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Centre for Development, Environment and Policy (CeDEP)

Natural Resource Economics

Course Code:
Unit value:

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

Scope and syllabus

Unit 1: Key Concepts
Unit 2: Approaches and Methods
Unit 3: Sustainability
Unit 4: Welfare Economics I - Concepts and Efficiency
Unit 5: Welfare Economics II - Markets and Institutions
Unit 6: Non-renewable resources
Unit 7: Static models of renewable resource allocation
Unit 8: Fisheries revisited: dynamic optimisation approaches
Unit 9: Forest Resources
Unit 10: Environmental Accounting

Module sample

P505 module uses a core text which is specially written and will take you through your self-directed study. Exercises, assignments and other activities, such as self-assessment questions, film clips and animations are included to help you with learning. Most module study guides are now provided in electronic format on a USB flash memory stick, but can also be downloaded from the online learning environment. Click the linked image below to view a sample of our e-study guide: