Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - International Agricultural Trade And Development

What is the summer school about?

The summer school 2018 is a three-week program from August 20 to September 7, 2018 focusing on the theoretical foundations of policiy analysis and the practical quantitative tools to analyse agricultural and food policy. The school is jointly organized by the International Agricultural Trade and Development Group of the Humboldt University of Berlin and the School of Economics Socio-Anthropology and Communication for Development of the University of Abomey-Calavi. Students from the following partner universities are also eligible for participation in the summer school: African School of Economics, Faculty of Agronomics of the University of Parakou and Institute of Technology of the University of Parakou.


Objective and content

The agri-food sector is one of the pillars of Benin’s economy contributing to over 23% of the GDP (in 2015). Therefore, this sector deserves a particular attention when it comes to policymaking. Economic models are specifically useful to analyse the consequences of policy changes.

The objective of the summer school is to familiarize participants with state of the art theories and research methods for the quantitative analysis of policy-relevant questions in the agri-food systems. The summer school consists of three one-week seminars, during which the participants are taught hands-on tools that they could use to address policy questions for their master theses and later in their professional life.

The first seminar focuses on the theoretical foundations of scientific policy analysis. The seminar will reinforce the microeconomic foundations of the participants and will introduce the main policy instruments related to the agri-food system as well as the methods to measure the effects of policy intervention. The second seminar deals with the quantitative analysis of agricultural and food policies using partial equilibrium models. Through hands-on case studies, the participants learn how to apply this class of models. They also learn about their advantages and shortcomings. The third seminar addresses the use of applied computable general equilibrium models to explore and quantify the effects of agricultural and food policies. Participants are first introduced to the construction of the database used as benchmark for such models, the social accounting matrix. Next, they learn how to apply such models with hands-on case studies, as well as the strengths and limitations of this class of models.

The seminars will take place on the campus of the School of Economics Socio-Anthropology and Communication for Development in Abomey-Calavi (EESAC/FSA/UAC). Attendance to the seminars is restricted to selected participants.

Besides the seminars, the summer school also includes open scientific talks every Friday during the three weeks. Attendance to the talks is opened to anyone who is interested. The talks are an opportunity for the scientific community to engage in discussion about the research topics covered at the International Agricultural Trade and Development Group and discuss potential areas for research cooperation. Finally, every Wednesday evening a social event is organized to present opportunities for studies and research in Germany. Attendance to the social events is also opened to the public.