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Centre for Development, Environment and Policy (CeDEP)

Natural Resource Economics

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This module examines a number of economic models of natural resource allocation and demonstrates their application to policy making and natural resource management to provide useful insights to both policy makers and managers. The module develops a rationale for, and explains the methodologies used in, the application of economic theory to the allocation of natural resources. Using a series of resource sectors as examples, a number of 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. The second part of the module considers the economic dimensions of sustainable economic growth and development. Practical policy applications are used throughout the module in order to bridge the gap between theory and practice.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

By the end of this module you should be able to:

  • discuss the extent of, and factors contributing to, natural resource scarcity
  • develop a rationale for the use of natural resource economics
  • apply the insights gained from the economic methods used in the temporal and inter-temporal theories of resource allocation to the analysis of natural resource use problems
  • explain how an economist can contribute to the development of policy that supports sustainable development
  • assess critically the limitations of the neo-classical paradigm in the allocation of resources and demonstrate an understanding of how current research initiatives are attempting to overcome these limitations