737101 Resource use and resource markets

Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Schmidt, Johannes , Gingrich, Simone , Henriquez Blauth, Bastian Gabriel , Rzihacek, Constanze
Offered in
Wintersemester 2021/22
Languages of instruction


Sustainable development faces the challenge of using natural resources in such a way that the livelihoods of future generations are not threatened by scarcity or pollution. However, it is not only politically but also theoretically controversial how tight the restrictions are that the use of natural resources places on social development - and what possible ways out of the multiple crisis associated with the current use of resources (climate change, loss of biodiversity, global inequality, ...) could look like. This course therefore introduces different theories and demonstrates their empirical relevance to prepare students for an informed discussion on sustainable resource use. We will contrast neoclassical resource economics theory with socio-ecological and policy-ecological approaches. In addition to an introduction to the respective theoretical concepts, we will discuss the social use and allocation of resources, in particular via markets, and address the unequal global distribution in resource extraction, use and the resulting sustainability problems. A presentation of historical data on resource use and a discussion of possible future scenarios will be presented at the end of the course.

Previous knowledge expected

Micro- and macroeconomics

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

- Understand resource-economic and socio-ecological approaches to the analysis of human-environment relationships
- Recognize in which lines of argumentation of sustainable development elements of weak and strong sustainability are contained
- be able to estimate the magnitude of extraction, trade and use of natural resources
- Develop an understanding of the unequal distribution of resource use and emissions and understand which policies can reduce or increase inequality
- Being able to assess the role of trade in terms of efficiency, unequal ecological exchange and welfare enhancement
- Understand historical paths of resource use and be able to evaluate future scenarios of sustainable resource consumption
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.