Welcome to AGEC 450
International Agricultural Trade

Fall 2005


This is a public archive of materials used in this course when it was taught in Fall 2005 by Prof. Will Masters.  Later versions of the course are taught by Prof. Phil Abbott.


Handouts and reference materials

Course info and outline

Syllabus in html format (for on-screen viewing)
Syllabus in pdf format (for printing)

Instructions for the course project

Project help sheet in html format
Project help sheet in pdf format

Instruction sheet for submitting final report (using turnitin.com)
Note that you can experiment with draft submissions then submit final report; both can be over-written anytime before the deadline.


Other handouts

Lecture slides

Quick feedback form (print and deliver as needed)

Week 1: Introduction to Agricultural Trade 
Week 2: Why do people trade? 
    + Wk. 2 continued: Comparative advantage in the real world
Week 3: Where do prices come from?
Week 4:  Import policies and the politics of protection
Week 5: Export policies and the development paradox
    + Wk. 5 continued: Trade policy in development
Week 6: Globalization (videos for discussion)
Week 7: Nominal and Effective Protection
    + Wk 7: grades to date
Week 8: Global trade negotiations and the WTO
    + New York Times article on this week’s negotiations
Week 9: Regional trade agreements (NAFTA, EU etc.)
    + slides for pre-midterm review (from previous weeks)
Week 10: Macroeconomic influences on agriculture
Week 11: Trade, the environment and labor standards
Week 12: Economic growth and agricultural trade
     + Wk 12 continued: income and technology effects
Week 13: continuation of income and technology effects
     + Wk 13: “Competitiveness” and foreign investment
Week 14: Wrap-up and review
Happy Thanksgiving!
Week 15/16: Student presentation schedule and updated info
Week 16: Pre-finals review



Quiz 1             Quiz 5            Quiz 10
Quiz 2             Quiz 6            Quiz 11
Quiz 3             Quiz 7            Quiz 12
Quiz 4             Quiz 8            Quiz 13 
(Quiz 9 was the
midterm exam.  Here is its answer key and results.)


Other helpful information

Instructor & Textbook
(click on photos for details)

(click on photo for
more info about me)

(click on cover to find
lowest-cost source)



A few web resources

… our textbook
is good, but there’s
lots more out there!


These and other links are included in the course outline and project help sheet, but you may want to go to them directly from here:

·        For help with your own writing, check out Purdue's on-line writing lab; for help with other aspects of this course you might check out Purdue’s Academic Success Center.

·        To search for anything that’s posted free on the web I would turn first to google, and to find any kind of academic research, use scholar.google – the best thing to happen to higher education since the G.I. bill!

·        To search for newspaper and magazine articles, as long as you’re enrolled at Purdue take advantage of our libraries’ paid subscriptions to the Lexis-Nexis service.

·        To follow trade policy and trade negotiations, I particularly recommend the "Bridges" news digest and the Dani Rodrik-Robert Lawrence website.

·        For statistics on the world economy, World Bank data are often the most useful; convenient access is provided through Purdue’s subscription to the World Development Indicators.  The United Nations also provides convenient access to a few key Social Indicators, and is a particularly good source for population data. To compare the standard of living across countries, the best data come from the Penn World Tables.  You can go directly to specify which countries and years you want; to see trends in living standards over time, the best indicator is usually the one marked “Real GDP per capita (Constant Prices: Chain series)”.

·        For data on agriculture, FAO statistics are usually authoritative and accessible, especially when using Purdue’s FAOStat subscription.  In addition you might want FAO’s data on world commodity prices and trade.  The USDA produces an alternative set of estimates which is also excellent, called the PS&D dataset.   For the U.S. in particular, ERS has many excellent sources.  Then, to find useful analyses of those and other data, there are good search tools to look for relevant USDA publications, as well as many (but not all) University-based publications.   For agriculture in industrialized countries, another important place to look is the OECD’s agriculture departmernt, especially using Purdue’s SourceOECD subscription.

·        For food expenditure data, the ERS maintains an extensive database of recently-estimated consumption budget shares and elasticities.

·        For data on environmental conditions, I recommend the World Resources Institute's "Earthtrends" database.


If all that’s not enough…

·        To navigate around all of economics, by far the best site is Resources for Economists.  It offers a huge collection of well-maintained links. 

·        For the economy of United States, an excellent summary of evolving conditions is provided every year in the Economic Report of the President, that includes several tables of data on agriculture. Other favorite sources include Congressional Research Service reports and, for agriculture, the many publications of the USDA Economic Research Service.

·        For data and research across all industrialized countries and how they influence the rest of the world, try SourceOECD.  The OECD is particularly useful for its data on foreign aid, which is one of the few ways that people in rich countries can really change the lives of people in poor countries; U.S. aid goes mainly through the Agency for International Development, and there are similar agencies in all other industrialized countries such as Canada and Britain.  Private agencies are also involved, such as Oxfam America and Bread for the World.  For new technologies capable of improving the lives of the poorest, much of the key research is done by the international agricultural research centers



last updated August 21, 2006
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