ECON 213 The Economics of Natural Resource Use (Same as Environmental Studies 213) (Not offered 2004-2005) (Q)
Markets for natural resources continue to make news-whether the issue is oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge or management of tropical rainforests. Economic theory helps predict how individuals and firms will respond to incentives in their use of natural resources. Sometimes market incentives lead to outcomes that are socially desirable; sometimes they do not. This class will focus on three specific questions: What forces are generated by markets for different types of resources? When do markets work well, and when do they work poorly? How do different kinds of public actions affect market outcomes? We will consider both renewable and non-renewable resources, including land, water, fisheries, minerals, and forests. Along the way, we will also address different types of management problems-including issues relating to multiple uses and open access. The class will draw on relatively simple tools, beginning with supply and demand analysis, but extending to some more complicated dynamic models. We will make use of spreadsheet software to work out numerical examples of some models. These numerical examples will serve as a basis for discussing real-world problems and experiences, including both international and domestic examples. We will particularly consider some of the resource management issues facing developing countries. Format: lecture/discussion. Requirements: assignments, a midterm, and a final exam. Prerequisites: Economics 110 or 101. Enrollment limit: 40 (expected: 30).