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Agricultural and Resource Policy Analysis - Policy and Project Evaluation
FRE 505
Instructor: Dr. Richard Barichello
Email:, Phone: (604) 822-3473
Office: 339 MacMillan
Office Hours: TBA
Class Schedule: Feb 27 - Apr 7

Tue&Thur 12:30-14:00

Classroom: MCML 154
Important Course Pages
Lecture Notes
Course Discussion

Class Info

Class Time: Feb 27 - Apr 7

Tuesdays and Thursdays: 12:30-14:00                                                        

Room: MCML 154


Rick Barichello

Office: 339 MacMillan

Phone: (604) 822-3473


Office Hours: 14:00-15:00 Tuesdays


FRE 502: Food Market Analysis or,

FRE 501: Commodity Markets and Price Analysis

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. In early lectures, the topic of agricultural productivity measurement is also introduced.

Learning Objectives: by the end of the course students will be able to:

  1. Master the concepts in the PAM, Total Factor Productivity and CBA.
  2. Understand the type of data required for each.
  3. Identify key elements of local factor markets in order to collect appropriate data.
  4. Apply the PAM (Including DRC) and CBA in real life settings with actual data.
  5. Handle common difficulties or barriers to obtaining high quality data, and develop ways to overcome them. 
  6. Identify measures of agricultural sector productivity, particularly Total Factor Productivity, and the steps and challenges in measuring the latter.

Course Format

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

Course Requirements (Subject to changes)

Your grade shall be determined as follows

Requirements Date Percent of Grade
Problem sets (2): 8%, 12% (1) after Lec7; (2) after Lec8 20 %
Class Quizzes (2) @ 7% (1) Near Lec5; (2) near Lec6 14 %
Final Exam April 54 % 
Policy Brief (1) April 12 %

In-class Quizzes and Problem Sets

The quizzes and problem sets will allow an opportunity to use the PAM (policy analysis matrix) and CBA (cost benefit analysis) with real world information. The quizzes focus on the PAM, the problem sets 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. 

Policy Briefs

The policy brief will be a 1-page summary of the results of PAM and CBA analyses/problem sets or policy options of your choice. They will provide practice in communicating results of your analyses to help policy makers understand your analysis and then 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. 

Academic Misconduct

Academic dishonesty and plagiarism are taken very seriously in the MFRE program and can result in a range of punitive measures, which could include failing the program. It is each student’s responsibility to review and understand what constitutes academic dishonesty and plagiarism and how to avoid them.

Academic honesty is essential to the continued functioning of UBC as an institution of higher learning and research. All UBC students are expected to behave as honest and responsible members of an academic community. Breach of those expectations or failure to follow the appropriate policies, principles, rules, and guidelines of the University with respect to academic honesty may result in disciplinary action.

Academic misconduct that is subject to disciplinary measures includes, but is not limited, to the following:

  • Plagiarism, which is intellectual theft, occurs where an individual submits or presents the oral or written work of another person as his or her own. In many UBC courses, you will be required to submit material in electronic form. The electronic material will be submitted to a service which UBC subscribes, called TurnItIn. This service checks textual material for originality. It is increasingly used in North American universities. For more information, review TurnItIn website online.
  • Cheating, which may include, but is not limited to falsification of any material subject to academic evaluation, unauthorized collaborative work; or use of unauthorized means to complete an examination.
  • Submitting others work as your own, may include but not limited to i. using, or attempting to use, another student’s answers; ii. providing answers to other students; iii.  failing to take reasonable measures to protect answers from use by other students; or iv. in the case of students who study together, submitting identical or virtually identical assignments for evaluation unless permitted by the course instructor.
  • Resubmission of Material, submitting the same, or substantially the same, essay, presentation, or assignment more than once (whether the earlier submission was at this or another institution) unless prior approval has been obtained from the instructor(s) to whom the assignment is to be submitted.
  • Use of academic ghostwriting services, including hiring of writing or research services and submitting papers or assignments as his or her own.

Student Responsibility: Students are responsible for informing themselves of the guidelines of acceptable and non-acceptable conduct for examinations and graded assignments as presented via FRE code of conduct guidelines; course syllabus and instructors; and UBC academic misconduct policies, Review the following web sites for details:

Penalties for Academic Dishonesty: The integrity of academic work depends on the honesty of all those who work in this environment and the observance of accepted conventions. Academic misconduct is treated as a serious offence at UBC and within the MFRE program. Penalties for academic dishonesty are applied at the discretion of the course instructor. Incidences of academic misconduct may result in a reduction of grade or a mark of zero on the assignment or examination with more serious consequences being applied if the matter is referred to the Dean’s office and/or President’s Advisory Committee on Student Discipline.

Online Course Material

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

Course Outline and Readings

How to use this course outline: Course outlines are generally a collection of papers, and topics we cover in policy and project evaluation. 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. If so, searching for the article via the UBC library gives access to its electronic version.

Proposed Lecture Schedule

Lecture 1 Introduction to PAM, including Field Research Methods
  • 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 5 Factor Market Cost Estimation: Labour
Lecture 6 Factor Market Cost Estimation: Capital, Credit + 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 7 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 8 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 9 Domestic Resource Cost: nature of concept, how to measure it 

Intro to Case Study on Community Pastures in BC (including homework)

Lecture 10 Project Evaluation Case.
  • Case Study: Community Pastures in BC (cont; Solutions)
  • Case Study: Ethiopia Honey CBA (Intro)
Lecture 11 Project Evaluation Case.
  • Ethiopian Honey CBA, cont.
  • Case Study: Ethiopia Dairy/beef/coffee CBA Model, intro
Lecture 12 Project Evaluation Case.
  • Case Study: Vietnamese Electricity Investments
Lect 3-4 Guest Lectures: Sean Cahill, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Agricultural productivity measures, Total Factor Productivity

Lecture 12/13      Proj Eval Case: Philippines hotel

                            Proj Eval Case: Pump Storage added to Wind/renewable (Advanced)