Agricultural and Resource Economics

About the major

A major in Agricultural and Resource Economics provides a valuable understanding of commodity markets and the economics of agricultural production, and an analytical understanding of a wide range of natural resource management problems. The major also provides valuable quantitative skills for students interested in economic management of natural resource systems, environmental economics, fishery and forestry economics, ecosystems, conservation and sustainability. Focus is placed on the development of analytical, quantitative and communication skills. It adds considerably to the prospects of students interested in working as applied economists in commodities and futures markets, merchant and trading banks, government departments, large agribusiness firms, corporate farms, and in the media as economic journalists.

Requirements for completion

A major in Agricultural and Resource Economics requires 48 credit points from the Unit of Study table including:
(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level core units
(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level core units
(iii) 12 credit points of 3000-level core units
(iv) 6 credit points of 3000-level selective units
(v) 6 credit points of Interdisciplinary Project unit

A minor in Agricultural and Resource Economics requires 36 credit points from the Unit of Study table including:
(i) 12 credit points of1000-level core units
(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level core units
(iii) 12 credit points of 3000-level core units

First Year

The Agricultural and Resource Economics major requires skills in both microeconomics and macroeconomics. These basic skills are introduced in ECON1001 Introductory Microeconomics and ECON1002 Introductory Macroeconomics.

Students are introduced to concepts of efficiency and to externalities and public goods. These concepts are crucial to understanding environmental issues and agricultural markets. The macroeconomic environment is also of vital importance to micro-level outcomes in agricultural markets (for example, economic activity exchange rates and interest rates all have a significant impact on internationally traded commodities).

Second year

Microeconomic tools of analysis are of critical importance to understanding resource and agricultural markets, and to understanding the market failures (and potential policy responses) underlying environmental issues.

Students are taught these skills in ECOS2001 Intermediate Microeconomics, which further develops the training they received in ECON1001. AREC2005 Concepts in Agriculture and Resource Economics presents specific issues relating to these markets, and uses the tools developed in ECON1001 and ECON1002 to analyse these issues.

Third year

The third year compulsory units ECOS3013 Environmental Economics and AREC3002 Agricultural Markets emphasize the use of the analytical skills developed in ECOS2001 to apply them to specific topics and issues.

Students will be required to think through complicated problems using their disciplinary training and to communicate possible solutions. They will also be able to identify the limitations of government policy responses in these markets. The culminating unit for the major is the interdisciplinary project unit. This unit will require students to demonstrate that they can choose the appropriate model to critically analyse and to provide advice. Students will also need to be able to demonstrate they understand the limitations of the models used.

Contact/further Information

School of Economics: sydney.edu.au/arts/economics
Room 370, Merewether H04
Email:

Example Pathways

Agricultural and Resource Economics major pathway

Year and Semester Units of Study
1st Year S1

ECON1001
Introductory Microeconomics

 
S2

ECON1002
Introductory Macroeconomics

 
2nd Year S1

AREC2005
Concepts in Agriculture and Resource Economics

 
S2 ECOS2001
Intermediate Microeconomics
 
3rd Year S1 AREC3XXX/ECOS3XXX
Agricultural &  Resource Economics major selective unit
AREC3XXX/ECOS3XXX
Agricultural & Resource Economics major selective combined interdisciplinary & project unit
S2 ECOS3013
Environmental Economics
AREC3002
Agricultural Markets

 

Agricultural and Resource Economics minor pathway

Year and Semester

 

Units of Study

1st Year S1 ECON1001
Introductory Microeconomics
 
S2 ECON1002
Introductory Macroeconomics
 
2nd Year S1 AREC2005 Concepts in Agriculture and Resource Economics  
S2 ECOS2001 Intermediate Microeconomics  
3rd Year S1    
S2 ECOS3013 Environmental Economics AREC3006 Agricultural Markets
Learning outcomes
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the basic principles and theories of micro and macroeconomics, including comparative advantage, opportunity cost, efficiency, public goods, externalities and market power.
  2. Apply economic theory and applied methodologies to analyse agricultural markets and environmental issues.
  3. Exhibit economic skills that could be used to critically evaluate government policies relating to agricultural markets and to environmental issues using an economic framework; these skills will be assessed in varying tasks and problems throughout the major.
  4. Apply economic theory to a variety of case studies, and demonstrate an understanding of how to assess the various costs and benefits of alternative government policy responses in agricultural and environmental markets. Students will be assessed on how effectively they communicate their analysis.
  5. Clearly communicate the results and implications of informed and sophisticated economic analysis.
  6. Work both independently and collaboratively to construct and defend a valid argument applied to agricultural or resource economics.
  7. Apply economic analysis to work and research in other relevant disciplinary communities.