Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


This is an advanced unit focusing on the economics of consumer behaviour and the specification and estimation of demand systems for agricultural commodities. The unit provides students with analytical skills valued by employers of agricultural economists and natural resource managers such as government departments, private sector organisations and research institutions. The focus of the unit is on understanding consumer theory—constrained utility maximisation, derivation of demand functions, properties of demand functions, and duality in the theory of consumer choice. Also covered is the development and estimation of both single equation and demand system models and the assessment and interpretation of empirical results. The unit equips students with the knowledge and skills required to undertake advanced economic analysis of consumer demand problems. At the end of the unit, students have a thorough understanding of the underlying theory of consumer behaviour and can formulate, estimate and test complete systems of consumer demand equations.

6 points
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) understand the economic theory that underpins consumer analysis, and think about economic and research problems in logical and systematic ways and (2) appreciate data and statistical issues related to consumer theory.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) quizzes; (2) assignments; and (3) take-home examinations. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr. Amin Mugera
Unit rules
Enrolment in
42620 Master of Economics
or 73530 Master of Agricultural Economics
Advisable prior study
ECON5004 Microeconometric Models for Agriculture and Natural Resources
and ECON5003 Fundamental Microeconomics for Agriculture and Policy
Contact hours
lectures/tutorials: 3 hours per week for 10 weeks

Deaton, A. and Muellbauer, J. Economics and Consumer Behavior: Cambridge University Press 1980

Okrent, A. M. and Alston, J. M. Demand for Food in the United States: a Review of Literature, Evaluation of Previous Estimates and Presentation of New Estimates of Demand', Giannini Foundation Monograph Series, No. 48: Giannini Foundation of Agricultural Economics 2011

Debertin, D. L. Agricultural Production Economics, 2nd edn: privately published 2012. Available online at:

Coelli, T., Rao, D. S . P., O’Donnell, C. J. and Battese, G. E. An Introduction to Efficiency and Productivity Analysis: Springer 2005

Chambers, R. Applied Production Analysis: a Dual Approach: Cambridge University Press 1988

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.