Economics 272

ECON 272: Natural Resource Economics

Prerequisites: ECON 206

Credit Hours: (3)

An introduction to the supply, demand and allocation of natural resources and the interdependence between natural ecosystems and the economy.


Detailed Description of Content of the Course

This course applies theoretical economic tools to a number of natural resource issues. The concepts discussed include externalities, public goods, property rights, and non-market valuation. These concepts are applied to a number of areas such as static and dynamic efficiency, renewable resources, nonrenewable resources, economic growth and sustainability. The role of public policy is discussed for each topic.

Topic Outline

1.     Introduction to Natural Resources

2.     Market failure in resource allocation

3.     Intertemporal allocation of resources

4.     Valuation of non-market benefits

5.     The economics of nonrenewable resources

6.     The economics of renewable resources

7.     Sustainability and economic growth


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The following teaching strategies may be employed:

Lectures, videos, discussions, in-class and/or at-home activities and assignments.



Goals and Objectives of the Course

After successful completion of the course students are expected to be able to:

1.     Explain basic economic principles governing the allocation of natural resources.  (SLO 3)

2.     Apply economic principles to the problem of resource allocation over time. (SLO 3)

3.     Examine the development, preservation, and conservation of renewable resources. (SLO 6)

4.     Examine the economic scarcity, exhaustion and substitution of non-renewable resources. (SLO 6) 

Assessment Measures

The following assessment measures may be employed: Tests, quizzes, homework, reports, presentations, or class participation.  Grades and percentages depend on individual professors. 

Other Course Information


Review and Approval

June 2019