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Advanced Production Economics

  • Photo: 
    Shutterstock, SFIO CRACHO

NOVA PhD course of 7.5 ECTS, organised by Professor Yves Surry, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. 
Preliminary course dates: April 1, 2019 to September 30, 2019.
Digital distance learning course.

Course Description
The course focuses on the microeconomic theory of the firm based on the primal and dual representation of production technology. For the primal, we start with single output technologies and the production function and then we consider the functional representation for multi-input and multi-output technologies such as transformation, input and output distance functions. For the dual, we consider cost, revenue and profit functions. Then we proceed with indirect representations of technology. Finally we consider the directional distance functions. In all these cases, we pay attention to the theoretical properties of the underlying functions and we show how we can use them to analyze the structure of production by means of returns to scale, the elasticity of substitution, shadow prices and comparative statics results. We also explore the implications of modeling bad outputs. The last part of the course is devoted to the application of these theoretical tools to empirical analysis. In particular, we consider estimating a production function and a system of cost, revenue or profit functions equations using econometrics.

The outline of the course is as follows:
1. Primal Representation of Production Technology: 
   a. Production Function
   b. Transformation Function
   c. Input Requirement Function 
   d. Input and Output Distance Functions
2. Dual Representation of Production Technology: 
   a. Cost Function
   b. Revenue Function
   c. Profit Function
3. Indirect Primal and Dual Representation of Production Technology: 
   a. Indirect Production Function
   b. Indirect Input and Output Distance Functions
   c. Revenue and Cost Constrained Functions
4. Directional Distance Functions
   a. Directional Input and Output Distance Functions
   b. Directional Technology Distance Function
5. Modeling of Bad (Undesirable) Outputs
   a. The Weak Output Disposability Approach
   b. The Multi-equation Approach
6. Applied Production Analysis: 
   a. Estimation of Cost, Revenue and Profit Function System of Equations 
   b. Estimation of Production Functions

Programme Outline
The first 10 weeks of the course include two two-hours lectures (40 hours in total) and an hour on-line meeting with students (10 hours in total) per week. The lectures will be recorded and will be available to students at the platform of the course. During the first ten weeks of the course, students have to prepare 5 assignments, one every two weeks, required 35 hours of independent work. Then it will be a period of other ten weeks for literature studies which will require 100 hours of work, followed by one on-line seminar and the take home exam in the last week.

Learning Outcomes
Students will acquire skills and necessary knowledge to address and deal with production-related problems using real world data. Such problems may be related to efficient resource allocation within enterprises, including farm enterprises, evaluation of productive performance and examining sustainability and analyzing environmental issues of production, including pollution, climate change, etc. It is expected that after the completion of the course, participants will be able to undertake these types of empirical studies independently in terms of research projects, consultancy work or as part of their PhD thesis.

Evaluation Elements
Please see programme outline above.

Pedagogical Approach
Please see programme outline above.

Estimated Workload

  • 10 hours on line seminar/meetings
  • 40 hours lectures
  • 35 hours independent work
  • 15 hours written exercises/assignments
  • 100 hours other (literature studies)

Under the heading "other" are included 100 hours of literature studies that are needed for the students to assimilate and study all the materials that will be provided in this proposed distance education course

Prerequisite Knowledge
M.Sc. or equivalent studies in economics, agricultural economics, farm management, and environmental economics with courses in microeconomic theory and calculus are required.

Admission for NOVA courses is handled by the course organiser/ the NOVA member institution organising the course. Please see the links in the margin for more information.

Apply here
To be announced

To be announced

Published 16. January 2019 - 13:48 - Updated 22. January 2019 - 14:54