition linked to is the 4th: my comments are largely based on study of the 3rd edition (of which Maddison was not an author).

The book covers all the main topics of environmental and natural resource economics, including sustainability, pollution, environmental valuation, renewable and non-renewable resources, and accounting for the environment. Climate change is considered within a chapter on international environmental problems. It also addresses relevant background topics including ethics, welfare economics, cost-benefit analysis, and risk and uncertainty. There is a good balance between text, diagrams and mathematics, with some more advanced mathematical topics included in appendices at the end of chapters.

The treatment of pollution is especially detailed, with separate chapters on targets for pollution control, instruments, pollution policy with imperfect information, and stock pollution problems. Natural resource issues are discussed with appropriate use of dynamic optimisation (optimal control). There is critical analysis of the Hotelling Rule (re optimal extraction of a non-renewable resource) and the Hartwick Rule (re saving in a whole economy to sustain a constant rate of consumption).

This is a book which for the most part applies principles and methods of orthodox mainstream economics to the problems of environmental economics. It should be noted that there are alternative approaches to environmental economics such as that of ecological economics, which features in some of the references in Alexandre Michaud's answer.

It is not a book I would recommend to a non-economist, but if you already have a masters in economics its level should be very suitable.


I have plenty. First of all, you absolutely need to look up this website:


On exploring-economics, you can find detailed articles and sources about the main fields in economics, including environmental economics. They also provide lectures.

Here's my reading and lecture list in environmental economics for you (keep in mind that environmental and ecological economics are different perspectives. The first more associated with neoclassical economics, and the other composed of an array of critiques):


Barbier, Edward B. 2011. Capitalizing on Nature. Ecosystems as Natural Assets. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.

Burkett, Paul. 2006. Marxism and Ecological Economics. Boston : Brill.

Martínez Alie, Juan, and Roldan Muradian. 2015. Handbook of Ecological Economics. Edward Elgar Publishing.


Kallis, G., Gómez-Baggethun, E., Zografos, C., 2013. To value or not to value? That is not the question. Ecol. Econ. 94, 97–105.

Lo, A.Y., Spash, C.L., 2013. Deliberative Monetary Valuation: In search of a democratic and value plural approach to environmental policy. Journal of Economic Surveys 27, 768–789.

Rezai, A., Stagl, S., 2016. Ecological macroeconomics: Introduction and review. Ecol. Econ. 121, 181–185.

Teytelboym, Alex, et al. “Natural capital: what we don’t value, we destroy”. Green Economy Coalition. https://www.greeneconomycoalition.org/news-and-resources/natural-capital-what-we-dont-value-we-destroy


Berkeley lectures on EE

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL110CEF78F8A806A9 (The Berkeley lecture is pretty good, you'll see different perspectives and issues)

MIT lectures on EE


University of Illinois on EE


Vienna lectures on EE


LSE lecture on EE


Additionnal lectures and reading

However, only exploring economic lectures and readings is not enough. Everything here is based on philosophical supposition, who also need to be explored and criticized. Here's a few books and lectures on the subject:

Arne Naess' Deep Ecology

Arne Naess. 1974. Ecology, community, and lifestyle. David Rothenberg

Ecology as responsibility - the deontological framework

Hans Jonas, The Responsibility principle.

Radical Ecology

Murray Bookchin, The Ecology of Freedom

Lecture on EP

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMdzcAvFA_g https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKtxKkHnJpc

  • $\begingroup$ Hi @Alexandre. It is an interesting list; and worthy reading. But I can't help but point out that ecological econ departs significantly from environmental econ. The former is basically a reaction to the latter. I feel for someone focused on environmental econ, it is worth specifying that these are different schools of thought, where even the word 'sustainability' means different things. $\endgroup$
    – EB3112
    Dec 13, 2021 at 23:21
  • $\begingroup$ I see the distinction between the two. I had many courses on the subject and we used a different categorization. From where I'm from, we would use the term "cornucopian approaches" for your environmental ecology, which would be a subset of our environmental/ecological economics (or political economics). $\endgroup$ Dec 14, 2021 at 0:48
  • $\begingroup$ Hi @Alexandre. I know you're aware of those distinctions, and in many instances (often undergrad classes), eco and env. economics are mentioned within the same module. However, I think it should be made clear above that they're not only different schools of thought, but they're in opposition to each other. $\endgroup$
    – EB3112
    Dec 14, 2021 at 8:50
  • $\begingroup$ Hi @EB3112, It's a good point, I'll modify my post to add a notice at the beginning. Something like, "keep in mind that environmental and ecological economics are different perspectives. The first more associated with neoclassical economics, and the other composed of an array of critiques". What do you think? $\endgroup$ Dec 14, 2021 at 13:33
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, that's a good summary $\endgroup$
    – EB3112
    Dec 14, 2021 at 15:54

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