731353 Food and agricultural policies in new institutional economics

Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Kniepert, Martin
Offered in
Sommersemester 2023
Languages of instruction


New Institutional Economics (NIE) has evolved since the 1970s. While keeping Neoclassical Economics (NE) as an important cornerstone of its concept, NIE does not shy away from questioning some of NEs basic assumptions. Thereby, also policy conclusions of NE are to be reconsidered. So, market failures due to lack of information, irrational behaviour, ill-defined property rights, or non-competitive market structures are not simply set aside as negligible, nor are they seen as deficiencies that could or should be overcome as such. For NIE, the real world is accepted as it is, instead of adjusting it to theoretical assumptions. This includes, that the typical dichotomy of plan-vs-market debates is dissolved in a more differentiating analysis. NIE goes beyond NE, in that it does not leave it at the pure price mechanism guiding the allocation of scarce resources. It includes also institutions (i.e. rules of behaviour). This lecture will analyse such institutions where encountered in the field food and agriculture, and possibly acknowledge their productive contribution.

Previous knowledge expected

This lecture will principally start from scratch. It may be of some advantage if participants feel familiar with Neoclassical Economics. Mostly, this will have been covered by some undergraduate microeconomics course. In any case, there will be a concise refreshment of Neoclassical Economics for all those who want to go for it.

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

Participants will be enabled to categorise and analyse different patterns of economic organisation in the field food and agriculture in a theoretically rigorous way. This will include e.g. forms of contract farming, franchising, the role of food law, a discussion of geographical indication vs. trade marks, and other issues.
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.