The Economics of Resource Rich Countries

SAM20 The Economics of Resource Rich Countries

Spring 2019

Autumn 2019
  • Topics

    The course covers five main topics:

    1. Global energy markets, including the world's energy outlook, OPEC behavior and the shale gas revolution
    2. The behavior of firms in the resource industries
    3. Environmental concerns related to the use of natural resources, including extraction in environmentally vulnerable areas, the "green paradox" and mitigation of climate change
    4. Macroeconomic aspects of investment and production, including institutions and taxation
    5. The resource curse and associated macroeconomic policy challenges, including saving versus spending of resource revenues, the phasing-in of resource revenues and the so-called Dutch disease

  • Learning outcome

    Students will understand the economics of abundance of natural resources such as oil and gas and be familiar with policies that let countries make the most out of such resources. On completion of the course, the student will have:

    - obtained  knowledge :

    • have a broad understanding of the functioning of energy markets, firm behaviour in the resource industries, environmental aspects of the use of natural resources, and macroeconomic aspects of natural resource extraction and revenue management
    • be familiar with the central academic literature on these topics
    • know about the analytical approaches typically applied to answer questions within these areas, including both theory and empirics
    • know about popular policies within these areas


    -trained their  skills:  

    • be able to explain relationships between natural resources, economic development and the environment in a stringent and academic manner
    • be able to read academic literature
    • be able to write up and present an academic analysis as part of a team


    - and developed their  general competence:

    • know where to seek out for further information on relevant topics, including data sources and international organizations
    • participate actively in an international environment
    • applying insights from economics on real world challenges
    • be aware of different interests and trade-offs across groups, sectors and countries   

  • Teaching

    Lectures, term paper and student presentations. Students are expected to attend the presentations of other groups.

  • Recommended prerequisites

    Basic courses in microeconomics, such as SAM1 and SAM2 at NHH

  • Credit reduction due to overlap

    Overlap with VOA051

  • Requirements for course approval

    A term paper has to be handed in before the student presentations.

    The course approval in this course is linked to the oral presentation and the course approval is only valid in the semester it is submitted.

  • Assessment

    The exam has two elements: 30 % of the grade: Oral presentation of the term paper, 70 % of the grade: three hours school exam, written in Norwegian or English.

    For re-take of the oral presentation, students have to obtain new course approval (new term paper). For re-take of the written school exam, new course approval is not necessary.

  • Grading Scale

    Grading scale: A - F,

  • Literature

    Bhattacharyya, S. (2011). Energy Economics. Springer.

    Humphreys, M., J.D. Sachs and J.E. Stiglitz eds. (2007), Escaping the Resource Curse, Columbia University Press.

    Note: Other literature may be added during the course.


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Autumn. Offered Autumn 2018.

Course responsible

Torfinn Harding and Klaus Mohn, Department of Economics.