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Agricultural and Resource Policy Analysis - Policy and Project Evaluation
FRE 505
Instructor: Dr. Richard Barichello
Office: MCML 339
Office Hours: TBA
Class Schedule: Mon, Wed 2:30pm - 4:00pm
Classroom: TBA
Important Course Pages
Lecture Notes
Course Discussion

Course Description

This course introduces students to the use of two common evaluation tools for government policies and projects, the Policy Analysis Matrix (PAM) and Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA). It also introduces students more briefly to the use of Domestic Resource Cost (DRC) and its calculation. The PAM and DRC are focused on policies and CBA on investment projects. Both involve distinguishing between private and social (or economic) profitability, and both involve data collection at the micro (farm or project) level. Substantial attention is given to understanding factor markets and related institutions to enable quality data collection. Case studies are used.

Course Goals

  • Master the concepts in the PAM, DRC and CBA.
  • Understand the type of data required for each.
  • Identify key elements of local factor markets in order to collect appropriate data.
  • Apply the PAM, DRC, and CBA in real life settings with actual data.
  • Handle common difficulties or barriers to obtaining high quality data, and develop ways to overcome them.

Course Format

12 lectures of 1.5 hours, twice a week for 6 weeks.


Activity Percent of Grade
Problem Sets (2) (Due: TBA) 35%
Final Exam (TBA) 40%
Reading Questions (3 times over 6 weeks) 25%
Total: 100%

Problem Sets

The problem sets will allow an opportunity to use the PAM (policy analysis matrix) and CBA (cost benefit analysis) with real world information. The first problem set focuses on the PAM, the second on CBA. These applications will help everyone understand the types of data that are required and to learn key features of local factor markets that can guide one in collecting the appropriate data. The policy briefs will be two-page summaries of the results from their PAM and CBA analyses/problem sets. The policy briefs will provide practice in communicating the results of the analysis to help choose better policies.

Final Exam

The final exam will be comprehensive (it shall cover all material taught in class), and will last two hours. It will take the form of short answer and longer answer questions. This could include calculations, written explanations, and the manipulation of supply and demand models. Exams must be taken at the scheduled times unless there is a time conflict with another exam, serious illness, or an emergency. You must validate with documentation the reason(s) why you will be unable to take any exam.

Reading Questions

During three classes, a short test will be conducted, directly related to the content of the lectures. The objective is to test comprehension of the lecture topics and to encourage preparation using assigned reading material.

Academic Dishonesty

Please review the UBC Calendar “Academic regulations” for the university policy on cheating, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty. Academic dishonesty will be dealt with very seriously in this course.

Online Course Material

Available at Connect: You are required to regularly login to your course page for FRE 505. Your syllabus, course-lecture slides, additional material, announcements, assignments, and grades are available.

Course Outline and Readings

How to use this course outline: This outline is a collection of papers, and topics commonly taught in agriculture and resource policy analysis. Wherever possible a stable link to the paper is provided. While some of these links will work anywhere, many of them are digitally protected requiring a subscription. You can access this material by logging in through your account at the UBC library, or on any computer connected via Ethernet on the UBC network. For some articles no link is provided, in that case, please search for the article (if you search via the UBC library you will find access to its electronic version).

Class Outline

Lecture Class Topics
Lecture 1 Introduction to PAM, including Field Research Models
  • E. Monke and S.R. Pearson 1989, “The Policy Analysis Matrix for Agricultural Development”, First Edition. Cornell: Cornell University Press.
Lecture 2 Factor Market Estimation: Land
Lecture 3 Factor Market Cost Estimation: Labour, Capital, Credit
Lecture 4 PAM Case Study, Empirical Application, calculating PAMs
  • Yao, Shujie, 1997, “Rice Production in Thailand Seen Through a Policy Analysis Matrix”, Food Policy, Vol. 22, No.6, pp. 547-560
Lecture 5 An Introduction to Project Evaluation (Benefit Cost Analysis)
  • Jenkins G. P, C. Y. K Kuo and A.C. Harberger, “Cost-Benefit Analysis for Investment Decisions. (2011 Manuscript)
Lecture 6 Cases in Cost Benefit Analysis
  • Glenn P. Jenkins and George Kuo, 1998. Buenos Aires – Colonia Bridge Project. Financial and Economic Appraisal. International Institute for Advance Studies, Inc.
Lecture 7 Domestic Resource Cost: nature of concept, how to measure (readings TBA)
Lecture 8 Total Factor Productivity (TFP)
  • Agricultural Growth and Productivity in Southeast Asia

Project Evaluation Case: Community Pastures in BC (intro; homework)

Lecture 9 Project Evaluation Cases
  • Case Study: Community Pastures in BC (cont; Solutions)
  • Case Study: Ethiopia GRAD Honey CBA (Intro)
Lecture 10 Project Evaluation Cases
  • Ethiopian Honey CBA, cont.
  • Case Study: Ethiopian Dairy/beef CBA model, intro
Lecture 11 Project Evaluation Cases
  • Ethiopian Dairy/beef CBA, cont.
  • Case Study: Ethiopian Coffee market, CBA
Lecture 12 Evaluation of Forestry Projects