Economics of Biodiversity Conservation - DI888

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
(version 2)
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7 15 (7.5) PROF D MacMillan







Effective biodiversity conservation relies on an understanding of how markets work and also how they fail. In this module students will be introduced to key economic theories and concepts such as the laws of demand & supply, market competition and economic efficiency, and the market failure paradigm (property rights, public goods, transaction costs and externalities). We will explore the economic causes of biodiversity conflict and loss such as habitat loss and wildlife trade, and using case studies, we will learn how to identify possible solutions using analytical approaches and techniques such as cost-benefit analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis and multi-criteria analysis.


This module appears in:

Contact hours



Spring Term

Method of assessment

One 2000 word assignments on a practical issue related to the economic of biodiversity conservation (80%) and one class test (20%). The assignment will assess the ability of students to integrate and critically analyse information and ideas, and present their arguments in a balanced way.

Indicative reading

Perman, R., Ma, Y, and McGilvray, J. Natural Resource & Environmental Economics. Longman, London.
Turner RK, Pearce D and Bateman I. Environmental Economics: An Elementary Introduction. Harvester Wheatsheaf.
Sloman J (2005) Economics. Harvester Wheatsheaf.
Hanley, N., Shogren, J.F. and White, B. An Introduction to Environmental Economics. Oxford University Press.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

Knowledge of economic theory essential to understanding key issues in biodiversity conservation.
An ability to discuss the contribution of economics to improving the cost-effectiveness of biodiversity conservation
A knowledge of the economic costs and benefits of biodiversity conservation
A knowledge of the economic impacts of biodiversity conservation on the rural economy
An understanding of current debates about economics of biodiversity conservation
An ability to appraise biodiversity projects from an economic perspective.

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