UCL Department of Economics


ECON3022 - Ethics in Applied Economics

Term 1


The module will explore the ethical basis of economics, with special reference to applied microeconomics and environmental policy analysis. Key skills developed include critical thinking (in understanding the theory), active listening (in lectures and tutorial classes), written materials (through the essays), information skills (in preparing essays) and oral/visual presentation (in tutorial classes).


After completing the module students should:

  • Have acquired a good appreciation of the extent to which the analysis of certain major topics in applied economics rests on explicit or implicit ethical assumptions (for example the foundations of welfare economics, cost-benefit analysis, income distribution and environmental policy)
  • Show the necessary familiarity with the most important ethical theories (for example Kantianism, contractarianism, utilitarianism)
  • Have the ability to bring ethical reasoning to bear on applied economic problems
Taught by:
Joanna Pasek, Wilfred Beckerman
Assessment: 20 one-hour lectures, supplemented by 4 compulsory tutorial classes and written essays or tests. 2-hour unseen written examination in Term 3. Affiliate students leaving in December will take a 2-hour written examination set up by the Department at the end of Term 1.
Suitable for:
3rd year Economics (L100) students, Econ/Geog (LL17), Econ/Stats (LG13) and Phil/Econ (VL51) students.
Prerequisites: The main prerequisite is ECON2001: Microeconomics.
Moodle page: