ECN170 Environmental and Resource Economics
Showing course contents for the educational year 2015 - 2016 .
Course responsible: Ståle Navrud
Teachers: Arild Einar Bjørn Angelsen, Eirik Romstad
ECTS credits: 5
Faculty: School of Economics and Business
Teaching language: NO
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Spring parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Spring parallel.
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2004-2005
The course gives an introduction to environmental and resource economics (ERE). This consists of four parts: 1) The general model for the interactions between the economic and the ecological systems.
2) Models for optimal use of resources: i) Renewable/conditionally renewable resources. - Environmental resources - water-, air-, and soil quality (= environmental economics). - Biological resources - fish, forest, wildlife populations (bioeconomic models). - Non-renewable resources - oil, gas, minerals.
3) Regulatory tools (environmental taxes, tradeable emission permit, etc.)
i) Cost-benefit analysis (CBA)/Cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA)/ valuation of environmental goods
ii) Green accounting (at the national level - green national accounts, and firm level - triple bottom line: financial, ecological and ethical/corporate social responsibility).
4) Policies/regulatory measures. i) Decentralised policies (Liability laws, property rights, voluntary action).
ii) Command-and-control measures (laws, standards).
iii) Incentive-based measures (taxes, subsidies, tradable permits). Criteria for choice of policies. The aim of ERE is socially optimal management of environment and natural resources maximizing social welfare. Part 1 reviews welfare theory and a general model for interaction between the economic and ecological systems, and how optimal resource management maximises the welfare of society. Part 2 reviews the specific models for socially optimal management of environmental resources, biological resources and non-renewable resources. If we are currently not at the socially optimal of the resource, we can identify alternative actions that may reach this goal. Part 3 reviews analytical tools that can be used to identify measures where social benefits exceeds social costs, which will bring us closer to the optimal amount of the resource. Part 4 discusses how to implement these profitable actions through the use of various policy measures. Often, specific combinations of the action and policy measure must be analysed, and combinations of measures are also considered. Policy measures are compared based on a list of criteria including their efficiency, fairness, incentives for long-run improvements, and enforcability.
The students should be able to explain the basic ideas, theories, methods and models in environmental and resource economics, and be able to conduct simple applications of this knowledge to current issues in management of environment and natural resources.
Lectures and exercises
Exercises can be found on the course website, the solutions are reviewed and explained in class. Exams from previous years are reviewed in class.
- B. C. Field and M. K. Field (2009): Environmental Economics. An Introduction. McGraw-Hill, New York, 5. edition. - Selected journal articles and book chapters at the course website
ECN110 or an equivalent introductory course in economics (with focus on microeconomics).
Written examination, counts as 100 % of the final grade.
Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse)
Reduction of credits:
ECN101 3 ECTS, EDS140 ECTS.
Type of course:
External examiner will control the quality of syllabus, questions for the final examination, and principles for the assessment of the examination answers.
Allowed examination aids: No calculator, no other aids
Examination details: One written exam: A - E / Ikke bestått