Topical Economics Programme – Avoiding Environmental Collapse through Market Design

Fri 20 July 2018


8:00 Breakfast
8:45 Director’s Welcome and Senior Tutor’s Introduction
9:00 What is nature worth? Alex Teytelboym
10:00 Syndicate Discussion
11:15 Natural capital market design: what seems to work and what doesn’t Alex Teytelboym
12:15 Break, followed by Lunch at 12:30
1:15 Syndicate Discussion
2:15 Natural capital market design: a bright future? Alex Teytelboym
3:15 Syndicate Discussion
4:30 Round Table:Peter Eso
Beata Javorcik
Michalis Rousakis
7:00 Depart Egrove for a formal College Dinner
7:30 Drinks Reception followed by Course Dinner in Balliol College at 8:00


Today is the Topical Economics Programme Day dedicated to how economics can help improve the environment through the design of market mechanisms. In the first lecture, we introduce the concept of natural capital, why it is disappearing and why we should worry about it. Are we running out of mineral commodities? Where is the all the fish gone? In the second lecture, we explain how market design might help revert the decline by exploring some successful marketplaces for natural resources. We first will discuss permit markets for carbon, fishing, and wetlands. We will then see why not all environmental marketplaces work well by looking at water quality trading, species trading, and payments for ecosystem services. This is followed by a third lecture dealing with the inherent difficulties in protecting entire ecosystems and how clever market design for natural capital can help us overcome them. The final session is a topical economics round table. Each of the tutors will present an economic analysis of a major recent economic event. The round table allows the delegates to ask questions to the tutors on these and other economic issues. The day completes with the set-piece OUBEP dinner inside Balliol College.

Peter Eso – Syndicate Tutor

Peter is a Associate Professor (Reader) in Economics and Tutorial Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford University. After completing a PhD in Economics at Harvard University, Peter became an Assistant Professor at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University (USA) in 2001. He joined Oxford in 2009, and has been teaching Microeconomics and Game Theory at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. His research focuses on game theory and the economics of information, studying questions such as the role of risk aversion in trading games (e.g. auctions); communication and bargaining when parties may obtain provable information; and what determines the  price of advice (how to sell and disclose information).  Peter occasionally advises companies on auctions of telecommunication licenses.

Beata Javorcik – Syndicate Tutor

Beata Javorcik is a Professor of Economics at the Department of Economics at Oxford, and a Fellow of All Souls College. She specializes in international trade, economic development and macroeconomics. Prior to coming to Oxford, she worked for eight years at the World Bank in Washington DC where she was involved in lending operations and provided policy advice to developing countries in Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America and Asia. Her research interests focus on determinants and consequences of inflows of foreign direct in- vestment, links between exporting and firm performance, and tariff evasion. She holds a PhD in Economics from Yale University and a BA from the University of Rochester.

Alex Teytelboym

Alex is an economist who is interested in market design as well as social and economic networks. He looks at how best to run complex auctions and how networks shape the diffusion of innovations. Moreover, he works on climate change policy. Before coming to INET, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Laboratory for Information and Decision System at M.I.T. and a Visiting Business Fellow at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment. He received a B.Sc in Economics (2008) from the London School of Economics and M. Phil. (2010) and D. Phil. in Economics (2013) from the University of Oxford.

Michalis Rousakis – University of Oxford

Michalis is a Career Development Fellow at the Department of Economics and a Fellow of Merton College at the University of Oxford. Prior to Oxford, he completed his PhD in Economics at the University of Warwick in 2012 and spent two years as a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence afterwards. His research interests lie in Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics and his current research explores the interaction between the labour market and the housing market.