Agricultural and Food Policy

Course content

Historically, no other sector of the economy has been the object of 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.


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

Learning outcome

The main objective of this course is to provide a theoretical framework and practical skills for analyzing 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


  • Analyse the impact of a policy in a formal economic model

  • Analyse optimal policy design in relation to specific model assumptions


  • Conduct an independent economic analysis of a food policy

  • Work in groups on food policy issues

Lectures and group based exercises

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 the bachelor level.

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.

Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 25 minutes
Individual oral defense of a group-based project report and oral examination based on the course curriculum.
Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners
Criteria for exam assessment

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

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 24
  • Preparation
  • 110
  • Practical exercises
  • 24
  • Project work
  • 48
  • English
  • 206