Applied Economics of Forest and Nature

Course content

The course covers the following topics:


Introduction to general economics of biological production and capital investment.

Production economics and investment theory of forests and natural resources:

Fundamentals of forest and nature economics; discounting, investment calculus, opportunity costs, optimal rotation age in timber production and inclusion of amenity values; valuing forestland under the risk of hazards to crop survival; forest economics under uncertainty; forestry and climate change; The economics of continuous cover forestry (close-to-nature forestry).

Welfare economic aspects of forests and natural resources:

Economic evaluation of non-marketed goods and services and its use in CBA

Regulation of forests and natural resources.

The role of forest and nature in the welfare economic analyses

Throughout the course sustainability is treated in terms of how to utilise a renewable resource, and the tradeoff between conservation and usage. A key component is also the handling of time and substitutability.


MSc Programme in Environmental and Resource Economics
MSc Programme in Forest and Nature Management
MSc Programme in Sustainable Forest and Nature Management
MSc Programme in Forests and Livelihoods


Learning outcome



Learning outcome
The course aims at imparting to the students a thorough understanding of economic reasoning and knowledge of how to apply economics as a tool for decision-making on the utilisation of forests and other (renewable) natural resources in rural and urban environments.

When the course is finished, it is expected that the student can/have:

Describe principles and procedures of forest and natural resource economics
Identify links between the ecological processes and the economic consequences and human goals
Understand and reflect on economic perspectives of long vs short term management decisions
Understand the economic value of different aspects in multiple-use forest and nature management and their possible conflicts or joint production possibilities
Classify and reflect on principles from the theory
Understand the principles of economic valuation of non-marketed goods
Show overview of socio-economic analysis of forest and nature goods

Economically apply and analyse theoretical and practical models for forest and nature management
Apply the appropriate theory and methods to relevant economic valuation in forest and nature management
Asses the possibilities and limitations of economic theories and methodologies related to forest and nature management
Understand and reflect critically on socio-economic analyses of forest and nature
Apply economic theory to analyse and model the welfare and business economic values of forests and natural resources

Apply principles and procedures of forest and natural resource economics to management decisions, including transferring principles of the economic valuation from one kind of good to another
Evaluate economically different goods and services from the same natural resource and identify possible joint production possibilities or economic conflicts
Discuss the relevance, reliability and validity of different natural resource economic methods
Evaluate socio-economic analysis of forest and nature goods, including distributional effects
Take into account the demands of society when applying bioeconomic models in order to evaluate projects economically



Lectures, theoretical exercises, discussions

Various notes (available from the teacher) and journal articles available through the library.

Supplementary readings:
For the basics: Wagner (2012): Forestry Economics, a managerial approach. Routledge
For the advanced: Amacher, Ollikainen, Koskela (2009): Economics of Forest Resources. MIT press

For welfare economics: Hanley & Barbier (2009): Pricing naure.

LOJB10225 Indledende økonomi
LNAB10015 Natur- og landskabspolitik
Or similar courses
It is excpected that the students have a basic understandning of economics in society - the main assumptions of a rational economic agent, markets, investment reasoning.
Excel (or similar) will be used as a tool, so some basic skills here are useful. Mathematics is also a tool used

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester

Feedback is handled during the course through interaction in class and especially during theoretical exercises

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 4 hours.
The exam consists of a mix between multiple choice questions, questions based on calculus done in excel (or other spreadsheet), essay questions.

The course has been selected for ITX exam
All aids allowed

Computer needed to do calculus. No communication with others during the examination


The University will make computers available to students taking on-site exams at ITX. Students are therefore not permitted to bring their own computers, tablets or mobile phones. If textbooks and/or notes are permitted, according to the course description, these must be in paper format or uploaded through Digital Exam.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

See learning outcome

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 48
  • Preparation
  • 130
  • Theory exercises
  • 24
  • Exam
  • 4
  • English
  • 206