AgEc 677 (segment 1)
Frontiers in Water Resource Economics
Spring 2016
12:45 - 2:00 TR
AGLS 110

Dr. Ron Griffin
Room 211
979-845-7049; 979-777-4434
wesite: moved to
Assistant: Ms. Zinn, Room 211, 845-2333

2016 Calendar

First day: January 19
Last day: March 3
Term paper due: 4 PM, March 10. Late is -10%. Later than March is -20%.


This segment represents 50% of the course grade of 677. Within segment 1, grade weights are:

Presentations: 30%
Participation when not presenting: 10%

Term paper: 60100%

During this segment each student will present approximately 2 journal articles and a single "minority opinion". These 3 presentations will occur on different days. On each presentation day 2 students will present 2 articles, and a 3rd student will present a minority opinion spanning both articles. Articles will be chosen by students in coordination with Dr. Griffin and well in advance of presentation dates. All presentors will not be distributing prepared handouts nor using a computer. As each student has only 25 minutes, including Q&A, emphasis shall be on identifying the paper's general problem, approach, and especially its originally created insights. The minority opinion shall very briefly observe common or contrasting problem topics in comparing the two subject papers (if applicable) but mainly focus on what is disagreeable about the two papers. Features to highlight as disagreeable might include problem depiction, assumptions, methods, interpretations, or overall contribution. Both papers shall be mentioned in these regards, but it is permitted to focus more attention on one of the papers.

2016 revision: After the first 2 weeks during which Dr. Griffin will introduce water economics and water law fundamentals, each week will commence with a overarching topic review lecture on Tuesday. In addition to a Tuesday reading, Dr. Griffin will distribute several journal article readings that are candidates for Thursday presentations by students. Each student will select one article to present/critique on Thursday, and these choices will be web-posted as assignments. To encourage expediency and limit work, Powerpoint presentations and handouts are disallowed. Thursday presentations will not be evaluated.

The term paper is to be written on a water topic of the student's choosing. Proper formatting and formalities are expected and will constitute 25% of the evaluation. Other evaluation criteria pertain to clarity and grammatical accuracy (25%) and general accomplishments (50%) in terms of the economic content and established objectives of the paper. 10-20 pages excluding the title page should be about right; this is a soft guideline. Overlap between this paper and other papers produced by the student is fully acceptable, but these overlaps should be fully identified on a separate page following the title page. Note the late taxes stated above.

Reading Materials

Readings for this course are almost exclusively composed of journal articles contributing to the water resource economics field. For students without a background in water resource specifics (such as flow-produced interrelationships, legal/institutional settings, and market/price terminology), the text by Dr. Griffin, Water Resource Economics: Scarcity, Policies, and Projects (2016, MIT Press), can provide foundations, and we shall employ it initially. To establish foundations, lectures during the first week address water's unique attributes and its institutions. We shall start quickly; be prepared.