This is an archived course. A more recent version may be available at

Environmental Policy and Economics

As taught in: Spring 2004

Poster announcing a forum with the St. Louis Smoke Commissioner.

Works Project Administration poster announcing a citywide public forum with the St. Louis Smoke Commissioner to be held in Des Moines, IA. (Image courtesy of theĀ Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, WPA Poster Collection, LC-USZC2-5268.)


Prof. Michael Greenstone

MIT Course Number:

14.42 / 14.420


Undergraduate / Graduate

Course Description

This course explores the proper role of government in the regulation of the environment. It will help students develop the tools to estimate the costs and benefits of environmental regulations. These tools will be used to evaluate a series of current policy questions, including: Should air and water pollution regulations be tightened or loosened? What are the costs of climate change in the U.S. and abroad? Is there a "Race to the Bottom" in environmental regulation? Students will help design and execute a cutting edge research project that tests whether air pollution causes infant mortality. To gain real world experience, the course will include a guest lecture from a former EPA plant inspector and is tentatively scheduled to include a visit to a local polluting plant.