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Agricultural Economics. Lecture 2. http://www.farmingfirst.org/green-economy/. Agricultural economics surveys agriculture and the food industry in its many facets and forms. The agricultural economist is concerned with the entire food and fiber system. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of Agricultural Economics

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Agricultural Economics, 3th edition By H. Evan Drummond and John W. Goodwin
© 2011, 2004 Pearson Higher Education, Inc. Pearson Prentice Hall - Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
Introduction to Agricultural Economics
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Agricultural Economics, 3th edition By H. Evan Drummond and John W. Goodwin
© 2011, 2004 Pearson Higher Education, Inc. Pearson Prentice Hall - Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
Introduction to Agricultural Economics
Agricultural Economics, 3th edition By H. Evan Drummond and John W. Goodwin
© 2011, 2004 Pearson Higher Education, Inc. Pearson Prentice Hall - Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
Introduction to Agricultural Economics
Agricultural economics surveys agriculture and the food industry in its many facets and forms.
The agricultural economist is concerned with the entire food and fiber system.
From inputs used, all the way through the production, processing, distribution, and consumption chain.
Study of agricultural economics covers much more than just the activities of farmers or ranchers.
Some economists deal with issues of resource conservation, pollution control, and water management.
Others study the agribusiness sector as purchasers, processors, and distributors of food and fiber products.
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Agricultural Economics, 3th edition By H. Evan Drummond and John W. Goodwin
© 2011, 2004 Pearson Higher Education, Inc. Pearson Prentice Hall - Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
Introduction to Agricultural Economics
Observe & describe a particular range of phenomena.
Organize those observations into recognizable patterns.
Formulate “laws” where sufficient regularity warrants.
The laws give scientist a basis on which to make predictions.
Economics is a social science, and social scientists must deal with the laws of human nature.
As humans are not consistent in their behavior, the laws of the social scientist are less reliable & more open to exception than those of physical or biological scientists.
Nevertheless, economic behavior of most persons is generally consistent, and thus, predictable to a degree.
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Agricultural Economics, 3th edition By H. Evan Drummond and John W. Goodwin
© 2011, 2004 Pearson Higher Education, Inc. Pearson Prentice Hall - Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
Introduction to Agricultural Economics
AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS
Economics is that particular social science that deals with the allocation of scarce resources among an unlimited number of competing alternative uses.
The word “resources” describes anything tangible:
Wheat, barbed wire, hamburgers, water, labor, clean air.
Every resource is relatively scarce, meaning the availability of every resource is insufficient to
satisfy all of its potential users.
Scarcity creates the need for a system to allocate the available resource among some of those potential users.
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Agricultural Economics, 3th edition By H. Evan Drummond and John W. Goodwin
© 2011, 2004 Pearson Higher Education, Inc. Pearson Prentice Hall - Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
Introduction to Agricultural Economics
AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS
Agricultural economics is the social science that deals with the allocation of scarce resources among competing alternative uses found in the production, processing, distribution, and consumption of food and fiber.
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Agricultural Economics, 3th edition By H. Evan Drummond and John W. Goodwin
© 2011, 2004 Pearson Higher Education, Inc. Pearson Prentice Hall - Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
Introduction to Agricultural Economics
Self-interest, scarcity, and choice.
an allocation system.
there is no decision to be made.
Since economics is about decision making & allocation,
without choices there would be no need for economics.
Self-interest is what drives the consumer to seek more “stuff ” at a lower price.
It also drives the producer to produce as efficiently as possible—all economic activity is driven by self-interest.
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Agricultural Economics, 3th edition By H. Evan Drummond and John W. Goodwin
© 2011, 2004 Pearson Higher Education, Inc. Pearson Prentice Hall - Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
Introduction to Agricultural Economics
Every economic system must resolve five basic
issues:
society—they simply cannot be avoided.
Institutional & political systems of each society determine
the manner in which these decisions will be made.
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Agricultural Economics, 3th edition By H. Evan Drummond and John W. Goodwin
© 2011, 2004 Pearson Higher Education, Inc. Pearson Prentice Hall - Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
Introduction to Agricultural Economics
ECONOMIC SYSTEMS
At one extreme of possible allocation mechanisms lies the free market or price system.
Each individual producer and consumer, restricted only by financial resources, is free to choose what, how,
how much, and when to produce or consume.
Financial resources of each consumer resolves the
“for whom” question.
All decisions are made by a central planning agency
or other administrative individual such as an absolute dictator or tribal chief.
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Agricultural Economics, 3th edition By H. Evan Drummond and John W. Goodwin
© 2011, 2004 Pearson Higher Education, Inc. Pearson Prentice Hall - Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
Introduction to Agricultural Economics
ECONOMIC SYSTEMS - Price System
An advantage of the price system is consumer sovereignty and freedom in economic decisions.
The price system is a very efficient mechanism for the “what,” “how,” “how much,”& “when” decisions.
Its does have shortcomings, which even its most ardent supporters recognize.
In a price system, the old adage, that the “rich get richer and the poor get poorer,” has some validity.
There are a number of resources that a price system cannot efficiently allocate.
Frequently called public or nonmarket goods, these
include education, national defense, and fire protection.
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Agricultural Economics, 3th edition By H. Evan Drummond and John W. Goodwin
© 2011, 2004 Pearson Higher Education, Inc. Pearson Prentice Hall - Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
Introduction to Agricultural Economics
ECONOMIC SYSTEMS - Command System
very effective in allocating public goods.
And can be quite egalitarian in “for whom” decisions.
Disadvantages of such an allocation system are loss of individual freedom in economic decisions.
And inherent inefficiencies of central planning agencies.
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Agricultural Economics, 3th edition By H. Evan Drummond and John W. Goodwin
© 2011, 2004 Pearson Higher Education, Inc. Pearson Prentice Hall - Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
Introduction to Agricultural Economics
BASIC SKILLS OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMISTS
The study of agricultural economics provides the student with an opportunity to explore phenomena common to everyday life from the perspective of an analytical scientist.
The role of the economist is to devise rules for making decisions in an ever-changing, uncertain economic environment.
These rules can be used to make production,
consumption, marketing, and financial decisions.
Studying logic of these managerial rules, a student can learn to adjust decisions to changing environments in which economic activity occurs.
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Agricultural Economics, 3th edition By H. Evan Drummond and John W. Goodwin
© 2011, 2004 Pearson Higher Education, Inc. Pearson Prentice Hall - Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
Introduction to Agricultural Economics
Economic Models
It is impossible for economists to explain, much less predict all behavior—different people act differently.
As a general rule, people act in similar, predictable ways.
An expected pattern of economic behavior is called an economic model.
The basic building block in the logic of the economist.
A model usually will include…
Some assumptions about human behavior.
Other assumptions about the institutional environment
in which a particular form of human behavior takes place.
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Agricultural Economics, 3th edition By H. Evan Drummond and John W. Goodwin
© 2011, 2004 Pearson Higher Education, Inc. Pearson Prentice Hall - Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
Introduction to Agricultural Economics
Economic Models
The economist uses the model to attempt to describe appropriate economic behavior.
Leading to the eventual achievement of some goal.
A frequently used economic model is the “perfectly competitive firm,” with a number of assumptions about the firm & the its operating environment.
The assumption is made that the firm is so small relative to the market that its actions will not affect the market.
Also that the firm manager attempts to maximize profits
given a particular resource endowment.
Are the assumptions valid?
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Agricultural Economics, 3th edition By H. Evan Drummond and John W. Goodwin
© 2011, 2004 Pearson Higher Education, Inc. Pearson Prentice Hall - Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
Introduction to Agricultural Economics
Economic Models
At best, economic models approximate reality in a manner that enhances our ability to conceptualize and simplify the real world we are examining.
Models provide the economist with an internally consistent mechanism for conceptualizing problems.
They force the economist to reason in a systematic, deductive manner.
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Agricultural Economics, 3th edition By H. Evan Drummond and John W. Goodwin
© 2011, 2004 Pearson Higher Education, Inc. Pearson Prentice Hall - Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
Introduction to Agricultural Economics
Ceteris Paribus
Ceteris paribus is a Latin phrase that roughly translates to “everything else being equal.”
Generally any economic principle is valid only
when all other external factors remain the same.
Use of ceteris paribus gives economics much of
the logical rigor required in a scientific inquiry.
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Agricultural Economics, 3th edition By H. Evan Drummond and John W. Goodwin
© 2011, 2004 Pearson Higher Education, Inc. Pearson Prentice Hall - Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
Introduction to Agricultural Economics
All economic resources have value.
Value is sometimes determined in a marketplace where the user of a resource pays the prevailing price for the
use of the resource.
those resources are not purchased in the open market.
In the latter case, economists use the principle of opportunity cost to determine the economic value
of a resource.
Though there is no manifest market price of that resource.
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Agricultural Economics, 3th edition By H. Evan Drummond and John W. Goodwin
© 2011, 2004 Pearson Higher Education, Inc. Pearson Prentice Hall - Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
Introduction to Agricultural Economics
Opportunity costs cannot be measured directly.
They can only be estimated indirectly.
The study of economics is all about economic values—costs and returns.
When available, we use market prices to determine economic value.
When market prices are not available, we use the
concept of opportunity cost to estimate those values.
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Agricultural Economics, 3th edition By H. Evan Drummond and John W. Goodwin
© 2011, 2004 Pearson Higher Education, Inc. Pearson Prentice Hall - Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
Introduction to Agricultural Economics
the concept of diminishing returns is central to
the process of economizing.
The basic idea of diminishing returns is that as you increase the amount of something, ceteris paribus
will eventually increase at a decreasing rate.
Diminishing returns.
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Agricultural Economics, 3th edition By H. Evan Drummond and John W. Goodwin
© 2011, 2004 Pearson Higher Education, Inc. Pearson Prentice Hall - Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
Introduction to Agricultural Economics
the “law of diminishing marginal utility.”
Marginal utility refers to the additional utility or satisfaction associated with one additional unit of a good being
consumed—ceteris paribus.
What this law says is that the amount of total utility gained from consuming a good eventually increases at a decreasing rate.
Assuming consumption of everything else stays constant.
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Agricultural Economics, 3th edition By H. Evan Drummond and John W. Goodwin
© 2011, 2004 Pearson Higher Education, Inc. Pearson Prentice Hall - Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
Introduction to Agricultural Economics
the concept of marginality.
or an incremental unit of something.
Most economic analyses deal not with the marginal value of production or consumption.
It is on the margin where economic decisions are made.
As the consumer consumes additional units of a good, ceteris paribus, additional satisfaction or
utility obtained by each unit decreases.
At any given consumption level, economists focus
on the economics of the marginal or additional unit.
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Agricultural Economics, 3th edition By H. Evan Drummond and John W. Goodwin
© 2011, 2004 Pearson Higher Education, Inc. Pearson Prentice Hall - Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
Introduction to Agricultural Economics
The relevant economic question of the consumer should be…
Is the marginal utility associated with one additional unit greater than the marginal cost of acquiring that unit?
Regardless of current level of satisfaction or utility, if the marginal utility is greater than the marginal cost, the consumer can increase total utility by consuming the marginal unit.
The same basic principle applies to production as well
As additional units of fertilizer are applied to a
given amount of land, ceteris paribus.
Incremental or marginal returns to that fertilizer decline.
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Agricultural Economics, 3th edition By H. Evan Drummond and John W. Goodwin
© 2011, 2004 Pearson Higher Education, Inc. Pearson Prentice Hall - Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
Introduction to Agricultural Economics
Marginality
Using marginal analyses, we are able to determine economic optimizing behavior.
Ignoring total costs or returns & concentrating on marginal costs and returns, we are able to focus
on the economizing process.
From the economist’s perspective, everything happens on the margin.
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Agricultural Economics, 3th edition By H. Evan Drummond and John W. Goodwin
© 2011, 2004 Pearson Higher Education, Inc. Pearson Prentice Hall - Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
Introduction to Agricultural Economics
FACTS, BELIEFS, AND VALUES
Since economics inevitably must deal with the value system of individuals and society, it is important to distinguish among facts, beliefs,
and values.
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Agricultural Economics, 3th edition By H. Evan Drummond and John W. Goodwin
© 2011, 2004 Pearson Higher Education, Inc. Pearson Prentice Hall - Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
Introduction to Agricultural Economics
FACTS, BELIEFS, AND VALUES
As a social scientist, the agricultural economist studies man’s behavior as producer and consumer.

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