Economics of innovation in agriculture

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The main training goal is to develop expertise on role, characteristics and patterns of innovation in the agricultural sector.
Specific goals concern expertise on:
- conceptual and methodological framework for economic analysis of innovation in agriculture;
- economic history of agricultural development;
- agricultural input markets (seeds, plant protection, fertilizers, feedings, machinery and equipment);
- role and characteristics of public and private agricultural research;
- intellectual property (patents, plant variety rights) and technology transfer in agriculture;
Expected learning outcomes
Acquirable skills:
- ability to obtain market information on ag-input sectors;
- understanding of intellectual property legislation in agriculture;
- patent data processing (validation, sorting, summarization, aggregation, classification, analysis, reporting)
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
On 24 September, there will be the presentation on the course. Due to the COVID19, most of the lessons will be online, partly synchronous (using TEAMS) and partly asynchronous (recorded lessons on STREAM).
Two meetings (in presence) will be organized during the semester.
Course syllabus
1) Introduction: economic theory of innovation (micro and macroeconomics remands); process and product innovations; innovation and market equilibrium; innovation's role in the Production Possibility Frontier. (0,5 CFU)
2) Agricultural economic history in the last two centuries: evolution of production, price and consumption; production factors: land, capital and labor; partial productivities; Total Factor Productivity (TFP); Productivity Growth decomposition; growth pathways. (1,5 CFU)
3) Technical progress in agriculture. Topics and spread pathways of the agricultural innovations. Ag-inputs markets: fertilizers, pesticides and seeds; feedstuffs; ag-machineries. (1,5 CFU)
4) Guide to use the investigation and update sources: websites, data sets (FAO, World Bank), public reports. (0,5 CFU)
5) Research and innovation. Public and private agricultural research. National and International ag-research system (CREA, CGIAR). (0,5 CFU)
6) Intellectual Property Rights. Patent system. UPOV Convention. A guide to Patents dataset. (1,5 CFU)
7) Monographic part: agbiotech innovations; topics and spread. Guide to use the investigation and update sources. (0,5 CFU)
Prerequisites for admission
Essentials of Economics. Agricultural Economics and Politics
Teaching methods
The teacher will supply the teaching equipment directly for memory devices and the information to approach Reports, News and Statistics on the Web. Some lectures and seminars with ag-input market's players on topics related to the course will be organized.
Teaching Resources
Federico, G. - Breve storia economica dell'agricoltura, Il Mulino 2009 (also available like: G. Federico - Feeding the world - Princeton University Press)
Fuglie, K. - Harvesting Prosperity. Technology and Productivity Growth in Agriculture. World Bank Group 2020…
Scientific papers, reports and other materials on Web
Assessment methods and Criteria
The final exam will consist in an oral discussion about the teaching and in a final oral presentation (PowerPoint) of a case study. The evaluation criteria will be the reasoning skills and the ability to link technical and economic topics.
Lessons: 48 hours