Accueil > Natural resource economics : advanced (lecture)

KINT 4705 - Natural Resource Economics : Advanced (Lecture)

Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English

Voir les plans de cours et bibliographies


The course assumes no previous prerequisites in economics. It will aim to be as non-technical as possible, but there will be extensive use of graphical arguments and some simple algebra and calculus.

Course Description

The course provides an introduction to the economic analysis of natural resource extraction. Students will become familiar with economic definitions of resources and reserves and measures of resource scarcity. The course will introduce the main economic principles for analyzing non-renewable and renewable resources, with examples from the mining sector, fisheries and forestry. We will discuss the role of natural resources for economic growth and the evidence of a “natural resource curse”. The course will also cover the political economy of resources and the link between natural resources and conflicts, in particular. We will discuss some economic principles for sustainable resource management and compare the impacts of different policy instruments to regulate the extraction of non-renewable resources or common pool renewable resources.

Although this is natural resource economics, the course is open to students with different backgrounds, since past experience has shown that students who are committed to studying the material do well regardless of background. To be well prepared and to better understand the economic reasoning I suggest reading one or two chapters in introductory texts on micro economics that I can recommend to you on request (such as Hal Varian, Intermediate Micro Economics).


  • DOUENNE, Thomas (Doctorant)
  • MILLOCK, Katrin (Chargée de recherche)

Pedagogical format

Lecture format, but active participation is expected from students. The lectures will be complemented with tutorials in which students can bring up specific questions related to the material, in particular for those who have not studied economics before.

Course validation

The course grade is based on a written midterm exam (30%) in class before the October break, a take-home assignment with a practical calculation exercise (20%) to be handed in in November, and a final written exam (50%) scheduled during the exam week in December.

Required reading

  • Readings will be selected from the following textbooks
  • John Hartwick and Nancy Olewiler, The Economics of Natural Resource Use, 2nd ed.
  • Roger Perman, Yue Ma, Michael Common, David Maddison and James McGilvray, Natural Resource and Environmental Economics, 4th ed.

Additional required reading

  • A complete reading list will be posted on the website

Plans de cours et bibliographies

  • Session 1: Natural resource economics: definitions, concepts and history of thought.
  • Session 2: Natural resource scarcity indicators.
  • Session 3: The problem of the mine: optimal extraction of a non-renewable resource.
  • Session 4: The implications of the Hotelling model for climate policy.
  • Session 5: Economic growth and natural resources: is there a natural resource curse?
  • Session 6: Natural resources and conflict.
  • Session 7: Midterm in class.
  • Session 8: Renewable resources – fishery: bioeconomics, maximum sustainable yield, open access versus private property fishery.
  • Session 9: Renewable resources – fishery: the problem of common pool resources, ITQs and alternative forms of regulation of the fishery sector.
  • Session 10-11: Renewable resources - forestry: deforestation, ecosystem services and carbon sinks.
  • Session 12: Defining and measuring sustainable development

Biographical information

Katrin Millock is research fellow in economics of the French National Scientific Council (CNRS). She has a PhD in agricultural and resource economics from the University of Berkeley, California and extensive experience of environmental and resource economics from academic institutions in the US, Scandinavia and the UK. Her work addresses both theoretical and empirical aspects of resource management and she also has worked on evidence-based policy assessments for the French Ministry of Environment and the OECD, amongst other institutions.