Sample exam paper Economics of Food Markets Alan Matthews Caveats

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Sample exam paper

  • Economics of Food Markets
  • Alan Matthews


  • This is intended as an illustration of how the exam paper will look – THESE ARE NOT THE ACTUAL EXAM QUESTIONS
  • The questions asked do not necessarily take time into account, but are intended to give you a flavour of the topics you might be asked to address
  • It is clearly not comprehensive – the course dealt with other issues as well
  • Questions can draw on material across a ragne of topics
  • The questions are multi-part; you should allocate time according to the proportion of marks allocated to each question.

Example exam question - Ag policy objectives

  • (a) Explain the ‘farm problem’ with the aid of a diagram. [8 marks]
  • (b) Are average farm incomes in Ireland lower than non-farm incomes? Critically discuss the measurement issues in making this comparison [8 marks]
  • (c) Under what circumstances might multifunctionality justify support specifically to agricultural production. [9 marks]

Example exam question - EU agricultural policy

  • (a) Is the Single Farm Payment truly a decoupled payment? [8 marks]
  • (b) What will be the likely effects on Irish agriculture of the decoupling of direct payments? [8 marks]
  • (c) Will budget constraints force a review of the CAP before the end of the next Financial Perspective? [9 marks]

Example exam question - price support policies

  • (a) Compare the welfare effects of supporting farm incomes through (i) an import tariff (ii) an import quota (iii) an input subsidy, assuming a small open economy [10 marks]
  • (b) How are the welfare effects changed if the country is assumed to be large in world market terms? [8 marks]
  • (c) Show how you would calculate the transfer efficiency of support for each of these three cases. [7 marks]

Example exam question - world market effects of ag policies

  • (a) Show how the world market price is determined in a model with two exporters and one importing region. Show the impact on the world market price if one of the exporters introduces an export subsidy. [10 marks]
  • (b) Discuss the impact of OECD country agricultural policy reform on developing countries [15 marks]

Example exam question - WTO negotiations

  • (a) Would you deem the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture a success? [8 marks]
  • (b) Identify the key negotiating issues in the Doha Round of agricultural trade negotiations under the three pillars of market access, domestic support and export competition [9 marks]
  • (c) What are the main elements of special and differential treatment sought by developing countries in the Doha Round negotiations [8 marks]

Example exam question - agriculture and environment

  • (a) Critically evaluate the state of European agri-environment policy [12 marks
  • (b) Discuss the policy options available to control non-point sources of pollution such as characterise agriculture’s impact on water quality [13 marks]

Example exam question - market power in the food chain

  • (a) What in your view are the main structural changes at work in the food chain? [8 marks]
  • (b) How can market power in the food chain be measured? [8 marks]
  • (c) Critically discuss ways in which market power in the food chain might be controlled? [9 marks]

Example exam question - food safety

  • (a) Discuss what is meant by efficiency in food regulation. [10 marks]
  • (b) Does the SPS Agreement allow governments adequate scope to protect their consumers from food safety threats from third countries? [15 marks]

Example exam paper - computational question

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