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ES30032: Environmental economics 2

[Page last updated: 02 August 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/23
Owning Department/School: Department of Economics
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Semester 2
Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (CW 100%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Requisites: Before taking this module you must take ES20011 AND take ES20013
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.

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.

Skills: 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.

Content: 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.

Programme availability:

ES30032 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Economics
  • UHES-AFB03 : BSc(Hons) Economics (Year 3)
  • UHES-AAB03 : BSc(Hons) Economics with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • UHES-AKB03 : BSc(Hons) Economics with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • UHES-AFB04 : BSc(Hons) Economics and Mathematics (Year 3)
  • UHES-AAB04 : BSc(Hons) Economics and Mathematics with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • UHES-AKB04 : BSc(Hons) Economics and Mathematics with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • UHES-ACB04 : BSc(Hons) Economics and Mathematics with Combined Placement and Study Abroad (Year 4)
  • UHES-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Economics and Politics (Year 3)
  • UHES-AAB01 : BSc(Hons) Economics and Politics with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • UHES-AKB01 : BSc(Hons) Economics and Politics with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • UHES-ACB01 : BSc(Hons) Economics and Politics with Combined Placement and Study Abroad (Year 4)
  • UHES-ACB03 : BSc(Hons) Economics with Combined Placement and Study Abroad (Year 4)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2022/23 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2023/24 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2022/23.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change 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.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.