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Courses : Economics

Courses taught by Prof. John Tiemstra

Economics 232: Effect on Cummuting Behavior of Changes in Costs

The use of automobiles to commute to the campus is a major contributor to the college's carbon footprint. The objective of this assignment is to have you estimate how changes in the cost of commuting will influence student's choices of transportation modes. You will need to do several steps:

  1. Calculate total costs of commuting to the campus for the average off-campus student by car. Include in this calculation the costs of fuel, depreciation, parking, and the opportunity cost of time.Determine how this cost varies with fuel costs, parking fees, and carpooling. Determine how a carbon charge would influence this cost.
  2. Calculate total costs of commuting by bus. Include fares and the opprotunity cost of time.
  3. Calculate total costs of commuting by walking or cycling. Include the cost of equipment and time.
  4. Based on elasticity estimates from the published economics literature, determine how the use of automobiles for student commuting would respond to likely changes in fuel costs, parking fees, carbon emission charges, and bus fare subsidies.
  5. Draw conclusions and make recommendations for the college's policies concerning transportation.

Poster (.pdf)

Economics 332: Environmental Economics and Public Policy

This project is designed to evaluate the success of the College's recycling program, and to suggest possibilities for improving it. Students collected information about current practices on the campus, and evaluate those practices in the light of the literature and other resources available on the topic of recycling. By having each student work on a different part of the the project, and then coming together periodically during class sessions to share and coordinate results, students will also improve their skills for working collaboratively in a group.