The course deals with the economic theory of the agri-food sector, recalling and discussing the assumptioms underlying this theory and analyzing their implications and their degree of realism with respect to the behavior of agents operating in the agri-food sector (producers, consumers, processing industry and distribution). Particular attention will be paid to the theory of production costs, to the theory of demand and to the theory perfect and imperferct competition (monopoly, oligopoly and monopolistic competition). In this framework, all examples and case studies will be discussed with reference to the reality of the Italian agro-food system and the catering sector.

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The supply of agri-food products
- Agriculture and perfect competition
- Market structures and imperfect competition in agri-food sector
- Production costs agricultural supply in the short term
- Production costs and agricultural supply in the long term

The demand for agri-food products
- Call for preference theory: from utility to demand curve
- Income and substitution Effect and classification of goods
- Price elasticity
- Income Elasticity-and Engel's Law
- Food demand as differentiated goods

Agriculture and the agro-food system
- The concept of supply chain and its application to the agri-food sector
- Food consumption in Italy
- An overview of the agri-food system in the EU and in Italy

Core Documentation

- M. De Benedictis, F. Cosentino, Economia dell'azienda agraria, Il Mulino, Bologna, 1979: cap. 1, 6 e 7
- F. De Filippis, La domanda dei prodotti agroalimentari.
- Lessons slides and selected readings will be delivered during the course

Type of evaluation

The exam is oral, but the students who attended the course may choose to take a written exam at the end of the course

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