Regional Development & Policy

  • Graduate students in the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics frequently pursue research topics related to regional development and policy.  Students in this area have a great deal of flexibility in terms of choices for their course program. 
  •  Example Major Field Choices:
    • Students wishing to address topics of poverty or regional inequality will find the development economics field of interest. 
    • Students interested in developing regional forecasting models might choose a major field in markets and price analysis.
    • For real estate and land use studies, the environmental and resource economics field might be the best choice.
    • For studies related to local food system development, the agribusiness management field might be appropriate.
  • Other AFRE courses of interest to students in this field include AEC 810 Institutional & Behavioral Analysis and AEC 817 Political Economy of Agricultural Trade Policy. 
  • Michigan State University offers some excellent elective courses and specializations for students interested in regional development and policy. 

    • Economics:
      • Econometrics- Cross Section Panel Data Analysis Course (EC 821A & B)
      • Public Finance Field Courses (EC 835 & EC 836)
      • Domestic and Foreign Development Policies (EC 861)
      • Labor Economics (EC 880 & EC 881)
    • Interdisciplinary:

      • Graduate Specialization in Global Urban Studies (several courses)
      • Graduate Specialization in Environmental Science and Policy
      • Foundations of Qualitative Research (ACR 831)
      • Participatory Models of Inquiry (ACR 838)
      • Planning and Development Law (UP 865)
      • Planning Theory and Ethics (UP 844)


  • The AFRE regional development and policy faculty have strong statewide, regional and national connections that open up research avenues involving state and local governments, private sector groups such as utility firms, associations such as the Municipal League, and other university consortia. 
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