APME21-Policy Analysis

Module Provider: APD
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Basic understanding of microeconomics. This is an optional module for the suite of MSc programmes offered in Applied Economics. It is available to students on other MSc/MA programmes who have some background in microeconomic theory.
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Francisco Areal

Email: f.j.areal@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

This is an applied welfare economics module with focus on an agricultural policy and international trade. The general rationale of the module is to provide an understanding of the needs for policy interventions with respect to environmental and agricultural issues: optimal scale, market failure and distributive justice. Problems related to policies implementation are also addressed. Specific examples related to the contexts of agricultural prices, policies and trade, on one hand, and environmental problems on the other, provide a reference to real life policy issues.

This module will provide students with the basic tools necessary to apply economic theory to the analysis of agricultural/trade and environmental policies.

Assessable learning outcomes:

1. To discuss and analyse the role and limits of the market system 2. To compare and contrast different policy tools 3. To carry out simple policy analysis 4. To carry out a simple cost-benefit analysis.  5. To carry out price analysis of agricultural prices.

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

The module will provide an understanding of the rationale behind policy interventions, with particular emphasis on market failures and distributional justice. Government failures and problems associated with the policy application/implementation will also be addressed. The main examples will come from agricultural/trade policies and environmental policies.

Lecture 1: Welfare analysis, markets, efficiency and government’s role

Lecture 2: Agricultural policies, trade liberalisation and the WTO

Lecture 3: WTO and the Doha Round

Lecture 4: Input-output models

Lecture 5: Agricultural Prices analysis

Lecture 6: Cost-Benefit Analysis

Practical 1: Input-Output model

Practical 2: Agricultural price analysis

Practical 3: Simple Cost-benefit Analysis


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Teaching will be delivered through a series of 2-hour lectures, which will include also opportunities for students to work in group and discuss specific issues. The module will also provide students with the opportunity to further their understanding of particular agricultural or environmental problems through analysis of case studies.

Material from different textbooks and various articles will be used during this module. However, as a reference the following are indicated:
oWeimer, D and Vining, A. Policy Analysis. Pearson
oSloman, J. and Wride, A. (7th Edition) Economics. Prentice Hall
oKrugman, P. Wells, R and Graddy, K. Economics. Worth Publishers
oBellinger. The Economic Analysis of Public Policy. Routledge.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 12
Project Supervision 6
Guided independent study 82
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 70
Class test administered by School 30

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
A mark of 50% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:

By re-examination in August only

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 31 March 2017

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