Economics of the Food System

(First Edition)
By David Blandford, James Dunn, and Alan Webb
©2018, 410 pages

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Economics of the Food System

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    Economics of the Food System provides a comprehensive overview of the food system, beginning with the physical and geographical context of United States agriculture. Concepts and tools of applied economics are then used to analyze the structure and economic characteristics of each component of the food system.

    Over the course of the text, students learn about agricultural supply, demand, and prices, market elasticities and derived demand, food processing, wholesaling, retailing and food service, and the international food market. They also study the role of transportation, the law of one price, risk management, storage, and emerging issues and challenges for the food system. Throughout the text, the focus is on how markets function to ensure that people have the food they want to eat, when and where they want to eat it.

    As they read, students will have constant opportunities to consider the key forces that shape the food system's ongoing evolution. With its comprehensive coverage of all aspects of food system economics and its attention to practical economic applications, Economics of the Food System is ideal for courses in agricultural economics or agribusiness

    David Blandford, who holds a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from the University of Manchester, is a professor emeritus of agricultural and environmental economics at Pennsylvania State University. His teaching and research interests include agricultural and food policy, and international trade.
    James Dunn, who holds a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Oklahoma State University, is a professor emeritus of agricultural economics at Pennsylvania State University, where his teaching and research focused on agricultural policy and food industry economics.
    Alan Webb holds a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Oklahoma State University and served 14 years as trade economist with USDA before joining Winrock International as a consultant on agricultural development. He held teaching and research positions at the University Putra Malaysia and National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan.
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    Adopting instructors will receive PowerPoint presentations and a test bank, as well as a set of discussion and essay questions per chapter that can be used as in-class teaching tools or assigned to students as homework assignments.
    “In my career in agribusiness, government and university, I have had a bit of a unique perch to view the world of agricultural economics, policy and trade. Perhaps for that reason I am so impressed with this book. It is truly a gift for educators and students alike. For our Department and many others in Canada and the United States, I believe this book can and will become the pillar, or cornerstone, for required introductory and intermediate courses in the economics of food systems for years to come. It is the only current, up-to-date book of its kind and it is incredibly good. I personally think it unlikely that anyone else, in this day and age, will even consider writing another textbook of this nature, scope and quality. Accordingly, it is my hope that this textbook will be widely adopted, ensuring future editions and allowing educators the comfort to know that their Economics of Food Systems current and future textbook needs are so well met by this excellent book.”
    Brian Oleson
    Professor and past chair at the University of Manitoba
    Former Senior VP of Corporate Affairs at the Canadian Wheat Board