Rescuing the Aral Sea: use of Case Method
and is replicated here as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service.
Students use the Case Method to learn/apply the concepts of social marginal cost and the Coase Theorem. The example is the environmental devastation of the Aral Sea in the past 30 years. The students play roles in a negotiation designed to illustrate (1) the unintended consequences of ignoring the opportunity cost of a resource, (2) the role a market mechanism can play in reducing the devastation, and (3) the difficulties in negotiating a cooperative solution to this policy problem.
Context for Use
Description and Teaching Materials
Aral Case outline (Acrobat (PDF) 13kB Mar31 09)
Aral Sea description circa 2005. (Acrobat (PDF) 57kB Mar31 09)