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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Economics : Economics

Undergraduate Course: Natural Resource and Environmental Economics (ECNM10022)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Economics CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe aim of this course is to provide an overview of the substantial amount of work on environmental and natural resource economics, which has been carried out over the past decade. The course covers a major area of applied welfare economics, which will build on the material introduced in Economics 2 and Topics in Microeconomics and show how economics can contribute to policy formulation on a range of topics that are generating increasing public concern.
Course description Topics covered include: renewable resources; fisheries and forests; replenishable resources; water; non-renewable resources; mining and energy; externalities and environmental policy; air pollution; water pollution; sustainable development, urban and industrial growth, rural growth and natural resource management; regional and global environmental issues.

IMPORTANT: Any student who has registered for the course or who may take it must ensure that they attend the first class meeting as the teaching arrangements for the course (which are non-standard) including classes, tutorials and other requirements will be discussed and scheduled at this class. Since the number of students taking the course is strictly limited you should decide whether to take the course or not quickly so as to give those on the waiting list a chance to replace any drop-outs.

The course will be taught via a combination of lecture classes and tutorials. There will be 12 classes, covering the topics listed above plus 10 weekly tutorials in groups of approximately 6 students. The lectures are intended to supplement the textbooks and other assigned readings. Students are expected to read the assigned readings for each lecture before watching/listening to the lectures.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Topics in Microeconomics (ECNM10070)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Please note: A quota operates on this course. Students on the Economics with Environmental Studies programme have priority on this course, followed by those on MA Economics, followed by those on other Honours programmes involving Economics. Subject to the quota students will be allocated places on a first come first-served basis, If you would like to be added to the waitlist for this course, please email the Course Secretary: This course is only available to students on programmes involving Economics, and is not available to visiting students.
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. A knowledge and understanding of the analytical and practical foundations of the economics of natural resource and environment management with particular emphasis on policy analysis and the choices that must be made between competing objectives. They should be familiar with the techniques of evaluating non-market outcomes, the design and application of policy instruments, the relationship between local, regional and global aspects of natural resource and environment problems, and the application of economic models to complex systems.
  2. Research and investigative skills such as problem framing and solving and the ability to assemble and evaluate complex evidence and arguments.
  3. Communication skills in order to critique, create and communicate understanding.
  4. Personal effectiveness through task-management, time-management, dealing with uncertainty and adapting to new situations, personal and intellectual autonomy through independent learning.
  5. Practical/technical skills such as, modelling skills (abstraction, logic, succinctness), qualitative and quantitative analysis and general IT literacy.
Reading List
The primary textbook for the course is:

T. Tietenberg & L. Lewis - Environmental and Natural Resource Economics (11th Edition, Pearson Education, 2018)

[Note: Much of the textbook remains the same between editions, so that you can use the 9th or 10th editions provided that you adjust the chapter numbers appropriately.]

There is a secondary textbook which provides a more detailed coverage of the theoretical underpinnings of the subject but does not have the focus on current policy issues that is offered by the main text. Students should refer to chapters in this text for full treatment of the basic analytical models:

R. Perman, Y. Ma, M. Common, D. Maddison & J. McGilvray ¿ Natural Resource and Environmental Economics (4th Edition, Pearson Education, 2011)

I will also recommend specific readings from a variety of sources that provide more extensive coverage of individual topics in the course. Three useful collections of articles are:

R. Stavins (eds) - Economics of the Environment (6th Edition, Norton, 2012)

[Note: There is a 7th Edition of this collection but the balance of articles does not match the coverage of the course so well, so I prefer to use the 6th Edition. The 5th Edition is quite similar to the 6th Edition.]

B. Lomborg (ed) ¿ How Much Have Global Problems Cost the World? (Cambridge, 2013)

[This puts the costs associated with environmental issues in a global context with a particular focus on health costs.]

W. Harrington & R. Morgenstern (eds) ¿ Choosing Environmental Policy (RFF Press, 2004)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills See Learning Outcomes
Course organiserProf Gordon Hughes
Tel: (0131 6)50 8358
Course secretaryMiss Lisa Jones
Tel: (0131 6)51 5958
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