Economics 272

ECON 272: Natural Resource Economics

Prerequisites: ECON 206

Credit Hours: (3)

Analysis of the development, conservation, and preservation of natural systems, mineral and energy resources.


Detailed Description of Content of the Course

Alternative definitions of natural resources are introduced. Alternative views on the role of natural resources in economic growth are presented. Definitions of efficiency are developed, including dynamic efficiency. Methods of economic analysis are developed and refined for application to various types of natural resources. This includes analysis of various forms of market failure. The types of resources included are depletable, recyclable, and renewable resources. The sustainability of current patterns of resource use is investigated.

Topic Outline

Introduction to Natural Resources

a. Definitions of natural resources
b. Sustainability of resource use


Economic Criteria for Natural Resource Use

a. Static efficiency
b. Dynamic efficiency
c. Market failure in resource allocation
d. Efficient intertemporal allocations
e. Evaluating non-market benefits


Economics of Depletable Resources

a. Energy resources
b. Minerals
c. Water