Land Resource Economics
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Instructor: Kraft, Steve
Subject area: Economics
Department: Agricultural and Resource Economics
Course number: 440
Year taught: 1996
Please note that the copyright for this syllabus is retained by the
Comments: Instructor has included list of publications that frequently
contain articles on land, land use, land economics, and land-use planning.
Textbooks: Two books will be used. In addition, other
required readings will be contained in a Kopies and More book and will be placed
on reserve at Morris Library.
-Tietenberg, Tom. 1995. Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, 4th ed.
Glenview, IL: Scott Foresman and Co.
-Pearce, David, Anil Markandya, and Edward B. Barbier. 1989. Blueprint for a
Green Economy. London: Earthscan.
Other books with extensive readings for the class are
-Barlowe, Raleigh. 1986. Land Resource Economics: The Economics Real Estate, 4th
edition. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, Inc.
-Randall, Alan. 1981. Resource Economics: An Economic Approach to Natural
Resource and Environmental Policy. New York: Wiley.
1.Two short research papers of five to ten pages each. The papers are worth 60
percent of the grade. The papers are due 8 March and 3 May. All papers handed in
late will be penalized 5 points per day, including weekends and holidays. More
specific information on the papers will be presented in class.
2. One final examination for 30 percent of the grade and
3. A number of in-class quizzes and/or homework problems for 10 percent.
I. Introduction to Course and Subject Matter
II. Concepts and Perspectives
A. Definition of resources
B. Types of resources
C. Perceptions of resource management and implications for policy
III. Foundations of Natural resource Economics
A. Problems of space, scale and time
B. Supply and demand analysis
2. forms of demand
3. trends in resource use
C. Production economies and natural resources
D. Market Failure--externalities
E. Economic returns and rent
F. Decisions to develop resources
G. Methods and models useful in natural resource economics
IV. Conservation and Use Planning
A. Welfare economics and temporal considerations
B. Economics of conservation
C. Proprietary aspects and other institutional factors
D. Use Planning
E. Tools of use planning
1. Benefit-cost analysis
4. Development right
Topics for term paper: the papers are due on 8 March and 3 May. Late papers will
be penalized five (5) points per day. Turn papers into my office or use my mail
box in room 226, Agriculture Building. The papers are to be at least (5)
typewritten pages in length, but no more than ten (10) pages. You can use
graphical and mathematical presentations if you wish. However, if you use them.
be sure to include a verbal interpretation of their meanings or results. I
expect you to use outside sources from the professional/academic literature as
well as your readings for class. The form to follow for referencing and the
bibliography is attached.
These are only suggested topics. You can write on another topic of your choice
provided you check with me. The focus of your papers can be theoretical or
empirical and can deal with local, state, national, or foreign resources issues.
Please use your skills as economists or geographers.
1. Given our development of the supply and demand for land (i.e., demand for
land as a derived demand and the supply response to it) discuss and analyze a
current trend in land use or a land-use issue using these ideas. Approach the
trend or issue from the perspective of the economic and societal forces behind
the supply and demand function, see the article by Raup for an example.
Examples: land on fringes of urban centers; loss of prime agricultural land;
development of water reservoirs and rural water systems
2. Ciriacy-Wantrup's discussion of natural resources includes consideration of
the exhaustibility and the "critical zone" of flow resources as
economic phenomena. Use these concepts to analyze an issue of natural resource
use (e.g. examine a land or natural resource that is "being exhausted"
or that is being used beyond a point of irreversibility).
In some cases you might discuss the efforts of interest groups to convince the
general public or resource owners that this point has been reached.
Examples: land quality for crop production (salinity, organic matter, erosion);
water quality, depletion of ground water; plant or animal species (fish, etc.)
3. Water Firey develops three alternative and competing perspectives on the use
of natural resources. Often this competition embodies what Kelso calls the
contrast (conflict?) between the maximization of individual gain and societal
good. Using these three perspectives, discuss a current issue of land or
resource use. You can point out the
conflict or possible conflicts arising from each perspective and the possible
mechanisms of conflict resolution. If you can use other tools of social and
economic analysis, please do so.
Examples: the clean air and clean waters act
placement of hydro plants
introduction of new land use patterns or forms of management in
"traditional" agricultural economies
Conservation Resource Program
4. The concepts of description, land capability, land-use capacity, and highest
and best can be used in evaluating competition among users for the same parcel
of land. Alternatively, they can be used to study competition among parcels for
the same use. Apply these concepts in a discussion and evaluation of a land-use
issue. You should indicate the difference amongst these concepts and what each
can contribute to understanding and solving the problem.
Examples: the use of arable land for range, improved pasture, cereal or oilseed
crops or residential housing land use decisions of individual property owners
development of land use policy
5. Illinois Agricultural Areas Law
6. Any of the land use control as mentioned in Chapter 5 of NALS study
7. Study of change in land use or land values in an area over time
8. Externalities of land use or land-use changes
9. Locational factors affecting land use or changes in land use
10. Environmental Ethics and Public Policy
11. The theory of rent: review works by Petty and von Thunen
12. Surface mining and the use of agricultural land
13. The economics of land degradation and renewal
14. 1985 and l990 Farm Bills' Conservation Provisions
15. Section 319 planning
16. Conservation Easements
17. Public Trust Doctrine
18. Wetland Policy
19. Groundwater contamination
21. Property rights and taking issues
22. Wetland Reserve Program
23. A legislative history of a natural resources issues that has found a place
24. Analysis of the implementation of a public policy
25. Conservation compliance
26. Coastal Zone Management act
27. New England fisheries
Referencing: Please use the system of in-text references. The reference is given
in parentheses, the surname of the author with the year of the publications and
page number; or date and page number alone if the author's name occurs in the
These results were later confirmed (Naismith 1971, p. 160) Naismith (1971, p.
160) was able to confirm these results. Please list all references at the end of
your paper under a heading of "List of References."
Plagiarism will result in a failure for the course. If in doubt, reference the
material or ask me. You must reference all material you quote or paraphrase from
other authors. In your references be sure to include the following, if a book:
Author(s), Date. Title. Place of publication Publisher. If a journal article:
Author(s). Date. "Title," Name of Journal volume (No.): pages
The following are publications that frequently contain articles on land, land
use, land economics, and land-use planning. These and other publications should
be consulted in preparing term papers or supplementary assigned readings.
World Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology Abstracts
Land Rise Planning Abstracts
Public Affairs Information Service Bulletin
Soils and Fertilizers
A--Landforms and the Quartenary
D--Social and Historical Geography
F--Regional and Community Planning
G--Remote Sensing, Photogrammetry and Cartography
Agricultural Economic Research
American Institute of Planners Journal
American Journal of Agricultural Economics
Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics
Canadian Farm Economics
Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics
Ecological Law Quarterly
Environment and Planning A
Journal of Agricultural Economics
Stanford Environmental Law Journal
Journal of Environmental Economics and Management
Journal of Regional Science
Journal of Soil and Water Conservation
Land and Water Law Review
Land Use Policy
Natural Resources Journal
Agriculture and Environment
Journal of Environmental Management
Land Use Digest
The Canadian Geographer
Annals of the Association of American Geographers
Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law
Socio-Economics Planning Sciences
Soil Science Society of America Journal
Annals of Regional Science
Growth and Change
International Regional Science Review
The Ecologist Congressional Quarterly Almanac and Congressional Quarterly Weekly
Environmental Law Reporter
Index to Current Law Periodicals
CIS: Congressional Information Service--Index and Abstracts
ASI: American Statistical Index
Federal Register Index
In addition, for recent topics involving natural resources or the environment
use indices to major newspapers, e.g., The New York Times, The Wall Street
Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, The Chicago Tribune, etc. The
Internet can be a very good source of information in addition to Lexus and