Resource economics is a field of study within economics dealing with the scarcity of the Earth's natural resources, the ways in which renewable and non-renewable natural resources are currently managed, and macro- and microeconomic models and policies for improved sustainability. The major considers the economics of mining and energy industries, quantitative planning methods, environmental law and ethics, and the applied optimisation of resources.
First year students planning a major in resource economics will complete two junior prerequisite units of study in that discipline (12 credit points). Second year students are introduced to market and price analysis and production economics. Third year students complete further study in agricultural economics in the areas of agricultural and resource policy, agribusiness management and applied optimisation. Fourth year specialised study is undertaken at a senior level in agricultural economics.
Graduates are eligible for membership of the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, the Economics Society of Australia, the Australian and New Zealand Society of Ecological Economics and other international professional associations, including the American Agricultural Economics Association.
Career opportunities for graduates with a major in resource economics include work as economic analysts in land and water management, national parks and wildlife, agriculture, fisheries and forests, environmental protection; in conservation work with various public agencies; as market analysts in the private resources sector; and as resource economists with utilities (eg Energy Australia, Sydney Water) and mining and minerals organisations. As economic analysis skills are transferable, economists may work in any sector.
Related subject areas
Agribusiness, agricultural economics, agricultural finance, agricultural marketing