Environmental and natural resource economics

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
This course provides an introduction into the principles of environmental economics, with a focus on policy applications. The principal problem in any economics course is how to best allocate scarce resources. This holds true for environmental economics as well. However, environmental resources differ from other goods that economists study in that there is usually no market for them. Thus, government policies are needed to maintain and improve environmental quality. Similar considerations will be made for natural resources, both exhaustible and renewable, where policies are needed to determine the optimal rate of exploitation.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course students will able to analyze an environmental problem from an economic perspective using the economist's toolbox. Students will be able to identify the environmental problem and its economic consequences and to suggest the policy measures to deal with it. In addition, students will be able to tackle economic problems involving pricing and extraction of natural resources, with special reference to oil.
Students will be able to autonomously analyze economic problems involving environment and natural resources in a rigorous way, explain the main concepts of environmental and natural resource economics, autonomously develop further knowledge related to environmental and natural resource economics, communicate economic analyses on natural resources and the environment.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
The course will be given in dual mode. Lectures will be held both in person and online according to the time schedule (synchronous mode) via the Teams platform. Students who do not participate in face-to-face classes will still be able to carry out the same online activity in order to develop the same skills acquired through the activities proposed in the classroom. The schedule of lectures and all the details of the activities will be published on the program website (https://efe.cdl.unimi.it/en) before the beginning of the classes. Any update will also be communicated directly to students (chceck often your mail @students.unimi.it). Also often check the ARIEL teaching page for specific teaching notices. The methods and criteria for participating in face-to-face lessons, which require a reservation with the appropriate app, will be published on the course website.
Course syllabus
An introduction to natural resource and environmental economics; The origins of the sustainability problem; Welfare economics and the environment; Pollution control: targets and instruments; Cost-benefit analysis; Valuing the environment; The efficient and optimal use of natural resources; The theory of optimal resource extraction: non-renewable resources; Stock pollution problems; Renewable resources; International environmental agreements.
Prerequisites for admission
Math and Microeconomics
Teaching methods
Teaching Resources
Power point presentations prepared by the teacher will be made available on the course website on Ariel platform. The suggested textbook is J.M. Harris and B. Roach (2017), Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: A Contemporary Approach, Routledge New York, (4th edition)(available on amazon also in kindle format). Additional readings may be suggested at the beginning of or during the course.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Written exam comprised of both multiple choice and open questions.
Problem sets might be distributed during the course. Students are requested to solve them and hand in the solutions. Depending on the number of students attending, a project and a presentation, either individually or as a group, may have to be prepared. Problem sets and project will be evaluated toward the final grade.
SECS-P/01 - ECONOMICS - University credits: 8
Lessons: 64 hours
Thursday 14.30-17.30 or by appointment via mail. For thesis and dissertation appointment by mail requested
Office #16 1st floor D.ESP