Agricultural economics

Published: 21 December 2015

Agricultural economics studies how farms, and the households managing those farms, use resources for production and how this affects the income and livelihoods of the people involved in farming. Agricultural economics also studies how surrounding economic structures and institutions affect farming, and how farming in turn affects its surroundings.

Our research in agricultural economics focuses on agriculture and agricultural households in developing countries. Key research topics include how missing markets and imperfect competition in markets for key inputs and outputs affect production, consumption and investment decisions of agricultural households. Part of this research has entailed studying how government policies and interventions by non-government organisations affect the options available to farmers and farm households, including how social norms about gender roles limit the options available to female farmers and female-headed farm households. Other research has studied the scope for farmers in developing countries to adapt to uncertain weather and to long run changes in the climate. The methods employed include household surveys, including adaptations of environmental valuation techniques; econometrics; and non-linear programming models.