Environmental and Resource Economics

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Sefi Roth

Dr Eugenie Dugoua

Dr Cristobal Ruiz-Tagle


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Environmental Economics and Climate Change and MSc in Environmental Policy, Technology and Health (Environmental Economics and Climate Change) (LSE and Peking University). This course is available on the MPhil/PhD in Environmental Economics and MSc in Geographic Data Science. 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:  

PART I: Environmental Economics and Pollution Control

PART II: Behavioural Economics, Evaluation and the Environment

PART III: The Economics of Natural Resources: Efficiency, Optimality and Sustainability

PART IV: Economics of Climate Change and Low-Carbon Transitions


In the Department of Geography and Environment, teaching will be delivered through a combination of classes/seminars, pre-recorded lectures, live online lectures, in-person lectures and other supplementary interactive live activities.


This course is delivered through a combination of seminars and lectures Michaelmas Term and Lent Term.


This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Michaelmas Term and Week 6 of Lent Term.

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)
  • Bondy M, Roth S, and Sager, L. (2020) Crime Is in the Air: The Contemporaneous Relationship between Air Pollution and Crime, Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists 7:3, 555-585
  • Dugoua E (2019) International Environmental Agreements and Directed Technological Change: Evidence from the Ozone Regime. Working Paper available at

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);
  • Arrow et al. (2013). Determining Benefits and Costs for Future Generations. Science  26 Jul 2013:Vol. 341, Issue 6144, pp. 349-350.


Exam (75%, duration: 3 hours) in the summer exam period.
Essay (25%, 2500 words).

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Student performance results

(2017/18 - 2019/20 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 39.1
Merit 34.1
Pass 17.4
Fail 9.4

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2020/21: 52

Average class size 2020/21: 17

Controlled access 2020/21: Yes

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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