This course is discontinued

ECON4912 – Environmental, resource and energy economics for less developed countries

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course is equivalent with ECON3912 – Environmental, resource and energy economics for less developed countries (discontinued)

The course addresses topics in environmental, natural resource and energy economics that are specific to, or particularly relevant for, less-developed (low-income, and middle-income) countries. The course focuses on and explains problems related to the environment, natural resources and energy that are particularly severe in lower-income countries, and on how institutional and governance problems create obstacles to achievement of targets. One important topic is the impacts of climate change on less developed countries, and these countries’ relationships to the Paris Agreement on international climate action.

Learning outcome

After taking the course you should

  • Have a good understanding of environmental problems in developing countries, both those problems that may follow from activities in the countries themselves (such as pollution and urban congestion), and those that may follow from climate change
  • Have a good knowledge of some widespread policy failures related to the management of natural resources and energy, such as fossil energy subsidies, and the “resource curse”, and their reasons
  • Understand some of the policy paths, and institutional improvements, required to overcome these problems
  • Understand how environmental problems in rich and poor countries differ


On the basis of this course you should have developed the following skills:

  • Have a basic understanding of the most serious environmental and resource management problems in lower-income countries, and why they have not been adequately addressed to date
  • Have a basic understanding of political and governance problems in lower-income countries
  • Understand how institutional problems aggravate these problems, and what it may take to overcome the institutional barriers
  • Understand how government policies may solve or reduce these problems


On the basis of knowledge obtained in this course, you should

  • Be able to seriously address environmental, natural resource and energy issues and problems in less-developed countries
  • Become acquainted with the literature on environmental, natural resource and energy issues and problems in less-developed countries
  • Have a good basis for writing a Master Thesis within the topic area of the course


Students admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

Students not admitted to the Master’s programme in Economics or the Master’s programme in Economic Theory and Econometrics (Samfunnsøkonomisk analyse), can apply for admission to one of our study programmes, or apply for guest student status.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Recommended previous knowledge

As a basis for taking the course, you should have background from the following:

  • Have a solid background in microeconomics, preferably with some understanding of basic game theory
  • Have a basic understanding of welfare economics including the theories of externalities and public goods


Lectures: 2 hours per week throughout the semester

Seminars: 2 hours per week during parts of the semester

The seminars will be integrated with the lectures, and will form an important part of the course by giving the students important practical skills and more hands-on training, in understanding and handling the topics of the course. Students are strongly encouraged to (attempt to) solve the problems on their own or in groups, ahead of the seminar sessions.


A 3-hour written exam.

Previous exam

You must have been registered for the course autumn 2017 to sit for the exam. You register for the exam in StudentWeb. If you have problems signing up for the exam, please contact the Department of Economics:

Digital examination

The written examination is conducted in the digital examination system Inspera. You will need to familiarize yourself with the digital examination arrangements in Inspera.

Read more about written examinations using Inspera.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English.You may submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Autumn 2017

Last teaching semester autumn 2017


Autumn 2018

Last exam autumn 2018

Teaching language