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Natural Resource Economics (373-0-20)


Mark P Witte

Meeting Info

Harris Hall L07: Tues, Thurs 2:00PM - 3:20PM

Overview of class

The environment and our natural resources are scarce yet their values are quite hard to determine. Furthermore, there are a variety of problems with the incentives to use them well. Using the tools of microeconomic analysis and some econometrics, this course will define and examine "environmental problems" in terms of economic efficiency. We will also discuss the methods (and shortcomings of these methods) used by economists and policymakers to place dollar values on environmental amenities (since such valuations will determine what policy options are deemed "efficient"), such as benefit-cost analysis. Then we will apply these tools to look at a particular set of environmental problems caused by negative externalities transmitted through naturally occurring amenities, and the effects of the policies we construct in response to these problems. NOTE: This class is not open to students who have taken Economics 370: Environmental & Natural Resource Economics.

Registration Requirements

ECON 281-0, ECON 310-1, ECON 310-2. (Students may not receive credit for both ECON 370-0 and ECON 372-0.)

Learning Objectives

Understand the methods of estimating the social value of environmental resources. Understand and apply fundamental tools and models of microeconomics to analyzing environmental questions, which involve cases where private market outcomes are not necessarily efficient (e.g., pollution, climate change). Understand and interpret relevant graphical analyses. Use microeconomic tools to analyze important environmental regulatory policies. Compare different institutional approaches to environmental policy (regulation, market based, common law). Understand the difficulties of formulating and evaluating environmental policy. Understand the history and processes through which environmental policy has been made, and the difficulty of evaluating potentially corrective policies. Familiarity with specific economic issues associated with environmental situations. Understand the intertemporal trade offs in environmental issues, and the economic models used to evaluate them.

Class Materials (Required)

Readings will be posted here:

Class Attributes

SDG Responsible Consumption
SDG Zero Hunger
SDG Clean Water and Sanitation

Enrollment Requirements

Enrollment Requirements: Pre-requisite: Students must have taken ECON 310-1 or MMSS 211-1 and ECON 281 or ECON 381-1 or MATH 386-1 or IEMS 304 or STAT 350 to successfully enroll in this course.

Associated Classes

DIS - Harris Hall L07: Fri 3:00PM - 3:50PM