Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
University of Arizona
Structure, Management, and Performance of American Agriculture
D. Thompson and Paul N. Wilson
319 and 403A
following class or by appointment. Open door policy.
a seminar setting, students will study and discuss the current economic
issues surrounding America’s modern agricultural sector. Special
attention will be given to topics of competitiveness, structure, organization,
using an economics analytical framework.
Week: Daily lectures, readings and discussion on the industrial
organization of U.S. agriculture.
Week: Field trip to the Central Valley of California to interact
Week: Class discussions and presentations of research papers.
attendance is required, including participation in the field trip.
students are expected to read each daily assignment and be prepared
to discuss the assignment in class.
students are expected to actively participate in the six-day field
trip to the Central Valley of California.
will be required to write a research essay (12 page maximum) on a
structural, management, performance or strategy topic associated
with U.S. agriculture. The essay must draw upon the course material
and research conducted by the student. Your essays must be typed
using a 12 point font and be double spaced with 1" margins. The
essay is due on or before 5:00 p.m. on June 7 (electronic submission).
Late essays will be penalized. We are willing to assist you as you
develop your essay idea.
Grades will be assigned on the basis of class attendance, the quality
of classroom and field trip participation, field trip questions, and
the research essay. These efforts will be evaluated as follows:
Trip Questions 50
will not be a final exam.
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.
A series of required readings are available in the ASUA Bookstore.
Besanko, David, David Dranove and Mark Shanley. 1996. The Economics
of Strategy. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Milgrom, Paul and John Roberts. 1992. Economics,
Organization & Management.
Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.
These two resources are on reserve in the Main Library.
Confidentiality of Student Records:
filed by the end of the fourth week of classes result in cancellation of registration
in the course. For course withdrawals filed from the end of the fourth week
of classes until the end of the eighth week of classes, the grade of "W" is
awarded to students who are passing at the time of withdrawal; the grade of "E" may
be awarded to students not passing at the time of withdrawal. Both
grades show on the student's permanent record.
The last day on which a student may drop a course is the last day of
the eighth week during which classes are held, except for an extraordinary
reason approved by the student's college dean (in the case of undergraduate
students) or by the Dean of Students (in the case of students withdrawing
completely from the University). (http://catalog.arizona.edu/2007%2D08/policies/dropadd.htm)
of I may be awarded only at the end of a term, when all but a minor
portion of the course work has been satisfactorily completed. The
grade of I will not to be awarded in place of a failing grade or
when the student is expected to repeat the course; in such a case,
a grade other than I will be assigned. Students should make arrangements
with the Professors Thompson or Wilson to receive an incomplete
grade before the end of the semester.
Please turn off your cell phone/pager and any musical
device during the class period. Please ask Professor Wilson
for permission to use your laptop to take notes; without instructor
permission, laptops will not be allowed in class. Students disrupting
class activities will be asked to leave. The Arizona Board of
Regents’ Student Code of Conduct, ABOR Policy 5-308, prohibits
threats of physical harm to any member of the University community,
including to one’s self.
Needs and Accommodations:
Students who need special accommodation
or services should contact the Disability Resources Center, 1224
East Lowell Street, Tucson, AZ 85721, (520) 621-3268, FAX (520)
621-9423, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, http://drc.arizona.edu/.
You must register and request that the Center or DRC send Dr. Wilson
official notification of your accommodations needs as soon as possible.
Please plan to meet with Professor Wilson by appointment or during
office hours to discuss accommodations and how my course requirements
and activities may impact your ability to fully participate. The
need for accommodations must be provided by the appropriate office.
and ethical behavior are expected of every student in all academic work. This
Academic Integrity principle stands for honesty in all class work, and ethical
conduct in all labs and clinical assignments. (http://dos.web.arizona.edu/uapolicies/cai1.html)
May 19 Monday
Economic Concepts for Strategy
The Evolution of the Modern Firm
May 20 Tuesday
The Vertical and Horizontal Boundaries
of the Firm
Robert A. Hoppe, Penni Korb, Erik J. O’Donoghue, and
David E. Banker. Structure and Finances
of U.S. Farms: Family Farm Report. EIB-24, ERS/USDA,
Washington, D.C., 2007.
Sara D. Short. Structure, Management, and Performance
Characteristics of Specialized Dairy Farm Businesses in the
United States. Agricultural Handbook No. 720, ERS/USDA,
Washington, D.C. 2000.
May 21 Wednesday
Market and Competitive Analysis
J. Michael Harris, Phil Kaufman, Steve Martinez, and Charlene
Price. The U.S. Food Marketing System. AER-811,
ERS/USDA, Washington, D.C., 2002.
Market and Competitive Analysis
Thomas L. Vollrath. North American Agricultural Market
Integration and Its Impact on the Food and Fiber System.
AIB-784, ERS/USDA, Washington, D.C., 2003.
Strategic Positioning for Competitive
Paul N. Wilson and Gary D. Thompson. “Time Integration:
Agribusiness Structure for Competitive Advantage.” Review
of Agricultural Economics. 25(2003): 30-43
N. Wilson “The Economic Nature of Network Capital
in B2B Transactions.” Agribusiness: An International
Journal. 23(2007): 435-448.
Turn in Field Trip Questions
Travel to Bakersfield, California
A.M. Tree Crops
P.M. Water Management
P.M. Environmental Issues
A.M. Sales and Marketing
A.M. Labor Management
P.M. Input Supply
Return to Tucson
Class Discussion and Preliminary
Presentations of Research Papers
Turn in Research Papers
and topics may be changed at the instructors’ discretion.