2019 Summer School:

The Economics of Environmental Policy and Innovation

July 15 - 26 , 2019

This intensive two-week summer school at the University of Ottawa will focus on the theme “The Economics of Environmental Policy and Innovation” this year. Classes will be led by Prof. Carolyn Fischer, holder of the Canada 150 Research Chair in Climate Economics, Innovation, and Policy at the University of Ottawa. The summer school will feature lectures by three Canada Research Chairs, as well as presentations and discussions with distinguished researchers from Canada and abroad.

Technical change is essential for meeting our climate policy targets and other environmental ambitions cost effectively. Indeed, spurring clean technology, innovation and jobs forms a key pillar of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. The summer school addresses this timely topic by reviewing the economics of environmental policy and innovation, starting with fundamentals and advancing to cutting-edge research.

Some of the key questions to be explored in this course are

· What drives innovation?

· How do economists measure innovation?

· What role does environmental policy play in inducing innovation?

· How should environmental policies respond to technical change?

· Why are technology-oriented policies more popular than emissions pricing?

· What role can economics play in designing technology-oriented policies that can complement emissions pricing?

The Summer School welcomes graduate students, interested practitioners, and career professionals from across and outside Canada. This mix will contribute to a diverse base for in-depth discussions and case studies. The course is offered for graduate-level credit in the Department of Economics and the Institute of the Environment. For participants who are not full-time students, a course participation certificate will be awarded.

The course format will include 8 afternoons of lectures and in-class activities plus two full days for a special workshop on this year’s theme. The workshop will feature presentations of new research by leading scholars in the area of innovation and the environment. Graduate students will serve as discussants and build critical thinking and presentation skills. Ph.D. students will have the opportunity to present their own work in progress and receive feedback. Throughout the course, informal opportunities for networking, discussing, and bridge-building will be provided.

Credit coursework includes in-class discussions and exercises with quizzes, presentations, a short case study to be peer-reviewed, and a longer written product appropriate to the student’s course of study. For example, the assignment may be a review of the literature as applied to a particular environmental technology, or a reviewer report of a paper submitted to the workshop.

As a special topic in environmental economics, the course will not cover core principles, so a graduate-level (or advanced bachelors-level) course in environmental or public economics—or commensurate relevant experience—and a solid background in microeconomics are strongly recommended. The language of instruction will be English.

Registration and participation

This summer school and special topics course take a unique format in order to deliver unique benefits not possible in a standard university course offering. Classes are compressed to 2 weeks in order to permit graduate students from outside Ottawa and participants from outside academia to attend, enriching the learning experience for all.

Some limited scholarship funding for travel expenses will be awarded on a competitive basis, with priority given to graduate students based in Canada. All participants are responsible for securing their own visas, if necessary for travel.

We ask that all interested students and participants fill out the application form, so we may learn about you and direct you to the proper registration process.

Full-time students

Please register through the University of Ottawa system.

Course code: ECO 6304 Selected Topics in Applied Economics

Study load: 3 units

Period: Session D, with Classes scheduled for July 15 – 26, 2019 and final assignment due at end.

Graduate students not from UOttawa or Carleton may enroll through the university as well. Please fill out the course application form and we will follow up with information about how to enroll.

Non-students seeking professional development

* Registration for professional development is now open *

We offer a separate registration process for those participating in the summer school but not taking the course for university credit. Please register through the UOttawa General Store. Registration fees are CAD1,050 for the summer school, inclusive of the workshop, or CAD350 for the workshop alone.

Please also remember to fill out the application form with your background information. Participants not seeking course credit will not be required to complete assignments, but active participation in classroom activities is appreciated.


Coordinator and Instructor

Prof. Carolyn Fischer, Canada 150 Research Chair in Climate Economics, Innovation, and Policy; University of Ottawa Department of Economics and the Institute of the Environment (IE) (carolyn.fischer@uottawa.ca)

Other Featured UOttawa Canada Research Chairs

Assoc. Prof. Nic Rivers, Canada Research Chair in Climate and Energy Policy, UOttawa Department of Public and International Affairs and IE

Asst. Prof. Kelly Bronson, Canada Research Chair in Science and Society, UOttawa School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies and IE

Featured Global Fellows of the Smart Prosperity Institute

Dr. Antoine Dechezleprêtre, OECD Economics Department and the Environment Directorate Senior Economist on Green growth (TBC)

Dr. Nick Johnstone, Head of Structural Policy Division, Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry, OECD

Dr. Margaret Taylor, Fulbright Scholar at the Smart Prosperity Institute; Project Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL); and Engineering Research Associate in Stanford University’s Precourt Energy Efficiency Center

Featured International Experts

Prof. Chris Boehringer, Professor of Economic Policy, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg

Asst. Prof. Todd Gerarden, Susan Henry Sesquicentennial Faculty Fellow, Cornell University Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management

Prof. Mads Greaker, Oslo Business School Faculty of Social Sciences (TBC)

Dr Sébastian Houde, Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich (TBC)

Asst. Prof. Myra Mohnen, UOttawa Department of Economics, University of Essex, and London School of Economics

Prof. Greg Nemet, University of Wisconsin–Madison in the La Follette School of Public Affairs and the Nelson Institute's Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment

Dr. Joëlle Noailly, Head of Research and Lecturer in International Economics, Graduate Institute Geneva (TBC)

Class schedule

Class times and tentative topics are as follows (n.b.: topic order and details may change):

Monday, July 15, 1-4pm: Introduction and foundations; theories of induced technical change

Tuesday, July 16, 1-4pm: Evidence of induced technical change; The Porter Hypothesis

Wednesday, July 17, 1-4pm: Environmental policy interactions with induced technical change

Thursday, July 18, 1-4pm: Policy evaluation with knowledge spillovers

Friday, July 19, 1-4pm: Lessons for policymaking with induced innovation; short case studies

< weekend social activities >

Monday, July 22, 1-4pm: Technological change and fossil fuel exploitation: the green paradox

Tuesday, July 23, 1-4pm: Innovation in a dynamic economy: directed technical change

Wednesday, July 24, 9am-12pm, 1-4pm: Pre-workshop bonus lectures on technology diffusion: experience with renewable energy; energy efficiency gap

Thursday, July 25, 9am-5pm: International workshop

Friday, July 26, 9am-5pm: International workshop, wrap-up

Course Objectives

After completing this course, the student is able to:

· Explain how economic incentives influence technical change;

· Describe different techniques for measuring technical change, determining its drivers, and estimating spillover effects;

· Distinguish the core differences among policy instruments for managing environmental problems in the context of technological change (such as taxes, subsidies, emission trading, performance standards and other regulations);

· Interpret results from different economic models of energy use and technical change;

· Differentiate among explanations for barriers to technology adoption and how to connect these rationales with policy solutions;

· Write a professional referee report;

· Discuss a research paper in a professional setting;

· Advise policymakers on designing innovation-oriented environmental regulations.


Students taking this course for credit (ECO 6304) are evaluated based on

1) in-class discussions and exercises with quizzes (20%);

2) a short case study on a contemporary environmental policy challenge that will be peer-reviewed and discussed in class (20%);

3) a presentation in the workshop, either of one’s own work or as a discussant, for which feedback will be received (20%); and

4) a longer written product representing a reviewer report of a paper submitted to the workshop (40%).