APME76-Resource and Environmental Economics

Module Provider: School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Francisco Areal

Email: f.j.areal@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
This module covers the main issues in the fields of environmental economics and resource economics combining theory with applied material taught using computers. The module explains the relationship between ecological and economic system, in particular, the role of the natural environment in sustaining the socio-economic system will be discussed (i.e. the sustainability problem). Important market failures (environmental public goods, environmental externalities) and policies aimed at solving them will be explained. Such policy measures require a good understanding of the environmental impact of the economic activities. Also, some policy measures would require the economic valuation of the market and non-market goods and services provided by nature. The module explains techniques used by environmental economists such as environmental input-output modelling; environmental valuation and agent based modelling. For this, a number of practical sessions in the computer lab are designed to familiarise students with applying these modelling techniques. The module also pays attention to international environmental policy problems and instruments.
Regarding natural resource economics, students learn about dynamic optimisation of renewable and non-renewable resources.

To provide the students with the basic tools necessary to understand the importance of the environment in human welfare.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module students will be able to: 

1. To discuss and analyse the role the environment in supporting human welfare

2. To analyse environmental problems from an economic perspective

3. To develop analytical skills of two particular issues in environmental economics

4. To at least one environmental valuation method

5. To put into practice environmental input-output modelling skills 

6. To utilise simple dynamic optimisation methods into a natural resources exploitation context 

Additional outcomes:

Students will learn through a set of tutorials some of the main applied techniques in resource and environmental economics using statistical software and developing basic programming knowledge (e.g. Gretl, Excel Solver and R)

Outline content:

The module will provide an understanding of the role of natural environment in supporting the socio-economic system. The effect of an increasing world economy on natural environment will be discussed, with particular attention to the emergence of market failures. The problem of accounting for the value of environmental goods and services will be discussed in depth and students will have the opportunity to practice at least one particular environmental valuation technique.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Teaching will be delivered through a series of 2-hour lectures, which will include also opportunities for students to work in group and discuss specific issues.. Also a series of PC practical sessions will help the students to familiarise with two environmental valuation techniques; environmental input-output tables; and dynamic optimisation. Material from different textbooks and various articles will be used during this module. However, as a reference the following are indicated:

  • Conrad, J. Resource Economics. Second Edition. Cambridge

  • Daly, H.E. and Farley. Ecological Economics. Principles and applications. Island Press

  • Karp, L. Natural Resources as Capital. The MIT Press

  • Perman, R., Ma, Y., McGilvray, J. and Common, M. Natural Resource & Environmental Economics. Pearson

  • Phaneuf, D.J. and Requate, T. A course in Environmental Economics. Theory, Policy and Practice. Cambridge

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 14 10
Practicals classes and workshops 6 6
Guided independent study 80 84
Total hours by term 100.00 100.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Practical skills assessment 60
Class test administered by School 40

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
Autumn Term:
In-class test (20%)
Practical in environmental valuation (30%)
Spring Term:
In-class test (20%)
Practical assignment (30%)

Formative assessment methods:
Sample test questions will be put in Blackboard.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A mark of 50% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:

By new assignment.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 20 April 2018


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