Skip to:Main Content

Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University
Washington and Lee University Campus Image


The Economics of Tropical Coastal Seascapes

ECON 288
4 credits
2.5 weeks in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
Pre-requisite: ECON 101
Professor James Casey

This course will introduce students to the techniques economists have developed to value non-market environmental resources. The two valuation techniques to be explored are (1) Choice Models (CM), and (2) Contingent Valuation Method (CVM). In addition to learning the theory, we will also design and administer a small survey to determine how user groups and non-users value coral quality around Mayaguez,  Puerto Rico. An interdisciplinary perspective will be coupled with formal economic analysis throughout the entire course. We will spend a significant amount of time in the water - learning about coral reef ecosystems.

At the end of this course students will be able to (1) read the literature on CM and CVM, (2) determine for themselves the validity of environmental valuation for policy purposes and (3) more deeply understand the importance and value of environmental resources as they will have spent two weeks studying and living in the coastal ecosystems of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.

The course meets requirements as an elective for the Economics major and the Environmental Studies major.

PROGRAM FEE: (Paid to W&L) $1,315 includes room and board, fees and materials, meals.

Additional costs: Airfare (est. $270); recreational activities like snorkeling (est. $200);

For more information, contact Prof. Casey.