Sunday, November 19, 2006

Youth speaks: more environmental economists required?

Impressively, in a recent survey of 11-14 year olds in the UK, a higher percentage said they cared about recycling and climate change than homework or indeed boyfriends/girlfriends. How things change (don't they?) ;-)

The 2006 RM School Gate Survey reveals green attitudes of today's youth
The survey interestingly revealed that more 11-14 year old children are concerned about recycling (76%) and global warming/ climate change (74%) than having a boyfriend/ girlfriend (41%) or doing their homework (64%). It is encouraging to know then that the generation who could be ultimately responsible for halting climate change is already concerned about its effect, and how it can be stopped.

Assuming such attitudes persist and 50% of these 11-14 year olds go on to University (current UK government targets), does this mean, given similar percentages to today will study economics at Undergraduate and Postgraduate level, that demand for Environmental Economics courses will go up?

I believe the answer may well be YES.

Note to Head of Department: The price of scarce resources should rise.

Note to students: Our new specialist MSc in "Environmental Economics" is currently taking admission applications for 2007/2008 (pages also available in Chinese and Spanish).

Aside - would selection issues suggest that the possible increase in demand for environmental economics courses is an underestimate? - are those 11-14 year olds who said they DO care about the environment more likely to go to University as a result of other socio-economic characteristics)......

Analysis of why we might or might not expect selection bias welcome...

1 comment:

Adam said...

Selection bias may be an issue which would lead to underestimation of demand for EE.

However, there are many other courses with which one could express ones interest in environmental issues. Therefore, overall I think it is an overestimate.

(Obviously environmental economics is the BEST way to solve the world's problems, but not everyone knows that ;-P!)