Externalities: through the Coase and Pigovian theories and their implications

In our class presentations on different topics pertaining to sustainability, my topic was externalities.  This presentation defines externalities and summarizes the main points of the Pigovian and Coase theorems and their implications for externalities.  It then briefly looks at the implications of dealing with externalities, as well as links with the Swiss government and their mentions and goals for externalities.

The graphs referenced in the presentation were taken from here for negative and positive externalities, and here for the Pigovian tax graph.

The video referenced in the latter slides about the Swiss connections can be found at here starting around 2:15.

Externalities presentation

My presentation to the class included going over the information presented in the PowerPoint, as well as sketching three graphs showing how basic principles of economics interact to create externality graphs. I believe the presentation was effective, but to make it clearer and more concise I needed to better summarize the information to keep my presentation within the 10 minute limit.  However, I would have liked to have a little more time to present so that I could have included more concrete examples/thought games to better illustrate the two theorems I read about: the Pigovian tax/subsidy theory and the Coase theorem.  From my experience taking our introduction to microeconomics class at UVA, theories and lofty ideas about economics are much easier to understand if a specific real-life example is given with each of them.


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