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2020/2021  BA-BHAAV6038U  The Economics of Climate Change, Artificial Intelligence, and Inequality

English Title
The Economics of Climate Change, Artificial Intelligence, and Inequality

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course Third Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 40
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • David Jinkins - Department of Economics (ECON)
Main academic disciplines
  • Economics
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 13-02-2020

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Precisely define key terms related to the topics we discuss in the course
  • Describe the fundamental problems and tradeoffs associated with climate change, artificial intelligence, inequality, and other topics covered in the course
  • Develop rational and well-thought out arguments backing up positions on course topics
  • Summarize positions on course topics in well-organized writing
Course prerequisites
Any economics introductory course
The Economics of Climate Change, Artificial Intelligence, and Inequality:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Oral group exam based on written group product
Number of people in the group 2
Size of written product Max. 20 pages
Assignment type Project
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
10 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Spring
Make-up exam/re-exam Home assignment - written product
Size of written product: Max. 10 pages
Assignment type: Report
Duration: 48 hours to prepare
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Would you rather live one hundred years in the past or today? Many people
would choose today, since on average lives around the world are much healthier
and wealthier now than they were on average in the early 20th century. Would
you rather live today or one hundred years in the future? This question takes
some thinking. Human beings today face severe collective challenges. Depend-
ing on how we respond, or don't respond, to these challenges will determine
whether our childrens' lives will be better or worse than our own. This course
will use principles from public economics and moral philosophy to improve your
understanding of some of the most important challenges of our time. Among
these challenges are:
 -  Climate change: We will discuss how people will react to the effects
of climate change, discuss how much we should expect policy like carbon
taxes to reduce future harm from climate change, and finally we will talk
about a central ethical problem in designing climate policy: how we should
think weigh the welfare of future people and animals relative to ourselves?
 -  Artifcial intelligence: We will study how changes how developments in
artifcial intelligence will a ect the welfare of people around the world, and
inequality within countries. We will also talk about what sort of govern-
ment policies might be taken up to lessen welfare losses from automation,
and align the values of artifcial intelligence with our own.
 - Inequality: In the developed world, wages in the middle of the income
distribution may have stagnated, while those at the top, and especially
the very top of the income distribution have increased dramatically. The
top 1% of the global wealth distribution owns 84% of global wealth. Put
di erently, the bottom 99% of the global wealth distribution shares 16% of
global wealth. Inequality has been increasing since the middle of the 20th
century. We will discuss the reasons for this change, and some policies
which have been proposed to confront rising inequality such as universal
basic income, the 30-hour work week, and increased immigration. Policies
to face inequality are impossible to discuss without philosophical discus-
sion about who deserves what, also a topic we will focus on.

Description of the teaching methods
Face to face teaching
Feedback during the teaching period
One feedback meeting with each group prior to the course end
Student workload
Lectures 36 hours
Group work 50 hours
Reading / preparation 120 hours
Expected literature

Some of the course will draw on "Lectures on Microeconomics: The big questions
approach" by Roman Pancs. Other readings will be made available from a range
of sources.

Last updated on 13-02-2020