Environmental and Natural Resource Economics

Course content

This course is an intermediate level course intended to provide students with a comprehensive introduction to environmental and natural resource economics. It is assumed that students have a good grounding in basic microeconomics. 

 Core components of the course are: 

 (a) Environmental sustainability concepts and ethics. 

 (b) The welfare economic foundation of environmental economics. 

 (c) Externalities and the design of policy instruments to address environmental problems. 

 (d) The economic concept of value and measurement of environmental benefits using non-market valuation methods. 

 (e) Optimal utilisation of renewable and non-renewable natural resources. 

During the course students will develop a systematic understanding of the economic rationale behind the use of environmental policy instruments, economic valuation principles, and criteria for optimal use of natural resources. Through examples, students will familiarize themselves with how principles of environmental and natural resource economics have been applied or are being proposed to address a range of sustainability concerns. These include sustainable management of water, sustainable use of terrestrial and marine resource and biodiversity conservation, mitigation of climate change and adaptation to its impacts. and promote sustainable consumption and production.   


BSc Programme in Environmental and Food Economics
BSc Programme in Natural Resources

Learning outcome

Learning outcome

The course gives a comprehensive introduction to the principles of environmental and natural resource economics. It will provide the participants with the knowledge needed to understand the economic aspects of environmental policy issues and the theoretical basis required to take advanced courses in environmental and natural resource economics at the graduate level. 


Having completed the course it is expected that the student is able to: 



 - Define externalities. 

 - Understand the economic principles behind the design of environmental policy instruments. 

 - Understand the issues associated with regulation of international environmental problems. 

 - Understand the welfare economic principles behind social discounting. 

 - Understand the principles underlying non-market economic valuation methods and cost-benefit analysis. 

 - Understand the principles behind optimal utilization of renewable and non-renewable natural resources. 

 - Understand the ethical positions underlying environmental sustainability concepts and discounting. 



 - Identify relevant policy instruments to internalize different types of externalities. 

 - Evaluate the consequences of applying a policy instrument to address an environmental problem. 

 - Identify relevant project and policy appraisal methods. 

 - Evaluate alternative approaches to renewable and non-renewable natural resource utilization. 



 - Apply the principles of environmental and natural resource economics to understand policy issues in these fields.

- Apply the principles of environmental and natural resource economics on environmental and natural resource data sets     

Teaching is in the form of lectures, group work and practicals. Lectures will present the central themes of the curriculum while practicals will focus on exercises in the various subjects addressed in the course. A project report has to be approved as a requirement for the 4-hour written exam.

Text book supplemented with relevant articles.

An example of the type of literature used could be Perman et al.: Natural Resource and Environmental Economics, Pearson Education Limited.

The final literature list will be announced on the course intranet Absalon.

The course is an intermediate level course and it is assumed that students have a good grounding in basic microeconomics. For example LOJB10259 Micro Economics or similar.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester

The students will receive written feedback on the group project and oral or written feedback on course exercises.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 4 hours under invigilation
Type of assessment details
Written examination in lecture hall.
The course has been selected for ITX exam
See important information about ITX-exams at Study Information, menu point: Exams -> Exam types and rules -> Written on-site exams (ITX)
Exam registration requirements

One approved group project report during the block and 4 approved course problem sets 

All aids allowed

As the exam is an ITX-exam, the University will make computers available to students at the exam. Students are therefore not permitted to bring their own computers, tablets, calculators, or mobile phones.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship

Same as ordinary.

If 10 or fewer register for the reexamination the examination form will be oral, lasting 20 - 30 minutes. No preparation, no aids allowed.

If the student has not passed the group project report, then the project must be carried out individually and it must be handed in three weeks prior to the deadline of registration for the re-exam. It must be approved before the exam.

Criteria for exam assessment

Fulfilment of the specified learning outcomes.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 136
  • Theory exercises
  • 24
  • Exam
  • 4
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level

1 block

Block 3
No restrictions.
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period
Study Board of Natural Resources, Environment and Animal Science
Contracting department
  • Department of Food and Resource Economics
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator
  • Mette Termansen   (2-7077436c697572316e7831676e)
Saved on the 15-11-2023

Are you BA- or KA-student?

Are you bachelor- or kandidat-student, then find the course in the course catalog for students:

Courseinformation of students