NIFB14004U  Environmental and Natural Resource Economics

Volume 2018/2019

BSc Programme in Natural Resources
BSc Programme in Science and IT
BSc Programme in Agricultural Economics


This course is an intermediate level course intended to provide students with a comprehensive introduction to environmental and natural resource economics. It is assumed that students have a good grounding in basic microeconomics.

Core components of the course are:
(a) Environmental sustainability concepts and ethics.
(b) The welfare economic foundation of environmental economics.
(c) Externalities and the design of policy instruments to address environmental problems.
(d) The economic concept of value and measurement of environmental benefits using non-market valuation methods.
(e) Optimal utilisation of renewable and non-renewable natural resources.

During the course students will develop a systematic understanding of the economic rationale behind the use of environmental policy instruments, economic valuation principles, and criteria for optimal use of natural resources.

Learning Outcome

The course gives a comprehensive introduction to the principles of environmental and natural resource economics. It will provide the participants with the knowledge needed to understand the economic aspects of environmental policy issues and the theoretical basis required to take advanced courses in environmental and natural resource economics at the graduate level.

Having completed the course it is expected that the student is able to:

- Define externalities.
- Understand the economic principles behind the design of environmental policy instruments.
- Understand the issues associated with regulation of international environmental problems.
- Understand the welfare economic principles behind social discounting.
- Understand the principles underlying non-market economic valuation methods and cost-benefit analysis.
- Understand the principles behind optimal utilization of renewable and non-renewable natural resources.
- Understand the ethical positions underlying environmental sustainability concepts and discounting.

- Identify relevant policy instruments to internalize different types of externalities.
- Evaluate the consequences of applying a policy instrument to address an environmental problem.
- Identify relevant project and policy appraisal methods.
- Evaluate alternative approaches to renewable and non-renewable natural resource utilization.

- Apply the principles of environmental and natural resource economics to understand policy issues in these fields.

Text book supplemented with relevant articles.

An example of the type of literature used could be Perman et al.: Natural Resource and Environmental Economics, Pearson Education Limited.

The final literature list will be announced on the course intranet Absalon.

The course is an intermediate level course and it is assumed that students have a good grounding in basic microeconomics. For example LOJB10259 Micro Economics or similar.
Teaching is in the form of lectures, group work and practicals. Lectures will present the central themes of the curriculum while practicals will focus on exercises in the various subjects addressed in the course. A project report has to be approved as a requirement for the 4-hour written exam.
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 4 hours under invigilation
Written examination in lecture hall.
Exam registration requirements

One approved group project report during the block.

All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship

If 10 or fewer register for the reexamination the examination form will be oral.

If the student has not passed the group project report, then the project must be carried out individually and it must be handed in two weeks prior to the deadline of registration for the re-exam. It must be approved before the exam.

Criteria for exam assesment

Fulfilment of the specified learning outcomes.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 4
  • Preparation
  • 136
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Theory exercises
  • 24
  • Total
  • 206