Teaching resource scarcity

When is a resource said to be scarce? What is the difference between relative and absolute scarcity? Can resource scarcity be measured? These are some of the key questions about scarcity examined during the course in resource economics I will be teaching this Fall. As readings I chose Krautkraemer, J. 2005. Economics of Natural Resource Scarcity: the State of the Debate , Resource for the Future Discussion Paper 05-14 and Baumgärtner, Stefan, Becker, Christian, Faber, Malte and Manstetten, Reiner. 2005. Relative and absolute scarcity of nature forthcoming in Ecological Economics. I think that taken together these two articles offer an excellent critical introduction to the issue of resource scarcity, stimulating students’ reflection on the theme.


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