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ES30032: Environmental and natural resource economics

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2014/5
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Economics
Further information on credits Credits: 6
Further information on unit levels Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Further information on teaching periods Period: Semester 2
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: EX 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Examination (EX 100%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment: Reassessment not allowed
Further information on requisites Requisites: Before taking this unit you must take ES20011 and take ES20013
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
The objective of this unit is to provide an overview of the modern theory of environmental economics and natural resource use, with reference to empirical evidence and with applications to contemporary issues in environmental and natural resource management. The theory of resource use is based on principles of dynamic optimisation and an introduction to the appropriate techniques is provided; however, emphasis is placed on the economic interpretation of the results rather than on formal proofs. The strategic interaction among agents is analysed based on concepts of cooperative and non-cooperative game theory; again the emphasis is on the economic intuition of these concepts. The unit can be taken in conjunction with ES30031 Environmental Economics in Semester 1 to form a stream in environmental and natural resource economics, but the units can also be taken independently of each other.

Learning Outcomes:
By the end of this unit, students should be able to
* understand the normative and positive policy implications of different welfare measurements and develop a critical view on them
* provide an account of the principles of efficient natural resource use over time
* explain why observed patterns of natural resource use are often inefficient
* examine some key current problems in natural resource use and management, including climate change and fishery management.
* show the relationship between national and transboundary environmental and resource problems in terms of different approaches in solving these problems.
* be able to use learned concepts to apply them to other environmental and resource economic problems.

Ability to enter into a critical debate on topics covered in the unit. The following are facilitated and assessed: abstract reasoning; information synthesis; diagrammatic skills; writing skills; numeracy skills.

The topics covered are:
* the classification of natural resources
* a primer on techniques of dynamic optimisation, illustrated in the context of climate change
* studying the efficient use of biological resources, illustrated with fisheries
* management and political issues for biological resources and climate change: using game theory to understand property rights regimes, the 'tragedy of the commons' and enforcement issues in the transnational context
* important policy issues related to climate change and international fishery agreements and international environmental agreements in general
* extinction and biodiversity
Key Texts:
* Perman, R., Y. Ma, M. Common, D. Maddison and McGilvray (2011), Natural Resource & Environmental Economics, Pearson, Harlow et al, 4th edition.
* Hartwick, J. and N. Olewiler (1998), The Economics of Natural Resource Use. Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, 2nd edition.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

ES30032 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Economics
  • UHES-AFB03 : BSc(Hons) Economics (Year 3)
  • UHES-AKB03 : BSc(Hons) Economics with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • UHES-AFB02 : BSc(Hons) Economics and International Development (Year 3)
  • UHES-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Economics and International Development with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • UHES-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Economics and Politics (Year 3)
  • UHES-AKB01 : BSc(Hons) Economics and Politics with Year long work placement (Year 4)

* This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2014/15 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2015/16 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2014/15.
* Programmes and units are subject to change at any time, in accordance with normal University procedures.
* Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.