AREC 464
Economics of Policy Analysis

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Syllabus for Fall 2014

AREC 464
Economics of Policy Analysis
Fall 2013
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.

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
Email: frisvold@ag.arizona.edu
Office hours: Monday & Wednesday 9:30 – 11:00 PM or by appointment

Teaching Assistant: Colin Moore
Office: 438 Chávez Building
Phone: 621-9748
Email: moorecl@email.arizona.edu
Office hours: T 11–1, W 3–5, 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 (http://ag.arizona.edu/classes/arec464/) throughout the semester.

Course Reading, Resources, Requirements and Grading

Required Reading
There is no required text that you need to purchase. Required course readings will be on downloadable .pdf files that can be accessed through the course website.

Assignments
• 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

Grading

Points Percent Grade
270–300
>90%
A
240 – 269
80–89%
B
210 – 239
70–79%
C
180 – 209
60–69%
D
Below 180
<60%

F

Points are allocated as follows.

Assignments Points % of Grade
Problem Sets 75 points (25 points for each of 3)
25%
Quizzes 75 points (25 points for each or 3)
25%
Group Project/Presentation 50 points
17%
Final Exam 100 points
33%

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 (http://drc.arizona.edu/) and/or the SALT Center (http://www.salt.arizona.edu/). 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.

CALENDAR OF TOPICS, READINGS, AND ASSIGNMENTS

Week   Topics   Assignments
1 (8/26, 28)  

Course Overview
Introduction to Welfare Economics

   
2 (9/2, 4)   The “Farm Problem” and Rationales for US Farm Programs
How US Farm Programs Work
  Problem Set 1 due (9/4)
3 (9/9, 11)   US Agricultural Trade & Trade Policies: Description   Quiz 1 (9/11)
4 (9/16, 18)   Trade Policies: Welfare Analysis    
5 (9/23, 25)   Agricultural R&D & Science Policies: Description   Problem Set 2 due (9/25)
6 (9/30, 10/2)  

Agricultural R&D & Science Policies: Welfare Analysis

  Quiz 2 (10/2)
7 (10/7, 9)   Economics of Pesticides and Pesticide Regulation    
8 (10/14, 16)   Pesticide and Biotechnology Regulation   Problem Set 3 due (10/16)
9 (10/21, 23)   Economics of Engangered Species and Biodiversity Preservation   Quiz 3 (10/23)
10 (10/28, 30)   Invasive Species
Halloween Lecture: Economics of Zombies
   
11 (11/4, 6)   Regional Economics: Issues & Methods
  Problem Set 4 due (11/6)
12 (11/11, 13)   Veterans Day Holiday
Introduction to Group Project
 
Quiz 4 (11/13)
13 (11/18, 20)   Group Project In-Class Session
Group Project Presentation
   
14 (11/25, 27)   Topic TBA
Thanksgiving holiday
   
15 (12/2, 4)   Group Project Post-Mortem
Economics of Drug Discovery: The Case of Taxol
   
16 (12/9)   Review of Course Topics    
Final Exam (12/17)   Final is open book, open note in Haury (Anthro Bldg) from 10:30 – 12:30 (12/17)    

Last updated August 26, 2014.
Document located at http://ag.arizona.edu/classes/arec464/syllabus.html
website contact: arecweb@ag.arizona.edu


 

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