Natural Resource and Environmental Economics Research

Natural resource economics is a branch of economics that is concerned about the supply, demand, and allocation of the Earth’s natural resources, whether they be non-renewable resources (minerals, petroleum), renewable resources (forests, fish), or other more specialized resources (land, water, wildlife, biodiversity). Research in this focus area involves investigations into the economic function of and effects of property law, the economics of wildlife management, and a variety of issues related to water management. Much of AREC’s research in water economics has been in relation to the implications of climate change and drought and the use of water markets by agriculture, urban water utilities, and the environment.

Environmental economics is a branch of economics that acknowledges that value of economic activity and the environment, and seeks to balance economic activity and environmental impacts in a way that considers all the costs and benefits. Research in this focus areas includes environmental justice issues in which there is examination of how improved water quality and air quality from environmental regulation affects minority and low-income populations and estimation of the economic value of water for non-consumptive uses such as instream/environmental flows.