Economics and politics of the agrifood sector

A.Y. 2019/2020
14
Max ECTS
120
Overall hours
SSD
AGR/01
Language
English
Learning objectives
· learn the basic elements of economic theory for the analysis of the food market
· develop knowledge about the organization of food chains and about the main economic issues of the food market
· analyze EU food policies
Compare and contrast different theoretical models of international trade and assess the suitability of these models in explaining observed international trade patterns and other related phenomena, such as migration.
Demonstrate the ability to conduct diagrammatically (and with simple algebra) partial and general equilibrium analyses of prevalent trade policy instruments.
Integrate the insights from trade theory, trade policy analysis and political economy of trade policy, for the purposes of explaining the landscape of protectionism across different countries and industries and its implication for the environment and climate change issues.
Expected learning outcomes
· improve the knowledge on the food market and the organisations of the food supply chains
· improve the skills to be updated on the food policies
Develop coherent, structured and balanced opinions on ongoing debates in international trade, international cooperation, and globalization and be able to communicate these opinions both orally and in writing forms.
Apply the theoretical knowledge and analytical skills acquired from the course to analyze relevant policy issues in the areas of agriculture trade, the multilateral and bilateral trade agreements, and issues concerning economic development and environmental problems.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Responsible
Lesson period
Second semester
Prerequisites for admission
Module Agrifood economics: no specific prior knowledge is required

Module International agrifood markets and policies: microeconomics (... perfect and monopolistic competition models); statistics and econometrics (elements of inferential statistics, multivariate linear model).
Assessment methods and Criteria
Module Agrifood economics:
Oral exam at the end of the course, with at least one question for each of the three main parts covered by the program.
The final grade is established by the teacher based on the correctness and completness of the responses, their level of details and the student's ability to critically address the questions.

Module International agrifood markets and policies:
Written and oral tests at the end of the course, with a few multiple-choice questions (they may require simple mathematical accounts) and 1 open questions (e.g. related to trade models, e.g. Ricardian Model and/or related to one of the empirical papers presented during formal lessons; see reading list on Ariel).
Evaluation parameters: 50% written test, 50% oral questions.

Useful material for the final exam are the book exercises at the end of each chapter (see the Feenstra&Taylor solution manual on Ariel).
Results of the exams will be communicate on Ariel
Agrifood economics
Course syllabus
First part - Supply and Demand Specificities:
1. the food system and its sectors (agriculture, food industry, retailing, catering and food services)
2. circular economy and bio-economy
3. supply chain analysis
4. food consumption trends
5. food product quality attributes
6. time preferences and eating behaviors
Second part - Main challenges:
7. hunger
8. obesity
9. sustainability
Third part - Policies:
10. food policies and public intervention
11. labeling
12. food safety
13. traceability
14. food quality
15. common agricultural policy
Teaching methods
The teaching is based on formal lessons, as well as on the presentation and discussion of specific empirical studies (papers) related to the different topics of the course; the classroom exercises can be based on specific homework assigned by the teacher.
Teaching Resources
Textbook: Bremmers, H., Purnhagen, K., 2018. Regulating and managing food safety in the EU. A legal-economic perspective. Springer. Further readings and research papers will be suggested by the teacher in class and made available in Ariel.
International agrifood markets and policies
Course syllabus
0. Introduction to international trade topics
International trade models:
1. Technology and International Trade: the Ricardian Model;
2. Gains and Losses from International Trade: the Specific-Factors Model;
3. Trade and Resource Endowment: the Heckscher-Ohlin Model;
4. Economies of Scale and Imperfect Competition;
5. Gravity Models and Gravity Equations;
International Trade Policy:
6. Tariff and Quota Under Perfect Competition;
7. Export, Production Subsidies and Tax;
8. International Agreements on Trade and the environment;
Advance topics:
9. Trade and the welfare effects of environmental and food standards;
10. Trade, migration and climate change.
Teaching methods
The teaching is based on formal lessons, as well as on the presentation and discussion of specific empirical studies (papers) related to the different topics of the course; the classroom exercises can be based on specific homework assigned by the teacher.
Teaching Resources
Textbooks 1. Feenstra R. C. e Taylor A. M. (2014). International Trade, Worth MacMillan, New York (F-T). This represent the reference book. 2. Krugman P., Obstfeld M. and Melitz M.J. (2012). International Economics. Theory and Policy, Pearson (K-O-M, just ch 8 (pp. 202-08). This chapter will be available on Ariel. Other readings will be suggested by the teacher in class (available in Ariel).
Agrifood economics
AGR/01 - AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS AND RURAL APPRAISAL - University credits: 7
Lessons: 56 hours
International agrifood markets and policies
AGR/01 - AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS AND RURAL APPRAISAL - University credits: 7
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 48 hours
Professor: Olper Alessandro