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Economics of Natural Resources (M.Sc.)
The lecture delves into the underlying principles of the economics of the natural resources. After gaining an overview of the taxonomy of the natural resources, the students will be made familiar with the basics of the optimal control theory. The lecture contemplates both normative and positive economics of the nonrenewable natural resources such as fossil fuels and non-fuel minerals and renewable natural resources such as fisheries and renewable energy sources. To illustrate the relevance of the individual lecture blocks for the planning and management in the context of the sustainable resource management and environmental policies, each lecture ends with a discussion of a pertinent case study.


  • Taxonomy of natural resources
  • Nonrenewable resources und intergenerational justice
  • A Brief Introduction into the Optimal Control Theory

Pricing of Nonrenewable Natural Resources

  • The Concept of differential rent
  • Gray’s r-Percentage-Rule
  • Hotelling’s Rule

 The Structure of the Resource Markets

  •  Competitive and monopolistic markets
  • Oligopoly
  • Economic behavior of a cartel

 Production with Nonrenewable Natural Resources

  • Efficient Resource Extraction
  • Optimal resource extraction
    -Utilitarian social welfare function
    -Rawls criterion
  • Shift to a Backstop Technology
    -Case studies (Conventional oil vs shale oil)

 Nonrenewable Resources and Recycling

  • Recycling in the theory of natural resources
  • Environmental aspects of recycling

 Renewable Natural Resources

  •  Gordon-Schaefer Modell
  • Beverton-Holt-Modell

Resource Revenue Management

  • Natural resources and economic growth
  • Hartwick’s rule
  • Lewis’ dual economy model with extractive sector
  • The role of institutional quality and EITI
  • Sovereign stabilization funds and their macroeconomic impact


The (voluntary) course registration takes place via the learning platform Moodle of the Ruhr-Universität, the registration for the examination via FlexNow within the deadlines announced by
the examination office