Applied Trade and Climate Policy Models

Course content

Students in the MSc programs in agricultural economics, environmental and resource 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 applied computational models for conducting quantitative analysis of policy issues within agricultural policy, international trade, energy markets, the enviroment, and climate change.

This course first introduces and discusses essential policy issues in areas such as food and nutrition security, international agricultural trade, trade agreements and disputes, domestic support to agriculture, agricultural development, interactions between agricultural and energy markets, impacts of global environmental and climate changes, climate mitigation efforts, and decarbonization pathways.

We then 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/scenarios and pathways and can provide welfare economic analysis of these alternatives options/scenarios/pathways. We start with the structure of input-output (IO) table and social accounting matrix (SAM) and conduct IO analyis. We then introduce partial equilibrium (PE) and computable general equilibrium (CGE) models. Our focus is a global CGE model, with detailed presentation of its theoretical structure and mathematical implementation. This is to be followed by hands-on tutorials on how to use these models, combined with replications of numerical results contained in published literature in relevant research areas.  

The final element of the course is for the students to conduct their own research projects by analyzing relevant research questions, using the global CGE model covered in this course. 


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

Learning outcome

After completing the course the student should be able to: 


be well informed of the most recent academic literature in agricultural policy, international trade, and climate change, 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 the above-mentioned areas 


be able to read, understand and critically review quantitative academic literature in the aforementioned areas 

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 

be able to identify and search for policy information and 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, 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.

Lectures, hands-on tutorials and computer lab sessions, student presentations and workshops, and individual studies.

List of literature to be discussed will be announced at the beginning of the course. Three types of literature will be used, as follows: 

1. Journal articles from major international journals

2. Chapters in relevant books/collected volumes and latest unpublished working papers by leading researchers 

3. Documentations and technical papers on computational/quantitative models

You should have solid economics competencies from your bachelor degree, including intermediate microeconomics and intermediate econometrics. Students with strong interests in policy issues in international agrifood markets will also benefit from taking Advanced International Trade before the current course, although this is not mandatory.

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, made during the block
Oral examination, 25 minutes
Type of assessment details
Assessment of either a group or an individual 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 both 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 assessment

according to knowledge, skill and competency listed in the the learning outcome section.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 40
  • Preparation
  • 40
  • Practical exercises
  • 15
  • Project work
  • 100
  • Guidance
  • 10
  • Exam
  • 1
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 2
no restrictions
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period
Study Board of Natural Resources, Environment and Animal Science
Contracting department
  • Department of Food and Resource Economics
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator
  • Wusheng Yu   (7-7e7c7a6f6c756e47706d797635727c356b72)

Wusheng Yu

Saved on the 20-06-2023

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