Agricultural policies and food security


The aim of this class module is to develop students' understanding of issues related to food security and agricultural and trade policies. We will study the notions of food self-sufficiency and food security and will examine the economic mechanisms that explain the impact of agricultural and trade policy instruments on food self-sufficiency and food security. We then apply these basic notions to cases of policies, reforms, and projections described in the academic literature: agricultural policies within the framework of the WTO, bilateral trade agreements, change in the global food demand.

Recommended Prerequisite(s)

Basic knowledge in economics and mathematics (optimization) is an asset.


  • Feenstra R.C. et A.M. Taylor, International Trade, 3rd edition, Worth MacMillan, 2014.
  • Nutrition transition and the structure of global food demand, Christophe Gouel, et Houssein Guimbard, Document de travail du CEPII, 2017-05. N°2017-05. 
  • Agricultural Trade Liberalization in the 21st Century: Has it Done the Business?, Jean-Christophe Bureau, Houssein Guimbard, et Sebastien Jean, Document de travail du CEPII, 2017-11.

The two prescribed articles will be read in class.  Reading them beforehand is useful but not compulsory.  The reading material proposed mostly helps consolidate the knowledge acquired in class.

Educational formula

The class is divided into two parts. The first provides insights that help to better understand the more complex mechanisms described in the second part. One advantages of this approach is to show that simplified analytical frameworks help to better understand complex cases that can be studied with more formalism or more advanced techniques. Regarding the class format, it consists primarily of a PowerPoint-based presentation. Students are, of course, invited to speak (questions, discussions). I will ask questions to the group, especially when I make a transition from one part of the lesson to another (and to help students internalize their knowledge). Student presentations present useful opportunities for students’ participation.

In brief

Year Fifth year

Teaching languageFrench

Number of hours 27.0

Teaching activitySeminar

ValidationFinal oral examination

Mandatory teaching



Educational manager :
Bregeot Ghislain

Blanc Pierre [+]

Guimbard Houssein [+]