Behavioral Agricultural Economics

February 03, 2023


"Agricultural and other fields of economics have always co-evolved and benefitted from each other's insights. Over time, a general convergence of all social sciences began, and various fields of psychology, sociology, anthropology, and political science started to overlap with general and agricultural economics. Within economics, it was especially the rise of behavioral economics, that has steered the field toward the other social sciences. It departs from the assumption of perfectly rational expected utility maximizers and allows for greater diversity in decision-makers' objectives and constraints. Agricultural economics has been early to recognize the need to make economic choice models more realistic. This can be explained by the particularities of agricultural economics and agriculture. Agricultural economists are tasked with solving specific, practical problems, and thus behavioral deviations from model predictions have always been salient and relevant to policy recommendations. Then, farmers—and to some extent also consumers—make choices in particularly complex and uncertain environments and must use all strategic tools at their disposal to deal with their “bounded rationality”. These include the reliance on culture and other heuristics. Agricultural economics continues to synergize economic theory and practice with insights from other disciplines and real-world experiences and is an important driver towards further unification of all social sciences."