Course code ECN275

ECN275 Natural Resource and Environmental Economics - Theory

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2022 - 2023 .

Course responsible: Eirik Romstad
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: School of Economics and Business
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Spring parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Spring parallel.
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2017-2018
Course contents:

Lectures and exercises will address the following issues: Economy - environment interactions, sustainable development, optimal management of renewable and non-renewable resources, pollution targets and pollution control, envirionmental policy instruments, international environmental agreements.

Further details on the home page of the course:

Learning outcome:

Candidates should be able to apply economic theory to analyse environmental and natural resource management issues. These issues include: economy - environment interactions, sustainable development, optimal management of renewable and non-renewable resources, pollution targets and pollution control, environmental policy instruments, and international environmental agreements.

This involves that the candidates are able to formulate analytical models, and based on the chosen model formulations, get more insights on the characteristics of the solutions to the models.

The course broadens students' theoretical foundations in modern mainstream economics: illustrates the strong sides of the theory's foundation, and helps identify areas where modern economic theory still falls short.  This gives students a critical relation to economics as a discipline.  Opportunity value is essential in the course, and makes it clear that there are both gains and costs associated with various policy measures for improved environmental and more long-term resource management.

The course therefore develops the students' ability to critically reflect on economic findings.  This enables students to better put economic analyses into perspective, and relate more constructively to comments on results from such analyses.

Learning activities:

Lectures and exercises. It is recommended that students form self organized groups, for exampe 3-4 persons, and work together on the theoretial materials and exercises. Working on exercises and active participation is important for meeting the learning objectives.  This also contributes to giving students exeperience in relating to and discuss results from economic analyses in a scientific manner.

For each sub-topic in the course, there are thematic discussion questions and exercises that provide the students with training in model formulation, and characterisation of the problems that are analyzed.

Separate exercise sessions with course responsible

Teaching support:

18-20 double lectures with in-class discussions.  Separate exercises to most lectures.

6 double exercise- and discussion sessions.

In class discussions on prepared topics, and thematic exerecises provide students with opportunities to apply theory and methods.  The course pages provide additional information and access to extra learning resources.

Active participation in class hours, exercises and group work are important to enable students to apply theories and methods that have been presented in class/are in the readings for each class hour for improved analytical capabilities on concrete policy issues.

Perman, R., Y. Ma, M. Common, D. Maddison, J. McGilvray. 2011. Natural Resource and Environmental Economics. 4th ed. London: Longman. (subject to change if an even more suited textbook becomes available).
Microeconomics at the level of ECN210 Intermediate Microeconomics- Consumers, Producers, Market and Welfare or an equivalent course from other universities.
Recommended prerequisites:

ECN102 Introduction to Mathematics for Economists or MATH100 Introductory Mathematics or equivalent.. Knowledge about differentiation, integration, and unconstrained/constrained optimization.

Introductory course in natural resource and environmental economics (ECN170 or equivalent)

Portfolio: two tematic in-class tests (environmental economics and natural resource economics) at the end of the respective themes in the course (2x50%). 
Nominal workload:
250 hours
Entrance requirements:
Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse)
Reduction of credits:
ECN270 Natural Resource Economics - 4 ECTS, ECN371 Environmental Economics - 4 ECTS, ECN375 Natural Resource and Environmental Economics - theory and applications - 10 ECTS.
Type of course:
6 hours per week combined lectures/exercises/discussion sessions (through March / into early April if Easer is early), 52 hrs of combined lectures and exercises.

The course is in English. Incoming students can contact student advisors at the School of Economics and Business ( for admission to the course. 

Studenter som har ECN275 eller tilsvarende fra før anbefales å ta ECN376, som innebærer å skrive semesteroppgave om et tema som er innenfor pensum av ECN275.

External examiner chexks the quality of syllabus, questions for the two in-course tests, and principles for the assessment of the test answers.
Examination details: Portfolio: Letter grades