77912 - Sustainable Resource Economics and Policy

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Decent work and economic growth Responsible consumption and production Climate Action

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

The course aims at providing the students with the tools to understand issues related to the economics of natural resources and its relationship with economic sustainability. In particular, students will learn how to use and interpret models of forestry, fisheries, pollutant emissions, resource extraction and harvesting. They will also be able to assess the sustainability of economic systems if the individuals' welfare depends on the creation and harvesting of renewable resources as well as on the extraction of non-renewable resources.

Course contents

Part 1 (Prof. A. Tavoni)

A Primer in Behavioral Economics

1) Decision-Making Under Certainty

2) Decision-Making Under Risk and Uncertainty

3) Strategic Interaction

4) Game Theory

Applications to Environmental Problems

5) Class Experiments

6) Cooperation in the local commons

7) International Environmental Agreements

8) Climate Negotiations Games


Part 2 (Prof. R. Andergassen)

Environmental pollution

1) A primer on environmental regulation

  • Environmental taxes and emission trading systems: Theory
  • Environmental taxes and emission trading systems: Empirical evidence

2) Trade and environment:

  • Classical theorems and environmental resources
  • Carbon leakage
  • Impact of environmental regulation on trade flows and welfare
  • Ecological Dumping

Natural resource exploitation

3) Efficient and optimal use of natural resources

  • Non-renewable resources: Substitutability and Sustainability
  • Efficient and optimal use of non-renewable resources
  • Generalization to renewable resources
  • Is a non-declining consumption path socially optimal in the presence of non-renewable resources?

4) Stock Pollution Problems

  • A simple model of climate change

5) Renewable resources


A Course in Behavioral Economics, by Erik Angner (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).

R. Perman, Y. Ma, M. Common, D. Maddison, J. McGilvray, Natural Resource and Environmental Economics , Addison Wesley (Pearson), 4th edition.

Teaching methods

Traditional lectures.

Assessment methods

Assessment methods consist of presentations and assignments and a final exam.


Final exam

The exam (in presence only), consisting of a written test, can either be sit through two partial examinations, one right after each module, or by sitting a full examination in June and in September (details below).

In the case of partials, the exam will consist of two questions; total time allotted 35'.

In the case of the full exam, it will consist of 4 questions, two on each module; total time allotted 60'.

Exam rules

Students can sit the second partial only if they passed the first one. Students that failed the first partial have to take the full exam. Students that passed the first partial but failed the second partial have to take the full exam. Extra points for the project in Prof. Tavoni’s part are valid only if the exam is taken with partials.

Exam dates

1st partial: 14/04/22 at 12.00 (only 1st partial)

2nd partial: 31/05/22 at 16.00 (only 2nd partial)

1st full exam: 27/06/22 at 15.00 (only full exam)

2nd full exam: 13/09/22 at 15.00 (only full exam)


Grading is as following:

  • <18 fail

  • 18-23 sufficient

  • 24-27 good

  • 28-30 very good

  • 30L excellent

Teaching tools

On virtuale.unibo.it

Office hours

See the website of Rainer Andergassen

See the website of Alessandro Tavoni