cod. 1009242

Academic year 2024/25
2° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Statistica economica (SECS-S/03)
A scelta dello studente
Type of training activity
Student's choice
48 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: UNIBO
course unit

Learning objectives

By the end of the course, students will acquire an understanding of the economic forces behind the functioning of food markets, as well as of the most important food policy instruments. Models and quantitative methods for the analysis of food systems and of the most relevant food policies will also be introduced to students. A special focus on the role of safety in the food market, risk behaviors and food safety policies will be provided.


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Course unit content

Module 1
• Food supply and food demand: price, trade, technological progress
• The market for food safety
• Market failure and foodborne risks, asymmetric information and moral hazard
• Information economics and policy: the market for news
• Elements of behavioural economics: risk perception, risk attitudes and consumer behaviour under uncertainty
• A taxonomy of food policies: market vs. information measures
 Information policies and social marketing
 Fiscal policies: taxes and subsidies
 Regulations and food standards
 Trade measures and non-tariff barriers
Module 2
• Review of the multiple linear regression, with a case study on a US food security program
• Counterfactual analysis for nutrition policy assessment with case studies
• Difference-in-difference analysis, with a case study on food security during COVID-19 in Nigeria
• Time series and dynamic demand models (random walk, autoregressive model, stochastic and deterministic trends, stochastic and deterministic seasonality, error-correction model) with case studies on food scares
• Structural Equation Modelling of consumer attitudes and acceptance of nutrition policies

Full programme

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The course is based on lecture notes and chapters/articles provided through the e-learning platform (Elly/Virtuale).

Teaching methods

The course consists of a combination of theoretical lectures, applied case studies and quantitative tutorials.

Assessment methods and criteria

Despite the course being split into two modules, there is a single lecturer and a single grade, expressed in thirtieths. Hence, there is a single exam. Both attending and non-attending students can choose one among these two exam modalities: either oral exam, or home assignment.

Oral Exam:
The oral exam will be in presence, on the dates listed on ESSE3/AlmaEsami. Each student who will choose to take the oral exam will be asked 6 questions, of which:
• 3 open questions about the theory learned in Module 1
• 3 open questions about the statistical methods learned in Module 2. These questions can be about the interpretation of a model’s estimation output, or about the characteristics, purpose and properties of a method.
Students must register on ESSE3/AlmaEsami by 2 days before the date of the exam, as well as on the course space on Elly/Virtuale, so that they can receive the lecturer’s communications about the timetable of the oral exam. Please check your e-mail the day before the oral exam, to know your turn.

Home Assignment:
The home assignment is written (no oral presentation required) and consists of an essay where the student discusses 6 papers in relation to the relevant course topics. One of such 6 papers must be chosen from those provided on Elly/Virtuale. 5 further papers can be chosen from the reference list of the first paper, or by searching other academic articles dealing with the same topic on Google Scholar/ E-pub).
The home assignment cannot be done in pair/group.
The students who decide to take the home assignment (instead of the oral exam) are required to timely send an e-mail to:, where they tell the lecturer which paper, of those provided on Elly/Virtuale, they have chosen. In case the same paper has been chosen by other students previously, the student will be asked to change paper.
Detailed directions and suggestions for writing the essay are provided on Elly/Virtuale.
The essay must be sent to: at least 7 days before the exam date indicated on ESSE3/AlmaEsami (e.g. if the exam date is on June 23rd, the essay must be sent by midnight of June 16th) in pdf/Word/other similar format. The lecturer will send a feedback with the grade the day before the date of the exam. If the student does not reply, the grade will be verbalized on the date of the exam. Students who want to reject the grade, must communicate it to the lecturer, by responding to her e-mail, by 5 p.m. on the date of the exam. In this case, they have to choose further 6 papers pertaining to a new topic (different from the one dealt with in the previous essay), communicate their choice to the lecturer and write a new essay for another exam date.
Students who choose the home assignment, must also register on ESSE3/AlmaEsami by 2 days before the date of the exam.

Other information

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