AGRIBUS 7054 - Global Food & Agricultural Policy Analysis

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

Policies affecting agricultural and food businesses are examined using an economic framework and an international perspective. Students develop a solid understanding of the agricultural and food policy environment, the policy formulation process, and the role, rationale and economic consequences of government intervention in food and agricultural markets. They will develop the skills and working knowledge necessary to critically assess current and potential changes to domestic and global agricultural and food policy, trade policy, environmental and natural resource policy, and market regulations. Basic economic theoretical concepts and analytical tools are used to deal with the policy issues being discussed. For example, students will gain experience conducting cost benefit analyses using various policy instruments and programs. Each topic is motivated by a current or emerging issue facing the food and agricultural sectors of the economy.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code AGRIBUS 7054
    Course Global Food & Agricultural Policy Analysis
    Coordinating Unit Centre for Global Food and Resources
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Course Description Policies affecting agricultural and food businesses are examined using an economic framework and an international perspective. Students develop a solid understanding of the agricultural and food policy environment, the policy formulation process, and the role, rationale and economic consequences of government intervention in food and agricultural markets. They will develop the skills and working knowledge necessary to critically assess current and potential changes to domestic and global agricultural and food policy, trade policy, environmental and natural resource policy, and market regulations. Basic economic theoretical concepts and analytical tools are used to deal with the policy issues being discussed. For example, students will gain experience conducting cost benefit analyses using various policy instruments and programs. Each topic is motivated by a current or emerging issue facing the food and agricultural sectors of the economy.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Alexandra Peralta

    Lecturer in Charge:  Dr. Alexandra Peralta, Lecturer            
    Email: alexandra.peralta@adelaide.edu.au
    Location: North TCE Campus Office:  5.20 Nexus 10 Tower
    Office Hours: By appointment

    Teaching assistant: Anna Finizio, PhD student and research assistant
    Email: anna.finizio@adelaide.edu.au
    Location: North TCE Campus Office:  5.11 Nexus 10 Tower
    Office Hours: TBA
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    Date: Tuesdays
    Time: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    Location: North Terrace Campus,  
    Marjoribanks, 126
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    This course will demonstrate how economists tackle a range of policy-related issues that are relevant to food and agricultural businesses.  Economics is often divided into two streams: microeconomics and macroeconomics.  Microeconomics deals with how individuals and firms choose to allocate scarce resources, how markets work and how government intervention may affect market processes and firms in the market.  Macroeconomics deals with the “big” picture; for example, national output and employment.  We will deal with policy issues from both fields, but we will focus mostly on microeconomic issues. 

    When it comes to policy issues, there are often no “right” answers, but economic principles and concepts are useful for analysing and comparing the social impacts of different policy scenarios.  Basic theoretical tools are introduced as required to deal with the issues being discussed.  In the process students are exposed to a large number of economic concepts and analytical tools, and to the “language” of economists.  After learning the “basics”, these new skills are utilized to examine the potential economic impacts of different policy instruments that might be used to deal with current issues facing agricultural and food markets.  Upon completion of this course, students will be able to professionally communicate with economists in a variety of situations, for example when they are working with government officials, as consultants, or simply when they are attempting to assert their opinion in related forums. 

    The specific aims of this course are to:

    1. Demonstrate practical applications of policy analysis related to  agriculture and   food value chain issues;
    2. Discuss the economic and political feasibility of policy changes and instruments;
    3. Develop students’ ability to think critically about the need for policies and policy reforms;
    4. Enhance students’ conceptual and problem solving skills so they are able to analyse how public policies and firm decisions impact agribusinesses, markets and society;
    5. Increase students’ capacity to recognize and clarify policy-related problems and to anticipate opportunities available in the market;
    6. Enable students to effectively identify and evaluate agri-business management options when faced with different policy scenarios, and to provide an analysis of options to inform managers and other decision-makers.
    7. Improve students’ written and oral communication skills, enabling them to work effectively in an agribusiness environment;
    After completing this course you should have an understanding of the following:
    • Agricultural and food policy environment;
    • Policy formulation process;
    • Firms and entities involved in policy making;
    • Rationale of food and agricultural policies in developed and developing countries;
    • Concepts of social welfare, market failure, government failure, consumer and producer surplus, and deadweight loss;
    • Policy instruments and economic impacts of instruments;
    • How to estimate economic costs and benefits (welfare) of agricultural and food-related public policies;
    • Relationship between policies, supply, demand and income elasticities and social welfare changes.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1-6
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1-6
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1-7
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 6-7
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1-7
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 3-7
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1-7
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Assigned readings and related materials, that will be posted on the course MyUni website, and lecture notes. Lecture notes are not substitute for the assigned readings, they constitute a guide for the lectures and are not comprehensive.

    There will be no alternative resources for students who are absent (e.g. taping lectures, wireless network, pod-casts, etc. will not be used).

    No textbook is required for this course.  However, there are a number of excellent basic economics textbooks in the library that you may find useful.  I suggest reviewing several to find one that you connect with best.
    Recommended Resources
    • Journal articles, newspaper articles and research centre working papers are excellent sources of information.  We plan to draw on these sources extensively.  Mandatory and recommended readings will be provided on MyUni.
    • Information on resources to be accessed from the Library (including specialist libraries at the Waite and Roseworthy campuses, and in Law and Music. If relevant provide the contact details of the relevant subject librarian).
    • Study/essay writing/referencing guides that may be available at the  Discipline/School/Faculty level. There are often particular Discipline-related conventions for the presentation of work.
    Online Learning
    MyUni will be used to post all class materials, articles, quizzes, and announcements.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The class will consist of structured lectures that will expose students to all of the basic economic concepts with examples and case studies of real situations in which the knowledge acquired during the lecture can be applied. In some cases, class time will be allocated to solve and practice the problems and exercises assigned and discussed previously.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The course consists of 3 contact hours per week and between 7 to 10 hours per week of independent or group study outside of the classroom. Students are encouraged to discuss their homework assignments with classmates.

    Learning Activities Summary
    Date Week Lecture Notes and Topic
    3 March Week 1: Lecture 1:  Course overview and introduction to economic concepts and terms, link between economics and agricultural and food policy
    10 March Week 2: Lecture 2:  Overview of consumer theory: demand side analysis, consumer surplus and elasticity (demand, income, cross price)
    17 March Week 3: Lecture 3:  Supply side analysis: inputmarkets, supply elasticity, producer surplus, perfect competition, marke equilibrium
    24 March Week 4: Lecture 4:  Market structure, conduct and performance; imperfect competition, price and welfare determination under different market structures
    31 March Week 5: Lecture 5: Intro to Market Failures: What happens when markets don’t work? Review for mid-term exam.
    7 April Week 6: MID-TERM EXAM
    14 April No Class Mid-Semester Break:  NO CLASS
    21 April No class Mid-Semester Break:  NO CLASS
    28 April Week 7: Lecture 6: Food and Agricultural policy framework.  Rationale for government intervention in agricultural and food markets, historical and international perspectives of policy
    5 May Week 8: Lecture 7:  Policy instruments- introduction and economic analysis
    12 May Week 9: Lecture 8:  International Trade and Policy I:  Why allow trade and why restrict trade?  Comparative advantage, competitive advantage, gains from trade, effects on factor markets and prices
    19 May Week 10: Lecture 9:  International Trade and Policy II:  Mechanisms and consequences of trade protectionism from both importer and exporter perspectives, non-tariff trade barriers (NTTB), trade agreements and implications for agricultural sector
    26 May Week 11: Lecture 10: Environmental and Resource Issues:  Public goods and externalities in resource use, alternative policies for dealing with issues such as land use, soil conservation, water use and global warming, market based instruments (MBI), environmental services
    2 June Week 12: Lecture 11:  Food and Nutrition Policy:  Policies and policy instruments related to nutrition, food safety and food quality, the relationship between public and private food safety control systems, the economics of information and the role of regulations in assuring quality, food security (Invited lecturer)
    9 June Week 13: FINAL EXAM (In Class, duration: 3 hours)
    Specific Course Requirements
    There are no specific requirements for this course.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment for this subject is in the form of homework/assignments, quizzes, a mid-term exam and a final exam.  We will discuss assignment aims and assessment criteria during the semester. There will not be any exemption from any of these components on account of previous studies or under any circumstances.  In other words, you are required to submit all assignments by the specified due date or you will not receive full credit for the assignment. 


    Assessment task Due Date Type of assessment Weighting Objectives Assessed
    Written assignments and homework

    Assignment 1:
    Assignment 2:
    Assignment 3:
    Assignment 4:








    24 March
    31 March
    12 May
    2 June




    Assessing knowledge gained in


    Lectures 1-2
    Lectures 3-4
    Lectures 6-7
    Lectures 8-10




    25% of course points 1-7
    Mid-term exam 7 April Summative & Formative 35% 1,2,6
    Final exam 9 June Summative & Formative 40% 1-6
    Assessment Related Requirements
    You are required to submit all homework assignments on the due date.  You are required to attend the weekly lectures, read the assigned materials for the class beforehand, and to actively participate in lectures.  Those who fail to attend weekly lectures will miss in-class exercises and quizzes, and consequently will receive zero points for any missed in-class exercises and/or quizzes.
    Assessment Detail
    All examination will form part of the assessment and will consist but not be limited to quizzes, open book exams, exams, take home papers, practical exams, etc.  The topics to be assessed will include everything at the moment of the task unless discussed otherwise with
    the students. To pass this course you are require to pass the final exam, in other words, you need 50% of the total final exam worth.
    Submission
    • All the assignments and homeworks should be submitted to the assignment box on the ground floor of the Nexus building.
    • Submission of assignments and homeworks should be in hard copy form (not electronic) but typed – unless something else is discussed on class. Hand written answers will not be accepted, unless you are presenting a graph or mathematical calculations.
    • Cover sheets are not required. However, please insure you include your name and University identification number.
    • Late submission will result in penalties. If you return your assignment one day late I will mark the assignment over 50% of the mark (i.e. if the assignment is worth 100 marks, the assignment maximum mark will be 50 marks for turning it late). I will not accept assignments turning two or more days late, as a result you will get a zero (0) for the assignment, unless there is a special case, this will depend on the situation. To obtain an extension you will have to provide supporting documentation (e.g. medical certificate) as required by the Assessment for Coursework Programs policy.
    • The word limit should not exceed or be less than 10% of the recommended limit.
    • There will not be any exemption of assignments.
    • Assignments will be returned to students in the following class and feedback and answers will be provided for all students.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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