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Sustainable Business Core

ECO 613: Microeconomics of Sustainability

The course examines production and costs from a sustainability perspective, emphasizing the tradeoffs associated with reducing energy and other natural resources in production processes. Conditions under which reducing natural resources while using more of other inputs reduces total costs without sacrificing production are derived. Extensions are studied in which the same conditions are derived under a more general definition of costs which includes the costs of natural resource use to society and to brand reputation. The course then examines consumer demand for energy efficient products, emphasizing financing arrangements which allow the household to avoid the up front fixed costs of energy efficient durable goods. Finally, the course examines externalities: actions by the firm which impose costs or benefits to society in a way which is not accounted for by prices.

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