Environmental & Natural Resource Economics - ENV00044H

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  • Department: Environment and Geography
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Julia Touza-Montero
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20

Module summary

This module covers the main areas of economic valuation of non-marketed ecosystem services, and introduce students to the principles and reasoning required to analyse natural resource management problems, and environmental regulatory tools.

Related modules

Pre-requisite modules

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Prohibited combinations

  • None

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2019-20 to Summer Term 2019-20

Module aims

This module deals with all the major areas of natural resources and environmental economics, and has been structured to balance theory, applications and examples. It will cover (1) evaluation of public environmental projects, (2) economic valuation of non-marketed ecosystem services, (3) the economics of renewable and non-renewable natural resources, and (4) environmental regulation. It introduces the students to the economic principles, reasoning and techniques to value intangible environmental goods and services, and analyse natural resource management problems, and regulatory tools to deal with climate change, biodiversity conservation, sustainable fisheries and forest management, and other contemporary problems.

Module learning outcomes

At the end of the course, successful students will have:

- A greater appreciation of the advantages and limitations of using cost-benefit analysis to inform public policy
- A greater appreciation of the economic theory relating to the choice of environmental policy instruments
- Understand the conceptual framework and theoretical basis for environmental valuation, drawing on appropriate concepts from microeconomic theory and welfare economics
- Describe the application of revealed and stated preference techniques for estimating different categories of economic values, and recognize which techniques are the most appropriate to use when implementing empirical valuation research
- Be aware of central concepts in natural resource management problems
- Have the ability to read and interpret economic models of natural resource allocation problems (e.g. fisheries, forest, wildlife)

Module content

The general contents of the course, and the sequence of topics are as follows:
The environment and economics, market failures and property rights
Economic efficiency, and environmental protection
Social discounting, risk and uncertainty
Conceptual foundations to cost-benefit analysis
Environmental quality as a factor input
Random utility modes in environmental valuation
Hedonic pricing
Contingent valuation and choice experiments
Modelling, definitions, and natural resource allocations
Economics of fisheries, and other renewable resources
Economics of forest resources
Economics of non-renewable resources
Criteria for evaluating environmental policy instruments
Regulation with unknown control costs


Task Length % of module mark
2000 Word Essay
N/A 40
2000 Word Essay
N/A 40
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
10-15 Minute Presentation
N/A 20

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Students will be given the opportunity to hand-in a 1-page outline of their essays in advance of their final submission in order to gain formative feedback on their progress. Informal group-discussion of relevant papers will provide opportunity for formative assessment.


Task Length % of module mark
2000 Word Essay
N/A 40
2000 Word Essay
N/A 40
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
10-15 Minute Presentation
N/A 20

Module feedback

Four week turn-around time on write-up. Feedback is via a written feedback sheet showing comments by markers.

Indicative reading

Boardman A.E. et al. (2011). Cost-Benefit Analysis: Concepts and Practice. 4th edition. Pearson.
Conrad, J., (2010), Resource Economics. 2nd edition. Cambridge University Press
Freeman A.M. et al. (2014) The Measurement of Environmental and Resource Values. 2nd edition. RFF Press.
Kolstad C.D. (2011) Environmental Economics. 2nd edition. Oxford University Press.
Perman M.A. et al (2011) Natural Resource and Environmental Economics. 4th edition. Pearson.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.