Environmental and Resource Economics Assignment 2

Academic Year 2020 – 2021



ECN3016 Environmental and Resource Economics



Assignment 2










There are two coursework assignments for ECN3016. This is the brief for the second assignment. Each assignment is worth 50% of the module mark.


The deadline time for the submission of the second assignment is 12.00 noon on Thursday 20 May 2020.


Work may be submitted on any date prior to the deadline. All assignments must be submitted electronically via the module site on Moodle. The file format has to be either MS Word or pdf. You must submit only one file.






  • This is an individual piece of work.


  • The assignment consists of two questions. You must answer both


  • Word Limit: You should write no more than 1000 (±10%) words per question (excluding references/data tables/diagrams), writing no more than 2,000 (±10%) words in total. Include a word count at the end each question.


  • All questions carry equal marks.


  • Include one reference section covering all questions at the end of your assignment.





Assessment criteria


Marks will be awarded according to the following main criteria:


  • Achievement of the objectives of the question
  • Accurate explanation and use of relevant economic theories, concepts and methods
  • Logical structure of the arguments
  • Critical analysis of relevant arguments
  • Clarity of explanation – fluency of written exposition, grammar and correct spelling
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the relevant literature and proper citation of sources.
  • Keeping to the word limit, inclusion of word count.


Further Information


Work submitted within 24 hours of the due date will receive a mark, but it will be capped at the pass mark of 40%. Work that is submitted more than 24 hours after the official deadline will receive an automatic mark of zero. The additional 24 hours will run from the original hand in date and time to the next University working day. If you have valid extenuating circumstances for late work, the actual mark achieved will be recorded against that submission, no capping will apply.


Coursework including feedback will normally be returned within four working weeks of the due date.



Academic Offences


Academic offences, including plagiarism, are treated very seriously.  A student who is proven to have committed an academic offence may be placing his or her degree in jeopardy. It is your responsibility as a student to make sure that you understand what constitutes an academic offence, and in particular, what plagiarism is and how to avoid it.


All your work must contain references to your sources, however acquired. To copy another person’s work is viewed as plagiarism and is not allowed in UK academic institutions. All your work must be your own and other sources must be identified as being theirs, not yours. The copying of another person’s work will result in you receiving a zero for your assignment and could result in expulsion from the university altogether.


Some useful guidance on how to reference correctly, and avoid plagiarism can be found on the following websites: https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/studentlife/yourstudies/essentialinformation/regulations/plagiarism




Students are strongly recommended to self-review coursework prior to submission using the University’s Turnitin software. You can get information here. This tool assesses the originality of pieces of academic writing and detects potential academic offences such as plagiarism. The use of Turnitin is becoming standard practice at most UK universities as a way of ensuring academic standards. Plymouth Business School has introduced the sampling system following recommendations from our external examiners about the use of Turnitin. If you have any concerns about the use of Turnitin please contact your Programme Manager and/or personal tutor.


Extenuating Circumstances


If you have extenuating circumstances that prevent you from submitting your work on time or taking an exam, you will need to fill an extenuating circumstances form and submit corroborative evidence. If your extenuating circumstances for late work are deemed valid, you will receive the actual mark achieved (i.e. no capping will apply).


For further information on the Extenuating Circumstances Policy and Procedures, as well as the required form(s), check the Plymouth Business School UG Students’ Handbook, contact the Student Reception and/or check the following link:





You are strongly advised to carefully pay attention to all additional University information and emails on the revision of the academic regulations pertaining to Extenuating Circumstances as a result of the current disruptions.


If you have any questions, you can approach our student support team:


Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business | Student Reception |

Roland Levinsky Building | Room 109 | Tel: 01752 585020 |

Email: pbs.support@plymouth.ac.uk or AHBAdmin@plymouth.ac.uk



See module handbook for further information.




Question 1: (100 marks)


The Eden Project in Cornwall, Southwest of the United Kingdom, is a charitable and social enterprise, focussing on issues relating to climate and environment, and plants and gardens.  The Project’s activities include: running transformational and social projects; creating unforgettable learning experiences for students; undertaking valuable research into plants and conservation; and advising on how the world can live in the greenest possible way.  These environmental activities attract several visitors annually from across the United Kingdom and globally.


  1. Assume the Eden Project is currently facing some financial difficulties and threatened with closure. Critically discuss how the Travel Cost Method (TCM) could be used to estimate the total economic value (TEV) of the

Eden Project, and therefore act as a strong argument for maintaining the Project and as a basis for potential financial support from the United Kingdom government.        (80 marks)


  1. Identify and critically discuss two main limitations with using the TCM to estimate the total economic value (including environmental goods and

services) of the Eden Project.                                                                                                            (20 marks)




Question 2: (100 marks)


Assume the inverse demand function for a depletable resource is given as:


Pt = 50 – 0.5qt

with a constant marginal cost (MC) of extraction for each unit of the resource:


MC = 5


Where: Pt = price in time t, qt = quantity allocated in time t.


If 100 units of the depletable resource are to be allocated between only two periods (t = 1 & 2) in a dynamic efficient allocation:


  1. Estimate how much would be allocated to the first period (q1) and how much to the second period (q2) when the discount rate (r) is 10%? (35 marks)


  1. Estimate the efficient prices (P1 and P2) respectively for period 1 and period

        2.                                                                                         (20 marks)


  1. Estimate the marginal user costs (MUC1 and MUC2) respectively for period 1 and period 2. Explain your results.                           (20 marks)


  1. Given the assumption of a constant marginal cost, and your results in (a), (b) and (c), do you think the allocation of the resources between the two periods is fair? Explain your answer. (15 marks)


  1. Using the Hartwick Rule for sustainability, explain how fairness could be achieved in the two periods? (10 marks)




Good Luck!