Course code ECN375

ECN375 Natural Resource and Environmental Economics - Theory and Applications

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2022 - 2023 .

Course responsible: Eirik Romstad
Teachers: Knut Einar Rosendahl, Olvar Bergland
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 and partial assessment in the  Spring parallel.Term papers to be handed in at the end of the exam period.  Evaluation of term papers by the ordinary grading perod for activity during the exam period.
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, environmental policy instruments, international environmental agreements. Truth telling and asymmetric information is at the core of the course.

The theory part of the course, including evaluation of the theory part, is joint with ECN275 ( A term paper in groups on own selected topic under the heading of natural resource and environmental economics closes the course.  Group size 2-3 students. Further details on the course home page:

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.

Through work on the term paper, candidates are to get extra knowledge and analytical capabilities on their selected topic.

The course broadens students' theoretical foundations in modern mainstream economics: illustrate 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 example 3-4 persons, and work together on the theoretical materials and exercises. Working on exercises and active participation is important for meeting the learning objectives.  This also contributes to giving students experience in relating to and discussing the results from economic analyses in a scientific manner.

The course is rounded off with a mandatory term paper in groups of 2-3 students on a self elected topic under the heading natural resource and environmental economics. In their work with the term paper, students must present and discuss the choices they make. That gives the students additional training in seeing their work in a broader context.

Teaching support:

Excercise and discussion sessions (see ECN275 Natural Resource and Environmental Economics - theory for details). The course web pages contains pointers to background materials and news events that are related to the course contents, and make up an important source for student learning. 

Working on exercises and active participation is important for meeting the learning objectives. Councelling on the mandatory term paper.

Perman, R., Y. Ma, M. Common, D. Maddison, J. McGilvray. 2011. Natural Resource and Environmental Economics. 4th ed. London: Longman. (subject to change prior to the teaching term if a more suitable textbook becomes available). + teaching materials available on the course pages.
ECN210 Intermediate Microeconomics - Consumers, Producers, Market and Welfare or equivalent courses from other universities
Recommended prerequisites:

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

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

Mandatory activity:
Term paper. Approved mandatory activity is valid until the next time the course is given and at the re-examination.
Portfolio. Two thematic in-class tests (environmental economics and natural resource economics) are given at the end of the respective themes in the course (2x25%), and a term paper (50%) is due at the end of the exam period. 
Nominal workload:
250 hours
Entrance requirements:
Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse)
Reduction of credits:
ECN270 Natural Resource Economics - 2 ECTS, ECN371 Environmental Economics - 2 ECTS, ECN275 Natural Resource and Environmental Economics - theory - 10 ECTS. Students who have previously taken ECN275, can not take ECN375, but are adviced to take ECN376
Type of course:

6 hours per week combined lectures/discussion sessions (through March / a bit into April if early Easter) and advising on term papers.

2 exercise hours per week until end of lectures/discussion sessions.

Advicing on term papers


The course is in English if there are one or more international students. Incoming students can contact student advisors at the School of Economics and Business ( for admission to the course.

ECN275 Natural Resource and Environmental Economics - theory and ECN375 Natural Resource and Environmental Economics - theory and applications has joint theory part and exam.

External examiner will control the quality of syllabus, questions for the to tests, and principles for the assessment of the examination answers.
Examination details: Portfolio: Letter grades