AREC 464
Economics of Policy Analysis

Lecture Note
Problem Sets

Syllabus for Fall 2015

AREC 464
Economics of Policy Analysis
Fall 2015
Tu Th 9:30–10:45 AM, Haury (Anthro Bldg), Room 129

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. The course introduces basic tools of quantitative, economic policy analysis. Students will learn how these tools can be applied to diverse issues: pesticide regulation, evaluation of biotechnology, invasive species control, international trade policies, and water rationing.

Instructor: Dr. George Frisvold
Office: 426 Chávez Building
Phone: 621-6269
Office hours: Tuesday & Thursday 11:00 – 1:00 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
The course textbook is
Loomis, J., & Helfand, G. (2003). Environmental Policy Analysis for Decision Making (Vol. 1). Springer Science, Business Media.

This is available as an E-book through the University Main Library. You can download individual chapters for free through the library.

Other readings on policy topics are also required and will be available for download as pdf files on the password-protected course reading list site.

• Four (4) problem sets (best 3 of 4 grades count)
• Four (4) quizzes (best 3 of 4 grades count)
• Group project/presentation
• An open book, open note final exam


Points Percent 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 50 points
Final Exam 100 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 (8/25, 27)  

Course Overview: What is Policy Analysis?
Basic Concepts

2 (9/1, 3)   Welfare Economics: Theory    
3 (9/8, 10)   US Agricultural Trade & Trade Policies   Problem Set 1 due (9/10)
4 (9/15, 17)   Policy Analysis Across Time: Discounting
Non-Market Valuation
  Quiz 1 (9/17)
5 (9/22, 24)   Programming Models    
6 (9/29, 10/1)  

Economics of Pesticides and Pesticide Regulation

  Problem Set 2 due (10/1)
7 (10/6, 8)   Economics of Agricultural Biotechnology   Quiz 2 (10/8)
8 (10/13, 15)   Regression and Data Analysis for Program Evaluation    
9 (10/20, 22)   Regional Economics: Issues and Methods   Problem Set 3 due (10/22)
10 (10/27, 29)   Economics of Invasive Species
Halloween Lecture: Economics of Zombies
  Quiz 3 (10/29)
11 (11/3, 5)   Input-Output Models: Applications (and Misapplications)
12 (11/10, 12)  

Introduction to Group Project
Group Project In-Class Session

  Problem Set 4 due (11/12)
13 (11/17, 19)   Group Project Presentations
Economics of Resistance Management
  Quiz 4 (11/19)
14 (11/24, 26)   Topic TBA
Thanksgiving holiday
15 (12/1, 3)   Resistance Management: Policy Issues
In-class Resistance Management Game
16 (12/8)   Review of Course Topics    
Final Exam (12/15)   Final is open book, open note in 128 Haury (Anthro Bldg) from 8:00 – 10:00 (12/15)    

Last updated August 24, 2015.
Document located at
website contact:


AREC Home | About the Department | Research & Publications | Academics
Schedule of Classes | AgInfo | UAInfo