AREC 464
Economics of Policy Analysis

Lecture Note
Problem Sets

Syllabus for Fall 2013

GROUP ASSIGNMENT (Deadlines Dec 3 & 5; 20% of final course grade)

AREC 464
Economics of Policy Analysis
Fall 2013
Tu Th 9:30–10:45 AM, Chávez, Room 301

Course Description
Applied economic theory and method of policy analysis and public choice. Emphasis is on policies affecting agriculture and rural America—especially government intervention in agricultural markets.

Course themes are divided into 4 modules: Agricultural policies, trade policies, resource policies, macroeconomic policies, and the US federal budget deficit. Students will learn to apply the tools of welfare economics to evaluate various policies of importance to US agriculture. The course emphasizes policy simulation exercises, use of web-based simulation tools, and student presentations.

Instructor: Dr. George Frisvold
Office: 426 Chávez Building
Phone: 621-6269
Office hours: Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday Noon – 1:30 PM or by appointment

Teaching Assistant: Travis Burkel
Office: 438 Chávez Building
Phone: 621-9748
Office hours: Monday & Wednesday 1:00 – 2:30 PM or by appointment

Prerequisites: ECON 300 or ECON 361 or AREC 315; MATH 113.

Course Website
Problem sets, problem set answer sheets, and quiz answer sheets will be handed out in class and posted to the course website ( throughout the semester.

Course Reading, Resources, Requirements and Grading

Required Reading
Required text: John B. Penson, Jr., C. Parr Rosson, III, Richard T. Woodward.  Introduction to Agricultural Economics, 5th Edition. Prentice Hall. 2010.
Other required course readings will be on downloadable .pdf files that can be accessed through the course website.

• Four (4) problem sets (best 3 of 4 grades count)
• Four (4) quizzes (best 3 of 4 grades count)
• County Agricultural Profiles group projects & presentations
• An open book, open note final exam


Points Grade
240 – 269
210 – 239
180 – 209
Below 180


Points are allocated as follows.

Assignments Points % of Grade
Problem Sets 75 points (25 points for each of 3)
Quizzes 75 points (25 points for each or 3)
Group Project/Presentation 75 points
Final Exam 75 points

What happens if you turn in a problem set late?
Students are to turn in problem sets in class on the day they are due. If you know you are going to be away, you can always turn a problem set in early. Scores on late problem sets will be marked down 20%. After the answer key and graded problem sets are handed out in class, you will get no points for turning in that problem set.

Special Needs
Students needing special accommodations or special services should contact the Disability Resource Center ( and/or the SALT Center ( Students with disabilities who require reasonable accommodations to fully participate in course activities or meet course requirements must register with the Disability Resource Center (DRC). If you qualify for services through DRC, please bring your letter of accommodation to me as soon as possible.


Week   Topics   Assignments
1 (8/27, 29)  

Course Overview & Introduction to Welfare Economics
Food and Agricultural Sectors in the US Economy

2 (9/3, 5)   Introduction to Welfare Economics
The “Farm Problem” and Rationales for US Farm Programs
3 (9/10, 12)   Welfare Economics: Applications to Agricultural Policies   Problem Set 1 due (9/12)
4 (9/17, 19)   US Agricultural Trade & Trade Policies: Description   Quiz 1 (9/19)
5 (9/24, 26)   Trade Policies: Welfare Analysis    
6 (10/1, 3)   Macroeconomic Policy: Monetary Policy   Problem Set 2 due (10/3)
7 (10/8, 10)   Macroeconomic Policy: Fiscal Policy   Quiz 2 (10/10)
8 (10/15, 17)   The Fiscal Crisis: What Went Wrong?
Contemporary Macroeconomic Debates: Monetary Policy
9 (10/22, 24)   Contemporary Macroeconomic Policy Debates: Fiscal Policy
Regional Economic Analysis: Economic Base Theory
  Problem Set 3 due (10/24)
10 (10/29, 31)   Regional Economic Analysis Concepts: Location Quotients, Share Shift Analysis   Quiz 3 (10/31)
11 (11/5, 7)   Food and Agriculture Sectors in Arizona's Economy
County Economics Profiles: Where to Find Data
12 (11/12, 14)   County Economics Profiles: How to Present Data
Rural Development Policy: Old and New Approaches
  Problem Set 4 due (11/14)
13 (11/19, 21)   Input-Output Models: Concepts
Input-Output Models: Applications
Quiz 4 (11/21)
14 (11/26)   Group Project Q&A and Help
15 (12/3, 5)   Group ProjectPresentations
16 (12/10)   Review of Course Topics    
Final Exam (12/19)   Final is open book, open note Chávez 301, Final 10:30 – 12:30 AM (12/19)    

Last updated November 21, 2013.
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