523 Economics of Natural Resources


Approved course information last updated: 2 years, 2 months ago

Pre-requisites: None

Requisite To: None

Lab Session:

Course Description

Are we running out of resources? what does this imply for the pace of fossil energy resource use? can we substitute human made capital for natural resources? how much investment in renewable energy makes sense? what market and policy solutions can we design to address the problems inherent in these questions? this course examines natural resource issues - such as the questions above - emphasizing the role of economics in understanding their causes, consequences, and potential solutions in the context of the ‘sustainable development’ debate. The main emphasis is placed on enhancing the learner’s ability to evaluate critically a rapidly growing, but technical, area of the economic literature. The course begins with a review of core economic concepts. We then consider market failures that can arise from externalities, public goods and common property resources. We look at static and dynamic models of natural resource allocation, including models used to study optimal management of renewable resources such as fisheries. Natural resource abundance is determined by physical processes and a general understanding of these processes is necessary for correct economic analysis. the models examined provide a framework for examining alternative institutional arrangements for resource extraction (private property, commons, markets, regulations, and public policy) in their capacity to achieve socially optimal outcomes. Issues of conservation ethics and intergenerational justice underpinning the policies will also be considered. using specific resource sectors as example (fisheries, fossil fuels, oil, renewable energy technologies) the economic models are explained in detail in a way that is intended to raise the learner’s confidence in the interpretation and assessment of various policy insights that are derived from the models.

Course Learning Objectives (CLOs)
  • Clo1. acquire a sufficient understanding of factors and processes contributing to natural resource scarcity
  • Clo2. model and analyze the economy/natural environment interactions using microeconomic modeling with a
  • Clo3. understand the moral and intergenerational issues in natural resource use
  • Clo4. understand how an economist can contribute to the development of policies supporting sustainable use
  • Clo5. understand the limitations of economic modelling for natural resource issues and promising new
Syllabus History
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  • Compliant Updated

    Submitted by: michail.skourtos

    Validated by: michail.skourtos