Agricultural and Resource Economics is having a big influence on the way the environment, natural resources and agricultural lands are managed.
Our graduates work in many capacities, including in government agencies, environmental management bodies, banks, consulting firms, research bodies and Non-Governmental Organisations.
The discipline is about making decisions, plans and policies that deliver the best possible outcomes for the community as a whole; understanding the behaviour of people and businesses in these areas; testing the case for investment in projects; and dealing with risk and uncertainty. Economics can be the glue that binds together information from multiple disciplines to address these issues effectively.
UWA staff in Agricultural and Resource Economics are renowned internationally for their teaching and research that spans agricultural economics and policies; economics of renewable and non-renewable resources and energy; environmental economics; natural resource management; food systems and agribusiness; and water economics and policy. We offer a free online course on coursera.org called Agriculture, Economics and Nature.
Agricultural economics and policies
Agricultural activities often have (positive and negative) impacts on the environment. We study the interactions between farming and the environment. This includes how farmers respond to environmental changes, and how government policy can best address agro-environmental issues. Our research covers climate change impacts on agriculture, land degradation, carbon storage on farms, perennial farming systems, salinity management, and more.
Economics of non-renewable resources and energy
Human use of non-renewable resources supports much economic activity. But resource extraction can have environmental effects. We study how we can best use or conserved natural resources for maximum benefits. Our research covers mining and minerals, energy, land, and more.
Environmental economics and natural resource management
Efficient environmental policy decisions needs sound economic research. We study how the environment can be managed to provide the greatest net benefits. Our research covers terrestrial and marine biodiversity conservation, pollution, bio-economic modelling of invasive pests, bushfire management, adoption of new conservation practices by landholders, and more.
Food systems and agribusiness
A viable and healthy agricultural sector is essential for sustainable food production. We study how the organisation and governance of food systems can be improved. Our research covers efficiency and productivity analysis, farm risk management, wine economics, adoption of new farming technologies, agribusiness, and more.
Water economics and policy
Water resources are essential in supporting human life, ecosystems and food production. How we can best manage scarce water resources and water-dependent ecosystems is an important public policy question. Our research covers the economics of public water supply, economic incentives and instruments for water management, economic modelling tools to assist with urban water management, and how non-market benefits can be incorporated into project evaluation.