ENV299Y Research Opportunity Program Syllabus

University of Toronto, 2015-2016


About This Course

New policies often rely on regulations, guidelines or programs to achieve the intended outcomes. Economic incentives are another option, and many jurisdictions have piloted trading schemes that allow polluters to purchase credits, i.e. the right for a fixed amount of pollution, from other producers who have invested in pollution reduction technology and practices. The objectives of this ROP are to study incentives from a game-theoretic perspective. The Prisoner’s Dilemma – an game used to analyze interactions in economics, political science, geography and ecology – will be used to investigate reward thresholds and strategies that move the outcome from a non-cooperative to a cooperative outcome, i.e. one in which each individual’s utility is maximized by cooperation. Previous work has suggested one particular solution, tit-for-tat as the most likely to succeed, and this will be investigated along with other strategies. Other game theory models are more appropriate for studying pollutant-trading schemes to assess whether it is possible to arrive at market-based solution that also satisfies a regulatory/ecological objective.