Land Resource Economics

Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Carbondale, Illinois

Instructor: Kraft, Steve
Subject area: Economics
Department: Agricultural and Resource Economics
Course number: 440
Year taught: 1996
Level: Undergraduate

Please note that the copyright for this syllabus is retained by the instructor.

Instructor has included list of publications that frequently contain articles on land, land use, land economics, and land-use planning.

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.

Course Outline:

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
1. supply
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
2. Taxation
3. Zoning
4. Development right

V. Summary


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

20. Recycling

21. Property rights and taking issues

22. Wetland Reserve Program

23. A legislative history of a natural resources issues that has found a place in law

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 sentence:

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 of article.

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
Geo. Abstracts:
A--Landforms and the Quartenary
B--Economic Geography
D--Social and Historical Geography
F--Regional and Community Planning
G--Remote Sensing, Photogrammetry and Cartography
Agricultural Administration
Agricultural Economic Research
Agricultural Systems
Agronomy Journal
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
Environmental Ethics
Geographical Review
Journal of Agricultural Economics
Stanford Environmental Law Journal
Environmental Conservation
Journal of Environmental Economics and Management
Journal of Regional Science
Journal of Soil and Water Conservation
Land and Water Law Review
Land Economics
Land Use Policy
Natural Resources Journal
Agriculture and Environment
Assessors Journal
Journal of Environmental Management
Land Use Digest
The Canadian Geographer
Annals of the Association of American Geographers
Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law
Appraisal Journal
Socio-Economics Planning Sciences
Soil Science Society of America Journal
Annals of Regional Science
Growth and Change
International Regional Science Review
Resource Policy
The Ecologist Congressional Quarterly Almanac and Congressional Quarterly Weekly Reports
Environment Reporter
Environmental Law Reporter
Environmental Affairs
Ecological Economics
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 Nexus.