Agricultural economics and policy

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course Economics and Agricultural Policy aims to provide the introductory bases of knowledge of the language, method and foundations of economic theory. Students will be introduced to the analysis of the technical-economic characteristics of the farm, and the theory underlying the analysis of efficiency. Finally, the module aims to investigate the general logic of agricultural policy with reference to the national and European contexts. The exercise and practice part will deepen the aspects of comparative statics of economic theory, and of the operational tools for the analysis of efficiency and the budget of a farm.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course the student will be able to know the main mechanisms that govern the markets for goods and services according to the economic theory. The student will also learn the characteristics that distinguish the agricultural firm and determine its efficiency. Furthermore, the student will be able to understand the dynamics of the Italian agricultural sector and the policy instruments at national and European level.
Course syllabus and organization

Unique edition

Lesson period
First semester
Course syllabus
Theory of Supply and Demand and market equilibrium
The choice of the consumers and the choice of the firms
Elasticity of demand to price and income
Production function, production costs and elasticity of supply
Market failures
Agricultural Economics
Elements of firm theory
Farm and agricultural enterprise
The agricultural entrepreneur
The factors of production and the capitals of the farm
The structure and organization of the farm
The classification of the farms
Introduction to the budget
Theory of production costs
Business efficiency
Agricultural Policy
The Common Agricultural Policy from its establishment to the first reform (objectives, instruments, economic dynamics)
The first Mac Sharry reform
Agenda 2000 reform
Fischler reform and the "Health Check"
The new CAP 2014-2020
The evolution of the CAP: future scenarios
Exercises and practical applications of comparative statics
Calculation of the farm's budget
Calculation of the farm's production costs of a product of animal origin
Application of cost analysis in the farm
Analysis of business efficiency
The rents: regulation, function, frequency and contractual drafting
The Italian livestock sector: evolutions and perspectives
The European Union: history and main institutions
Common Agricultural Policy programming levels: community, national and regional
Lombardy region Rural Development Program and example of "Leader" practices
The agricultural policy instruments for the control of markets and incomes
The concept of multifunctional agriculture
Prerequisites for admission
No prior knowledge is required
Teaching methods
Attendance is strongly recommended.
Teaching modality: frontal didactic.
Lectures' slides
Mankiw N. G., Taylor M. P. (2015). Principi di Economia, Zanichelli, Bologna.
Iacoponi L., Romiti R. (2001). Economia e politica agraria, Edagricole, Bologna.
Assessement methods and criteria
Written exam
Practicals: 32 hours
Lessons: 32 hours