Agricultural, Food and Natural Resource Economics - EC571

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Spring
View Timetable
6 15 (7.5) PROF I Fraser


EC500 Microeconomics





This module introduces you to agriculture, food and natural resource economics and economics generally. A key objective is to help you develop an ability to apply economic thinking to problems in this area. The module considers various aspects of agricultural, food and resource economics including food production, economic theory related to agricultural policy, food supply chains and food prices, food economics specifically food labels and various economic aspects of natural resource management such as forestry and fisheries.

The module is divided into three parts. In Part A we examine the relationship between the economy and the agriculture. In Part B we consider aspects of food economics. In Part C we examine various issues relating to natural resource. The emphasis in all parts of the module is to understand the links between theory and practice.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

10 Lectures (2 hours)
9 seminars


This module is an elective on all Single and Joint Honours degree programmes in economics.
This module is not available to students across other degree programmes in the University.

Method of assessment

Short Answers Report, (2000 words) (10%)
Essay, (2000 words) (10%)
Examination, 2 hours (80%)

Indicative reading

A Barkley and PW Barkley, Principles of Agricultural Economics, Routledge (2013).
JM Conrad, Resource Economics (2nd ed), (2010).
J Williams, Competition and Efficiency in International Food Supply Chains Improving Food Security, Routledge (2013).

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, you will be able to:

* understand how a variety of microeconomic concepts, such as profit maximisation, asymmetric information, risk and uncertainty, and market failure can be used to investigate various aspects of agricultural, food and natural resource economics;
* analyse various types of microeconomic data (e.g. household &/or farm surveys, national statistics) to test economic theories and guide economic policies
* assess critically the behaviour of households, farmers, manufacturers and government in this sector of the economy using existing theories and evidence on individual decision-making
* discuss critically the efficacy of various agricultural, food and resource related policies (e.g. CAP, commodity price volatility, contractual arrangements) in the context of theory and practice
* solve simple microeconomic models that can shed light on phenomena related to agriculture, food and natural resources;

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