You might have realized that not all courses within Environmental Economics are mandatory. Actually only very few are. That offers you the opportunity to specialize the way you want to, but honestly: you’re also spoilt for choice. During my first year I more or less followed the recommended track. Still, I think reading about how I felt about my elective courses might help you guys making your decision. I will post about each of the 5 subjects I took last year before the application deadline on October, 17th (See antagning/ universityadmission for more information).
These are Management of Biological Resources, Macroeconomic Theory, Econometric Theory, Applied Econometrics & Topics in Econometrics.
Management of Biological Resources
After Analytical Methods and Microeconomics I was really excited about having my first course at SLU one year ago. Not that the first two courses weren’t interesting, but still I was thrilled to finally learn more about natural resources.
Regarding the content, the course equipped us with many basic definitions and distinctions between different types of resources, applied mathematical tools on resource economics and had a strong focus on time extension. Each week had a certain topic on which we had lectures as well as seminars (exercise sessions). The first of these topics was forestry, which mainly dealt with optimal rotation lengths of planting and harvesting forest. After that we learnt about fishery, especially about differing impacts in open access versus private fishery models. This part also included a discussion of various policy instruments. Following that we talked about nonrenewable resources and how these should (or should not) be extracted. Also, sustainability has become a big buzzword during the last years, so of course there was one week dedicated to that as well. Here the emphasis was on ethics, welfare economics and different concepts of sustainability. The last class was about stock pollutants and mainly explained how the use of resources can lead to stocks of various pollutants and which policies there are to counter this process (like emission taxes or permit trading).
In my opinion the course covered quite a broad range of topics, albeit rather superficial. So for me – who had never done any resource management before – it felt like a good introduction. However, if you have done some of the above-mentioned topics before, it might be a bit repetitive. Another interesting point is that even though Prof. Ing-Marie Gren is the course leader, all lectures and seminars were held by advanced PhD students.
The class size was quite small (< 10 students), which enabled an intense and open learning environment. Apart from that and the highly interesting content, I liked the application of economic modelling on environmental issues the most.
If you think that sounded interesting I would really recommend you to take this course. Feel free to comment if you have further questions about this! Also you will find more information at the course page.