Overview of Course
The management of natural resources has been a vexing problem for humans across the globe and throughout time. This course will explore the factors that make natural resources so challenging to manage, including the existence of externalities and the lack of explicit property rights for resource use. We will then explore policies and tools that can help us manage them better, including non-market valuation, the assignment of clear property rights, and ways to determine optimal allocations of resources across time and space. The course will then apply these concepts and tools to specific resource topics including energy use and policy, climate change mitigation, sustainable management of fisheries, water management including both water pollution and water conservation, sustainable forest management, and air pollution mitigation. Throughout the course, we will use case studies from countries we are visiting to illustrate examples of natural resource management failures, successes, or works in progress.