NIFK16007U Computational Methods for Policy Analysis in AgriFood Markets
MSc Programme in Agricultural Economics
MSc Programme in Agricultural Development
MSc Programme in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
MSc Programme in Sustainable Development in Agriculture (Agris Mundus)
Students in the MSc programs in agricultural economics and related fields frequently encounter challenges in identifying and applying appropriate computational methods/models to conduct their master’s thesis research. This course aims at equipping students with several useful computational methods for conducting quantitative analysis of domestic and international agricultural and food markets and policy issues. These computational methods can also be used to address issues in the energy markets, the environment, and global changes as they relate to agricultural and food markets and policy.
In the first part of the course, we introduce and discuss essential policy issues in agricultural and food markets, especially in relation to how these issues relate to common global challenges. These include but not limited to: food and nutrition security, international agricultural trade and negotiations of trade agreements, domestic support to agriculture, agricultural development, interactions between agricultural and energy markets, and environmental and climate impacts of agricultural and food production and consumption.
In the second part of the course, we cover computational methods
that are used frequently in analyzing the above issues, with the
emphasis on simulation models that can establish and compare
alternative policy options and can provide welfare economic
analysis in regards to these options. In particular, we focus on
multi-sectoral partial equilibrium models in both single and
multi-country settings and single-country and multi-country
computable general equilibrium models. This is to be supplemented
by various frequently used econometric tools. Theory and structure
of each method will be first presented in lectures. This is to be
followed by hands-on tutorials on how to use these methods and
models, often combined with replications of numerical results
contained in published literature and extensions.
The final element of the course is for the students to conduct their own research projects by analyzing relevant market and policy question, using one of the computational methods/models covered in this course.
After completing the course the student should be able to:
be well informed of the most recent academic literature in agricultural and food markets and policy, especially literature with distinct policy orientations and computational components
be aware of latest development of policy issues arisen from actual policy discussions and can relate these developments to that of the relevant academic literature
understand the economic and mathematical structure of most popular computational/quantitative economic tools widely used in agricultural and food markets and policy research
be able to read, understand and critically review quantitative academic literature in agricultural and food markets and policy
be able to identify interesting and relevant researchable questions through studying academic literature and/or policy reports
be able to formulate research proposal and develop research plan for a concrete research project in agricultural and food markets and policy
be able to identify and search for policy information and statistical data to support the proposed research agenda
be able to choose and apply the appropriate computational methods/models to conduct quantitative economic analysis of identified research questions according to the objectives established in the proposed research agenda
be able to draw conclusions and policy recommendations/implications vis-a-vis the research question posed in the research project, from the numerical results drawn from the computational analysis
be able to present the research projects, including the analysis and findings in written and oral forms
Apply analytical skills and computational methods introduced/acquired from this course, to carry out the full process of a research project in the broad areas of agricultural and food markets and policy, including literature survey, identifying research question, formulating research proposal and plan, acquiring data, design the research method and strategy especially in relation to the choice and application of computational methods and models, implementing the proposed research project, and drafting the research report, and presenting the research finding.
List of literature to be discussed will be announced
at the beginning of the course. Some of the readings will be
proposed by students themselves, subject to approval from the
teacher. Three types of literature will be used, as follows:
1. Journal articles from major international journals in the areas of international economics, agricultural economics or development economics, such as Journal of International Economics, Journal of Development Economics, Review of International Economics, The World Economy, Review of World Economics, World Trade Review, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, European Review of Agricultural Economics, Journal of Agricultural Economics, and Applied Economic Perspective and Policy, as well as articles in leading general economics journals
2. Chapters in relevant books/collected volumes on international trade and trade policy, as well as latest unpublished working papers by leading researchers
3. Documentations and technical papers on computational/quantitative models
- 7,5 ECTS
- Type of assessment
- Written assignment, made during the blockOral examination, 25 minutesAssessment of a project report written during the block. Weight: 70 %
Oral examination based on the submitted project report. Weight: 30%. No time for preparation.
Students must pass all part-examinations individually to pass the overall exam
- Without aids
no aids for the oral exam.
- Marking scale
- 7-point grading scale
- Censorship form
- No external censorship
One internal examiner
The same as the ordinary exam.
If the student has passed the project report at the ordinary exam, a new project report should not be submitted. If the student failed the project report at the ordinary exam, a new project report should be submitted two weeks before the deadline of registering in the re-examination.
Criteria for exam assesment
according to knowledge, skill and competency listed in the the learning outcome section.
- Project work