Business Economics MA(SocSci)

Natural Resource Economics ECON4021

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: Adam Smith Business School
  • Credits: 15
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

In a world where human pressure and economic activities stress the environment by exploiting fisheries, forests, minerals, energy sources, and other environmental resources that affect the welfare of current and future generations, it is increasingly important to study how economic tools can be used to achieve sustainable economic growth. This course develops a rationale for the application of economic theory to the allocation of natural resources and explains the methodologies used in. Particular topics covered include natural resource management models (for forests, fisheries and oil), pollution control models (for air and water pollution), green accounting, international trade in natural resources as well as natural resource abundance and economic growth.


Lectures: 10 x 2-hour lectures.

Additional 2-hour revision lecture outwith normal teaching hours.



Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The main aim of this course is to familiarise students with the differing categories of natural resources as well as the economic issues associated with their use and management. It explores economic principles and methods to analyse the efficient and sustainable allocation of renewable resources (e.g., fish, forests) and non-renewable resources (e.g., coal, oil) over time. Issues related to green accounting, environmental degradation, natural resource abundance and international trade will be also examined within the context of sustainable economic development and growth.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

1.Critically identify and appraise factors contributing to natural resource scarcity.
2.Normatively, graphically and mathematically describe allocations of natural resources from an economic perspective.

3.Apply economic principles to real world natural resource use problems, evaluate possible solutions, and propose the solution(s) most consistent with a stated objective.

4.Analyse and discuss the interrelation between resources, institutional and economic development, and growth.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits