LOJK10255U Agricultural and Food Policy

Volume 2017/2018

MSc Programme in Agricultural Economics
MSc Programme in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics


Historically, no other sector of the economy has been the object so much policy intervention and so much economic analysis as agriculture. Moreover, the implications of these interventions are becoming increasingly complex and far reaching in scope. A good example is biofuel support policies in the form of mandates and subsidies. These are believed to have led to a stronger link between global food and fuel markets and to have contributed to the global food crisis in 2007-08. This course will introduce you to some of the most important agricultural and food policies and provide you with analytical tools needed to evaluate their economic impacts.  The emphasis is on analysis of stylized agro-food policies in a partial equilibrium framework. Illustrative applications and cases are also discussed. Towards the end of the course, you will be required to carry out your own policy analysis of an issue related to the agro-food sector.

Learning Outcome

The main objective of this course is to provide a theoretical framework and practical skills for analysing the impact of agricultural and food policies and for designing optimal policy. Upon having completed this course the student is expected to be able to:


  • Point out stylized features of common agricultural and food policies in a welfare economic framework

  • Provide examples of specific agricultural and food policies from both developing and developed countries


  • Carry out an analysis of the impact of a policy in formal economic model

  • Analyse optimal policy design in relation to specific model assumptions


  • Conduct an independent economic analysis of an agro-food policy

  • Work in groups on agricultural support and food policy issues

Selected scientific journal articles and textbook sections. A literature list will be announced at the beginning of the course.

Courses in mathematics, microeconomics and econometrics at a bachelor level.
Lectures and group based exercises
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 2
  • Lectures
  • 39
  • Preparation
  • 138
  • Project work
  • 15
  • Theory exercises
  • 12
  • Total
  • 206
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 2 hours under invigilation
Written assignment
2 hour written examination
Group based essay on an agro-food policy of their own choice. Made during the course.
The final written examination and the essay each count 50% of the final grade.
All aids allowed

NB: If the exam is held at the ITX, the ITX will provide you a computer. Private computer, tablet or mobile phone CANNOT be brought along to the exam. Books and notes should be brought on paper or saved on a USB key.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners/co-examiners

Oral examination (20 - 30 minutes). No preparation. No aids allowed.

Criteria for exam assesment

The assessment is based on the criteria given by the Learning Outcomes