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AREC 315
Agribusiness Economics and Management


SYLLABUS Fall 2008

Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
University of Arizona

AREC 315

Fall 2007
MWF 10:00-10:50 a.m. Marley 230

Paul N. Wilson, Professor
Chávez 403A
621-6250 (fax)

Office Hours
Monday, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. and
Wednesday, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Students are encouraged to stop by the office to discuss matters requiring clarification or regarding other academic issues. I maintain an OPEN DOOR POLICY. I will speak with you, if I am in my office, unless I am working on something extremely urgent. Or you may make an appointment at a mutually agreeable time by calling me on the phone or sending me an email message with proposed meeting times.

Teaching Assistant
Dinkar Kuchibhotla
Chávez 436
Office Hours: Tuesday 12:30–2:00 PM or by appointment

Admin. Asst.
Heather Jepsen
Chávez 403B

Course Objectives
This course is designed to equip students with the economic intuition and analytical skills demanded in global business, with a concentration on entrepreneurship and innovation. Emphasis is placed on economic principles, analytical tools, strategic management, entrepreneurship, and decision science. Problem-solving skills will be developed in case study discussions, in-class team projects and short homework assignments.

Course Organization
  1. Consistent class attendance has a strong, positive correlation with student learning. A complete set of class notes is a valuable learning asset during the semester.
  2. Sixteen teams will be formed by the instructor the first week of class. You will be seated near your team members throughout the semester. There will be numerous in-class team activities- some graded and others not graded.
  3. Pop quizzes will be given during the semester. These quizzes will be team exercises. The purpose of these quizzes is to give the student practice working in teams, encourage attendance and provide the instructor with feedback on student learning. Each quiz is worth 10 points.
  4. All assigned work is due on the announced date. No late assignments will be accepted.
  5. No make-up exams are planned. Missing an examination is considered a serious action by the student but extenuating circumstances should be brought to the instructor’s attention. With the instructor’s approval the weight of the missed exam may be added to the remaining exams or the comprehensive final.
Econ 200 or 201a

Confidentiality of Student Records

Course Withdrawal
If you decide to withdraw from this course you must notify the instructor prior to nonattendance in classes and execute drop or withdrawal procedures in accordance with the UA General Catalog ( Any student failing to attend class in two or more successive classes is subject to automatic withdrawal if arrangements have not been made between student and instructor.

Incomplete Policy
Any incomplete grade must be verified with a written agreement between you and the instructor specifying the work to be done and a timetable of completion. The provision of the General Catalog will be followed (

Special Needs and Accommodations Statement
Students who need special accommodation or services should contact the SALT (Strategic Alternatives Learning Techniques) Center for Learning Disabilities and/or the Disability Resources Center:

SALT Center Disability Resources Center
1010 N. Highland Ave. 1224 East Lowell Street
P.O. Box 210136 Tucson, AZ 85721
Tucson, AZ 85721-0136 (520) 621-3268
(520) 621-1242 (520) 621-9423 FAX
(520) 626-9448 FAX (520) 626-6072 TTY
The need for accommodations must be documented by the appropriate office.

Classroom Behavior
Please turn off your cell phone/pager during the classroom period. Please do not read the newspaper or sleep while class is in session. Disruptive students will be asked to leave the classroom. For further information please see

Student Code of Academic Integrity
Students are encouraged to share their views and discuss freely the principles and applications of course materials. However, graded work/exercises must be the product of independent effort unless otherwise instructed. Students are expected to adhere to the UA Code of Academic Integrity as described in the UA General Catalog:

Student Evaluation
I use a standards-based grading system where grades are assigned in an approximate 90% and above=A, 80-89=B, 70-79=C, etc. scale. Grades are not based on a curve. Examples of previous exams/quizzes are available on the course website:

Assessment Design (subject to change at the discretion of the instructor)

1. Individual Performance  
In-term Exams (4@75 points each)
Short Assignments (5@20 points each)
Business Idea and Competitor Analysis
Final Exam (Comprehensive)
Individual Total
2. Team Performance
Pop Quizzes (15@10 points each)
Team Total
Course Total

Required Textbook
Png, Ivan and Dale Lehman (2007). Managerial Economics, 3rd Edition, Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers.

This textbook is available in the ASUA Bookstore.

Support Materials
Other supplementary reading materials will be distributed in class or put on the course website during the semester and the student is responsible for this material as well. I suggest you purchase a large 3-ring binder for your notes and handouts.

Several Special Topic lectures are drawn from:

Maital, S. (1994) Executive Economics: Ten Essential Tools for Managers. The Free Press, New York.

Lecture material on innovation is taken from:

Carlson, C.R. and W.W. Wilmot. Innovation: The Five Disciplines for Creating What Customers Want. New York: Crown Publishing, 2006.

Students do not need to buy either of these books.

Class attendance, conscientious note taking, active listening, and reading/studying the textbook are all critical for academic success.

General Course Outline (Subject to change at the discretion of the instructor.)

I. Introduction: Integration of Economics and Management

  • Course Orientation
  • Introduction to Managerial Economics (Chapter 1)
  • The Executive and Leadership

II. Economics of Strategy (1 week)

  • Industry and Competitor Analysis
  • Global Competition

III. Economics of Entrepreneurship (1 week)

  • Introduction
  • Business Plan

IV. Economics of Innovation (2 weeks)

  • Creating Customer Value
  • Innovation Team
  • Innovation Enterprises

IV. Marketing and Customer Demand (3 weeks)

  • Marketing Overview
  • The Basics of Customer Demand (Chapter 2)
  • Elasticity (Chapter 3)

V. Barriers to Entry: Economics of Execution/Production

  • Economics for Managers

-Supply (Chapter 4)
-Competitive Markets (Chapter 5)
-Economic Efficiency (Chapter 6)
-Costs (Chapter 7)

  • Budgeting

-Operating Budget
-Partial Budgets
-Cash Flow Budgeting
-Capital Expenditure Budget (Capital Budgeting)

VI. Rivalry: Economics of Market Structure (2 weeks)

  • Monopoly (Chapter 8)
  • Pricing (Chapter 9)
  • Strategic Thinking (Chapter 10)

VII. Imperfect Markets and Uncertainty: Managing for Biases, Surprises and the Unknown
(2 weeks)

  • Externalities (Chapter 12)
  • Asymmetric Information (Chapter 13)
  • Incentives and Organization (Chapter 14)
  • Traps in Decision Making
  • Trust

Key Assessment Dates

(Subject to Change at the Discretion of the Instructor)



Sept 19

In-Term Exam #1

Oct 10

Business Plan (Phase I) Due

Oct 17

In-Term Exam #2

Nov 5

In-Term Exam #3

Nov 21

Competitor Analysis Due

Dec 8

In-Term Exam #4

Dec 12

Final Exam, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.


syllabus in pdf format

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