Agricultural economics

Agricultural economics

Agricultural economics originally applied the principles of economics to the production of crops and livestock — a discipline known as agronomics. Agronomics was a branch of economics that specifically dealt with land usage. It focused on maximizing the yield of crops while maintaining a good soil ecosystem. Throughout the 20th century the discipline expanded and the current scope of the discipline is much broader. Agricultural economics today includes a variety of applied areas, having considerable overlap with conventional economics. [Karl A. Fox (1987), "Agricultural Economics", "", v. 1, pp. 55–62.]


Economics is the study of resource allocation under scarcity. Agronomics, or the application of economic methods to optimizing the decisions made by agricultural producers, grew to prominence around the turn of the 20th century. The field of agricultural economics can be traced out to works on land economics. Henry Charles Taylor was the greatest contributor with the establishment of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Wisconsin. Another contributor, Theodore Schultz was among the first to examine development economics as a problem related directly to agriculture. [Economic Growth and Agriculture, New York: MacGraw-Hill, 1968] Schultz was also instrumental in establishing econometrics as a tool for use in analyzing agricultural economics empirically; he noted in his landmark 1956 article that agricultural supply analysis is rooted in "shifting sand", implying that it was and is simply not being done correctly. [Reflections on Agricultural Production, Output and Supply, Journal of Farm Economics, 1956]

Areas of Concentration

*International Development
*Community and rural development
*Food safety and nutrition
*International trade
*Natural resource and environmental economics
*Production economics
*Risk and uncertainty
*Consumer behavior and household economics
*Health economics
*Labor economics
*Forestry economics
*Analysis of markets and competition
*Agricultural policy
*Industrial organization
*Marketing of agricultural products
*Rural sociology

Agricultural economics tends to be more microeconomic oriented. Many undergraduate Agricultural Economics degrees given by US land-grant universities tend to be more like a traditional business degree rather than a traditional economics degree. At the graduate level, many agricultural economics programs focus on a wide variety of applied microeconomic topics. During the last decades, graduates from Agricultural Economics departments across America find jobs in diversified sectors of the economy; from corporations to government. Their demand is driven by their pragmatism, optimization and decision making skills, and their skills in statistical modelling. Fact|date=November 2007

ee also

* agrarian law
* agrarian reform
* agribusiness
* land economics


External links

** [ University of Florida, Food and Resource Economics Department]
** [ Kansas State University, Department of Agricultural Economics]
** [ University of Arizona, Agricultural and Resource Economics]
** [ Colorado State University, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics]
** [ Clemson University, Department of Applied (Agricultural) Economics and Statistics]
** [ Cornell's Applied Economics and Management]
** [ Louisiana State University A&M]
** [ Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food & Resouce Economics]
** [ Ohio State University, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics]
** [ Oklahoma State University Agricultural Economics Department]
** [ Purdue University, Department of Agricultural Economics]
** [ University of Alberta, Department of Rural Economy]
** [ University of California, Berkeley, Agricultural and Resource Economics Department]
** [ University of California, Davis's Agricultural and Resource Economics Department]
** [ University of Maryland's Agricultural and Resource Economics Department]
** [ University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics]
** [ University of Minnesota's Applied Economics Department]
** [ Virginia Tech, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics ]
** [ Texas A&M University, Department of Agricultural Economics]
** [ Texas Tech University, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics]
** [ Washington State University, School of Economic Sciences]

*Research institutions
** [ Center for Agricultural and Food Industrial Organization]
** Cornell Food and Brand Lab []
** [ International Food Policy Research Institute]

*Academic and professional associations
** [ American Agricultural Economics Association]
** [ Canadian Agricultural Economics Society]
** [ European Association of Agricultural Economists]
** [ International Association of Agricultural Economists]

*Academic journals
** Agricultural Economics
** American Journal of Agricultural Economics

*Digital library
** [ AgEcon Search: Research in Agricultural and Applied Economics]

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