Logo Doctoral Certificate Program in Agricultural Economics
Course of Study

Module 1100
Household Behaviour: Theory and Applications


Prof. em. Dr. Michael Grings
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

Dr. Stephan Brosig
Leibniz-Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies
Theodor-Lieser-Str. 2, 06112 Halle

Course description

The course addresses major dimensions of the household behaviour from an economic point of view with particular focus on specifics of agricultural households. In a first step the most important concepts for the analysis of household demand are discussed. Additional dimensions of household behaviour are labour supply and household production, which, in a second step, are considered inasmuch as required in the framework of agricultural household models. The interaction of the consumption, labour supply, and agricultural production spheres is then analyzed in the context of separable and non-separable household models.

Course outline

  1. Introduction
    1. Overview of the course
    2. The role of theory and models in scientific reseach
  2. Fundamentals: household demand and supply
    1. Theory of household demand and labor supply
      1. Basic concepts
      2. Dual representations of preferences
      3. Labor supply
    2. Agricultural production and factor demand
      1. Basic concepts
      2. Representation of production technology
  3. Agricultural household models
    1. The theory of the agricultural household: Overview
    2. Separability of production, consumption and labour supply decisions
    3. Nonseparability: Missing markets
    4. Discussion of empirical studies

Teaching methods

Lectures (50 %), classroom exercises and group work (25 %), hands-on computer exercises (25%)
Language: English


Participants should have a good knowledge of the basic concepts of the theory of microeconomics (theory of the household and the firm) and a basic knowledge of econometrics.
Notebook computers with MS Excel.


For a certificate of successful participation the solution of problems (homework after the course) is required.
Credit points: 3 CP


Selected additional literature