Natural Resource Economics: An Introduction by Barry C. Field
444 pages, $64.95 list
Instructor's resource materials available here
To obtain a username and password to access these materials, contact
eBook availability
Natural Resource Economics
An Introduction
Third Edition
Decisions about the conservation and use of natural resources are made every day by individuals, communities, and nations. The latest edition of Field’s acclaimed text highlights the incentives and trade-offs embedded in such decisions, providing a lucid introduction to natural resource issues using the analytical framework of economics.

Employing a logical structure and easy-to-understand descriptions, Field covers fundamental economic principles and their general application to natural resource use. These principles are further developed in chapters devoted to specific resources. Moreover, this up-to-date volume addresses the challenge of achieving socially beneficial utilization rates in the twenty-first century amid continuing population growth, urbanization, and global climate change. Topics new to the Third Edition include:

• implications of climate change on resources
• fracking
• energy intensity and the energy efficiency gap
• reducing fossil energy
• forests and carbon
• international water issues
• globalization and trade in natural resources
“The Field text is excellent and pitched at the right level for the third-year economics students being introduced to the vital areas of natural resource economics.” — Brian Scarfe, University of Victoria

“A comprehensive, well written text that has appeal in many undergraduate programs.” — Timothy Considine, Penn State University

“Very readable and informative. It is great to have a book on natural resource economics for noneconomics majors that is not so quantitative. Its extensive coverage of topics makes it easy for an instructor to pick and choose chapters to fit his/her interest.” — Molly Espey, Clemson University

“The design of the book with sections on economic building blocks and natural resource analysis coming before specific application chapters on minerals, energy, water, agriculture, etc. is a good pedagogic tool.” — N. Eric Hampton, St. Cloud State University

“For an introductory text, the book achieves the objective of being written in nontechnical terms. When technical terms are used, they are defined and examples are provided to elucidate their meanings. The book provides a clear connection between natural resource uses and the economy.” — Wesseh Wollo, Lincoln University

“Field presents all of the important topics and issues related to natural resource use, as well as a nice balance of theoretical principles and policy analysis.” — Paul M. Comolli, University of Kansas
Table of Contents

1. Important Issues in Natural Resource Economics
Climate Change and Natural Resources / Sustainability / Natural Resources and Property Rights / Resource Preservation: The Importance of Valuation / Policy Issues / Land-Use Issues / Natural Resources and Globalization / Summary

2. Natural Resources and the Economy
Nature and Economy / The Range of Natural Resource Services / Modeling Resource Services / Some Concepts of Economics / Policy and Politics / Summary


3. Valuing Natural Resources: Willingness to Pay/Demand
Willingness to Pay / Discounting / Summary

4. Costs/Supply
Opportunity Cost / Cost Curves / The Shapes of Cost Curves / Social Costs / Present Value of Cost / Costs and Technological Change / Costs and Supply / Summary

5. Efficiency and Sustainability
Static Efficiency / Dynamic (Intertemporal) Efficiency / Efficiency and Intergenerational Equity: The Issue of Sustainability / Summary


6. Markets and Efficiency
Market Demand and Supply / Markets and Static Social Efficiency / Markets and Intertemporal Efficiency / Some Additional Caveats / Summary

7. Public Policy for Natural Resources
The Objectives of Public Policy / Types of Public Policies / Private Property Rights / Government-Sponsored Incentive Policies / Direct Controls / Direct Public Production / Market Failure/Government Failure / Policy Centralization/Decentralization / Summary


8. Principles of Analysis
Impact Analysis / Cost-Effectiveness Analysis / Benefit-Cost Analysis / Summary

9. The Valuation of Natural Resources
Measuring Benefits / Active (Use) Benefits / Passive (Nonuse) Benefits / Measuring Costs / Summary


10. Mineral Economics
Geological Factors and Costs of Extraction / Extraction Economics for a Known Stock / Resource Exploration and Development / Nonrenewable Resources and Sustainability / U.S. Mineral Import Dependence and Resource Cartels / Price Instability and Boomtowns / The Economics of Recycling / Summary

11. Energy
World Energy Use / Energy in the United States: Consumption and Prices / Energy Demand / Energy Supply / Reducing Fossil Energy Use / Economic Issues in Electricity Deregulation / Summary

12. Forest Economics
Institutional Arrangements for Forestry / Industrial (Plantation) Forests / Timber Harvesting from National Forests / Summary

13. Marine Resources
Current Problems in Marine Fisheries / U.S. Fisheries Management Institutions / Efficient Rates of Effort / The Problem of Open Access / Approaches to Fisheries Management / Uncertainty and Fisheries Management / Aquaculture / Summary

14. Land Economics
Social Efficiency in Land Use / Land Markets and Prices / Public Policies and Land Use / Land-Use Economics and the "Takings" Issue / The Economics of Urban Sprawl / Land Management Issues on the Urban/Rural Fringe / Land Use in Uncertain Environments / Managing Public Lands / Summary

15. Water Resources
Water Use in the United States / Water Law in the United States / Water Pricing / Investing in Water Supply Systems / Water Rights Transfers and Markets / Instream Flow Protection / International Water Issues / Summary

16. Economics of Agriculture
Historical Change in Supply and Demand / Food Security in a Time of Climate Change / Government Support Policies in Agriculture / The Economics of Soil Productivity / The Economics of Monoculture / Economics of Pesticide Resistance / The Conflict over Agricultural Biotechnology / Balancing Agricultural Productivity with Resource Conservation / Summary

17. Economics of Outdoor Recreation
The Demand for Outdoor Recreation / Rationing Use / Ecotourism / Summary

18. Economics of Wildlife Management
Wildlife Ecology and Human Institutions / The Economics of Sport Hunting / Wildlife in Suburban Areas / Distributional Issues in Restoration and Predator Control / Public Policy and Wildlife Markets / Summary

19. Economics of Biodiversity Preservation
The Endangered Species Act / The Noah Problem / Cost-Effective Biodiversity Preservation / Costs of Diversity Protection / Summary


20. Natural Resources and Economic Growth
The Institutional/Demographic Context / Natural Resource Decisions in Developing Countries / Incentives and Political Power / Property Rights / Sustainable Growth / The Control and Management of Resource Rents / The Volatility of Resource Rents in Developing Countries / Summary

21. Globalization and Natural Resources
Dimensions of Globalization / Trade and Natural Resources / Trade and Resource Conservation / Public Policies of Resource-Trading Countries / Modes of International Governance in Resources Trade / Summary