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Topics in agricultural economics for sustainable development

Subject content:

The course is implemented with the help of a compulsory seminar series where the current research in agricultural economics is introduced. The students will also identify and motivate the need for continued research within a sub-area in agricultural economics, which is presented in a mandatory assignment.

The course contains an overview of current research themes and methods in agricultural economics. The students also receive training in the application of research methods in agricultural economics.

Course implementation:

The course uses different teaching methods to promote students' learning and discussions through:

Lectures, seminars, group work, own studies, writing and presentations.

The course focuses on the following general competences:

Oral presentation, scientific writing, critical thinking, scientific methods, creativity, ability to work autonomously.

The following components are compulsory:

Literature seminars, presentation of own work.

Information from the course leader

A warm welcome to the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and the course Topics in agricultural economics for sustainable development!

Below, you will find general information about the student account, registration for the course and other practical information.

The student account

You will need your student account to access e.g. your e-mail, Ladok and Canvas. For information regarding how to create your student account, follow this link:

Registration for the course

Self-registration for the course is done in Ladok between 2023-08-14–2023-08-31. Remember that you must be admitted and registered in Ladok to be able take the course. Having access to Canvas does not mean you are registered in the course and without registration, you are risking losing your place in the course. If you have been admitted to the course with conditions, you need to send your credit list to the course leader who will review it and decide if you can register. Do this as soon as possible as reviewing credits may take a few days due to the course start.

Educational support

If you are entitled extra educational support, please inform the course leader at the start of the course so that special arrangements can be made.

For educational support for an exam, see instructions in the exam registration in Ladok Student. You need to register for alternative exam arrangements no later than 10 workings days prior to the examination day. More information here:

Discontinuation of a course

If you want to discontinue the course, you should immediately notify the educational administrators at, who in turn will inform the course leader and register a non-completion of the course in Ladok after your approval. You are also able to register an early non-completion of the course (within three weeks after course start) in Ladok yourself.


You need to register for exams in Ladok. The registration closes 10 working days prior to the exam. You can find your anonymity code in Ladok Student. It's not possible to register for the exam after the deadline has passed.

On Wednesdays between 12:30-14:30 we have an exam hand out at the department (Ulls hus, 4th floor). Please remember to bring your ID-card.


Do not hesitate to contact us at if you have any questions!

Kind regards,
The educational administrators

Course evaluation

The course evaluation is now closed

NA0197-10397 - Course evaluation report

Once the evaluation is closed, the course coordinator and student representative have 1 month to draft their comments. The comments will be published in the evaluation report.

Syllabus and other information

Litterature list

Reading list 2023

Introductory lecture

FAO (2018). The future of food and agriculture – alternative pathways to 2050. Rome.

Not mandatory podcast about the future of meat: Meat the four futures by Table debates. The podcast is available where you usually listen to podcasts.

Topic 1: The food consumer behaviour

  1. Denver, S., Christensen, T., Nordström, J., 2021. Consumer preferences for low-salt foods: a Danish case study based on a comprehensive supermarket intervention. Public Health Nutr. 24, 3956–3965. 10.1017/S1368980021002056
  2. Edenbrandt, A.K., Lagerkvist, C.J., Nordström, J., 2021. Interested, indifferent or active information avoider of climate labels: Cognitive dissonance and ascription of responsibility as motivating factors. Food Policy 102036.
  3. Edenbrandt, A.K., Nordström, J., 2023. The Future of Carbon labelling - factors to consider. Agric. Resour. Econ. Rev. 1–17.
  4. Faccioli, M., Law, C., Caine, C.A., Berger, N., Yan, X., Weninger, F., Guell, C., Day, B., Smith, R.D., Bateman, I.J., 2022. Combined carbon and health taxes outperform single-purpose information or fiscal measures in designing sustainable food policies. Nat. Food 3, 331–340.
  5. Just, D.R., Byrne, A.T., 2019. Evidence-based policy and food consumer behaviour: how empirical challenges shape the evidence. Eur. Rev. Agric. Econ. 1–23.
  6. Marette, S., Disdier, A.-C., Beghin, J.C., 2021. A comparison of EU and US consumers’ willingness to pay for gene-edited food: Evidence from apples. Appetite 159, 105064.
  7. Smed, S., Edenbrandt, A.K., Jansen, L., 2019. The effects of voluntary front-of-pack nutrition labels on volume shares of products : the case of the Dutch Choices. Public Health Nutr.

Topic 2: Animal health and welfare economics

  1. Adamie, B. A., Uehleke, R., Hansson, H., Mußhoff, O., & Hüttel, S. (2022). Dairy cow welfare measures: Can production economic data help? Sustainable Production and Consumption, 32, 296–305.
  2. Owusu-Sekyere, E., Hansson, H., Telezhenko, E., Nyman, A.-K. and Ahmed, H. (2023), "Economic impact of investment in animal welfare–enhancing flooring solutions – Implications for promoting sustainable dairy production in Sweden", British Food Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.
  3. Owusu-Sekyere, E., Hansson, H., & Telezhenko, E. (2022). Use and non-use values to explain farmers’ motivation for the provision of animal welfare. European Review of Agricultural Economics, 49(2), 499–525.
  4. Guy, J. H., Cain, P. J., Seddon, Y. M., Baxter, E. M., & Edwards, S. A. (2012). Economic evaluation of high welfare indoor farrowing systems for pigs. Animal Welfare, 21(SUPPL. 1), 19–24.
  5. Bornett, H. L. I., Guy, J. H., & Cain, P. J. (2003). Impact of animal welfare on costs and viability of pig production in the UK. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 16: 163–186, 2003
  6. Ahmadi, V., Stott, A. W., Baxter, E. M., Lawrence, A. B., & Edwards, S. A. (2011). Animal welfare and economic optimisation of farrowing systems. Animal Welfare, Volume 20, Number 1, February 2011, pp. 57-67(11).
  7. Jensen, T. B., Baadsgaard, N. P., Houe, H., Toft, N., & Østergaard, S. (2008). The association between disease and profitability in individual finishing boars at a test station. Livestock Science, 117(1), 101–108.

Topic 3: Resilient agricultural systems

Why does resilience matter?

  1. Darnhofer, I. (2021). Resilience or how do we enable agricultural systems to ride the waves of unexpected change? Agricultural Systems, 187, 102997.

Darnhofer (2021) is a great introduction to why resilience matters.

What is resilience?

  1. Meuwissen, M. P. M., Feindt, P. H., Spiegel, A., Termeer, C. J. A. M., Mathijs, E., Mey, Y. de, Finger, R., Balmann, A., Wauters, E., Urquhart, J., Vigani, M., Zawalińska, K., Herrera, H., Nicholas-Davies, P., Hansson, H., Paas, W., Slijper, T., Coopmans, I., Vroege, W., … Reidsma, P. (2019). A framework to assess the resilience of farming systems. Agricultural Systems, 176, 102656.

  2. Meuwissen et al. (2019) describe a five-stage framework that can be used to assess the resilience of farming systems. Central are the resilience capacities of robustness, adaptability, and transformability.

  3. Duchek, S. (2020). Organizational resilience: A capability-based conceptualization. Business Research, 13(1), 215–246.

Duchek (2020) introduces an additional resilience capacity: anticipation. She argues that time references matter: (i) anticipation happens before an unexpected event, (ii) coping (robustness in Meuwissen et al. (2019)) happens during an unexpected event, and (iii) adaptation (adaptability and transformability in Meuwissen et al. (2019))

How to assess resilience?

  1. Slijper, T., de Mey, Y., Poortvliet, P. M., & Meuwissen, M. P. M. (2022). Quantifying the resilience of European farms using FADN. European Review of Agricultural Economics, 49(1), 121–150.

Slijper et al. (2022) attempt to empirically measure the resilience capacities of robustness, adaptation, and transformation for European farms.

  1. Srinidhi, A., Werners, S. E., Dadas, D., D’Souza, M., Ludwig, F., & Meuwissen, M. P. M. (2023). Retrospective climate resilience assessment of semi-arid farming systems in India. International Journal of Water Resources Development, 1–26.

Srinidhi et al. (2023) are among the first to adopt Duchek’s (2020) framework.

Topic 4: Positive mathematical programming

Compulsory reading

Arata, L, Donati, M, Sckokai, P and Arfini, F (2017). Incorporating risk in a positive mathematical programming framework: a dual approach. The Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 61: 265-284.

Buysse J, Van Huylenbroeck G, Lauwers L (2007) Normative, positive and econometric mathematical programming as tools for incorporation of multifunctionality in agricultural policy modelling. Agr Ecosyst Environ 120(1):70–81.

Heckelei, T, and Wolff, H (2003) Estimation of constrained optimization models for agricultural supply analysis based on generalized maximum entropy. European Review of Agricultural Economics, 30(1):27-50.

Howitt RE (1995) Positive mathematical programming. Am J Agr Econ 77(2):329–342

Howitt RE (1995) Positive mathematical programming. Am J Agr Econ 77(2):329–342

Jansson, T and Waldo, S (2021). Managing Marine Mammals and Fisheries: A Calibrated Programming Model for the Seal‑Fishery Interaction in Sweden. Environmental and Resource Economics, 81: 501–530.

Mérel P, Bucaram S (2010) Exact calibration of programming models of agricultural supply against exogenous supply elasticities. Eur Rev Agric Econ 37(3):395–418

Röhm, O and Dabbert, S (2003) Integrating Agri-Environmental Programs into Regional Production Models: An Extension of Positive Mathematical Programming. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 85(1): 254-265.

Extra material (not compulsory reading)

Basnet, SK, Jansson, T and Heckelei, T (2021) A Bayesian econometrics and risk programming approach for analyzing the impact of decoupled payments in the European Union. The Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 65(3): 729-759.

Cortignani, R and Severini, S (2009) Modeling farm-level adoption of deficit irrigation using Positive Mathematical Programming. Agricultural Water Management, 96(12): 1785-1791.

Heckelei T, Britz W, Zhang Y (2012) Positive mathematical programming approaches – recent developments in literature and applied modelling. Bio-Based Appl Econ 1(1):109–124. (available from AgeconSearch, ).

Jansson T., Heckelei T. (2011) Estimating a primal model of regional crop supply in the European Union. Journal of Agricultural Economics, vol 62, nr 1, 137-152.

Sweeney JR, Howitt RE, Ling Chan H, Pan M, Leung P (2017) How do fishery policies Affect Hawaii’s longline fishing industry? Calibrating a positive mathematical programming model. Nat Res Model 30(2):941

Course facts

The course is offered as an independent course: Yes The course is offered as a programme course: Environmental Economics and Management - Master's Programme Agricultural, Food and Environmental Policy Analysis (AFEPA) - Master's Programme Agricultural Economics and Management - Master's Programme Agriculture Programme - Economics and Management Tuition fee: Tuition fee only for non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens: 13090 SEK Cycle: Master’s level (A1F)
Subject: Economics
Course code: NA0197 Application code: SLU-10397 Location: Uppsala Distance course: No Language: English Responsible department: Department of Economics Pace: 100%