Environmental and Resource Economics

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Benjamin Groom (STC 4.20)

Additional teacher(s): Dr S Roth, Dr E Dugoua


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Environmental Economics and Climate Change. This course is available on the MPhil/PhD in Environmental Economics. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

The number of students that can be accommodated is limited. If the course is over-subscribed, places will be allocated at the Department’s discretion and a waiting list may be created. For further details, please contact your relevant Programme Coordinator.


A background in economics and calculus is highly desirable.

Course content

Environmental and resource economics is at the forefront of the response to local, national and global environmental problems. As such, it has become an essential part of the thinking and actions of national and regional governments, as well as international agencies and organizations. This course seeks to develop a rigorous treatment of the theory of environmental and natural resource economics, and to show how formal economic thinking can assist real world policymaking in areas such as climate change, ecosystem & biodiversity conservation and water resource management.

The course consists of four components which cluster together the principal areas of interest and research in environmental and natural resource economics. In addition to learning the economic foundations of environmental and resource economics, these four components are: (i) the economics of pollution control; (ii) the economics of renewable and non-renewable resources; (iii) the economics of sustainable development; and, (iv) the study of international environmental problems and agreements.


20 hours of lectures and 9 hours of seminars in the MT. 20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT.

Formative coursework

Students will complete one written formative assignment of 1,500 words in MichaelmasTerm, on which they will receive written feedback.

Indicative reading

Detailed reading lists will be provided to support each course

component. The following texts will be particularly useful:

Michaelmas Term:

Kolstad, C., Environmental Economics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, (2000).

L. Perman, R., Y. Ma, J. McGilvray and M. Common, Natural Resource and Environmental Economics, Pearson Addison Wesley, Fourth Edition (2011), and Third Edition (2003)

Lent Term:

Conrad, J., Resource Economics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, (2005);

L Perman, et al., Natural Resource and Environmental Economics, Pearson Addison Wesley, Fourth Edition (2011), and Third Edition (2003);


Exam (75%, duration: 3 hours) in the summer exam period.
Essay (25%, 3000 words).

Student performance results

(2015/16 - 2017/18 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 34.4
Merit 41.4
Pass 18
Fail 6.2

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2018/19: 53

Average class size 2018/19: 17

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills