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Applied Economic Analysis I:
Natural Resource Economics

Reading List

Syllabus Spring 2006

ECON/AREC 696c [Applied Economic Analysis I]


Class: Monday, 6:10 pm-8:40 pm, #126 McClelland Hall.
Office: Chávez Building 421
Office hours: Wednesday 4:00 – 5:00 pm, or by appointment.
Class Website:

This course is part of the field in environmental and natural resource economics.  The course will cover standard models of renewable and nonrenewable resource use (dynamic methods will be used) as well as a wide variety of empirical applications in topics such as resource scarcity, land use, water, oil and gas, biodiversity,  fisheries, and forestry.  In the applications examined there will be an emphasis on empirical studies and on contract theory, transaction costs/property rights, economics of law, and political economy.  Each meeting will begin with a short lecture and then be conducted as a seminar. Readings (see details below) will be made available via the class website.  Homework problems will be assigned throughout the semester.  A research paper is required and you will present the paper in class.   In addition to these duties you will provide short (2-3 pp.) weekly ‘referee reports’ of a key paper to be discussed that day.  Student will also lead the discussions of these papers as part of this task.  There will be no exams.  I will use this web blog——and encourage you to take a look occasionally.


Referee reports and paper presentations 40%
Student seminar 20%
Research Paper 40%

Research Paper and Seminar
The paper can be a continuation of other papers, your thesis, or an examination of a new topic. If you continue another paper I will need a copy of the original paper. Each student will present their paper and provide oral and written criticism of another student’s paper; performance here will constitute the “Seminar” grade. As you work on your paper it never hurts to take a look at Donald N. McCloskey. The Writing of Economics (New York: MacMillan, 1987). I will set up a schedule for the paper proposal, a rough outline and a draft to circulate to the class. More details will be made available later.

Texts [available at the library or at bookstores, not on reserve]

Anthony C. Fisher. Resource and Environmental Economics Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981. [Classic text, though now out of print]

Philip A. Neher. Natural Resource Economics: Conservation and Exploitation Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990. [Classic text, though now out of print]

John Hartwick and Nancy Olewiler. The Economics of Natural Resource Use New York: Harper and Row. 2nd Edition, 1999. [Advanced undergraduate and masters level]

Barry C. Field. “Important Issues in Natural Resource Economics” in Natural Resource Economics: An Introduction (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001). [introductory undergraduate text with nice coverage of issues, institutions and some case studies]

Grafton, Adamowicz, DuPont, Hill & Renzetti. The Economics of the Environment and Natural Resources, Blackwell (2003). [Newest graduate text]

Colin W. Clark. Mathematical Bioeconomics New York: Wiley, 1976. [Classic in renewable resources]

Jon Conrad and Colin Clark. Natural Resource Economics: Notes and Problems Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987.

N. Hanley, J. Shogren, and B. White, Environmental Economics in Theory and Practice, Oxford University Press, 1997. [Another recent graduate text]

M. Weitzman, Income, Wealth and the Maximum Principle, Harvard Press, 2003. [Fairly new with some applications to natural resources]

Additional References

Matt Turner’s class University of Toronto   [Nice course with similar focus on institutions and political economy]

Terry Anderson & Donald Leal. Free Market Environmentalism 2nd ed. [Policy focused book]

Wilkinson et al. Natural Resources & Public Land Law. [Leading legal text in natural resources]

Gerald A. Carlson, David Zilberman, and John A. Miranowski. eds. Agricultural and Environmental Resource Economics Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Richard Cornes and Todd Sandler. The Theory of Externalities, Public Goods and Clubs Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986.

Partha Dasgupta. The Control of Resources Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1982.

Partha Dasgupta and Geoffrey Heal. Economic Theory and Exhaustible Resources Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979.

Allen Kneese and James Sweeney. Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics Vols.1,2,3.

Mason Gaffney ed. Extractive Resources and Taxation Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1967.

V. Kerry Smith and John Krutilla eds. Explorations in Natural Resource Economics Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982.

Paul Portney. Current Issues in Natural Resource Policy Baltimore: RFF, 1982.


class date topic
1 Jan. 11 Introduction; Dynamic Optimization
2 Jan 18 Dynamics
3 Jan 25 Dynamics; Non Renewable Resources
4 Feb 1 Non Renewable Resources
5 Feb 8 Non Renewable Resources; Renewable Resources
6 Feb 15 Renewable Resources; Property Rights Institutions
7 Feb 22 Historical use, Aboriginal use
8 Mar 1 Resource Scarcity
9 Mar 8 Oil & Gas, Minerals
    *** UA Spring Break March 13-19***
10 Mar 22 Water
11 Mar 29 Forestry
12 April 5 Fisheries
13 April 12 Wildlife
14 April 19 Endangered Species & Biodiversity
15 April 26 Economic Development & Natural Resources
16 May 3 Student presentations

Last updated February 9, 2006
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