The Economics of Resource Rich Countries

SAM20 The Economics of Resource Rich Countries

  • 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

    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 a broad understanding of the functioning of energy markets, firm behavior 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 topics, including both theory and empirics;
    • know about popular policies on the topics;
    • know where to seek out for further information on the topics, including data sources and international organizations;
    • be able to write up and present an academic analysis as part of a team.

  • Teaching


    Lectures, term paper and student presentations. Students are expected to attend other groups┬┐ presentations.

  • Required prerequisites

    Required prerequisites

    Basic courses in microeconomics, such as SAM010 and SAM020 at NHH

  • Credit reduction due to overlap

    Credit reduction due to overlap

    Overlap with VOA051

  • Requirements for course approval

    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.

    In order to retake the exam you should register for VOA051EKS or VOA051MEKS. Please note that this only applies if you have taken the course before.

  • Grading Scale

    Grading Scale

    Grading scale: A - F,

  • Semester



  • 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

Course responsible

Torfinn Harding and Klaus Mohn, Department of Economics.