35251 - Veterinary Economics

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Good health and well-being

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, student knowledge in this field covers: basic economic concepts and their effectiveness to the aim of the veterinary practice, both in food and no-food sectors, in public and private economic context; analysis of the relevant economic and organizational situations in the above mentioned environments, given the specific private and public goals; understanding of the relevant problmes linked to the veterinary practice in the specific economic and institutional context. Students can identify the economic problems and related solutions, communicate with the public and private stakeholders involved. Finally they can individually update their economic learning , including methodologic innovation usefull for veterinary practice management.

Course contents

Basic concepts of Economics. The economic system.Real and monetary flux. Demand, supply and market. Elasticity of demand and supply function. The institutional context and the sector policies. The economic choises of the society. Human being, animals and society in the socio-economic perspective. Economics of veterinary practices (agro-food; public health; pet care).

Economics of the companion animal sector. Veterinary practice in the EU and Italy (European and national data). Demand of pet services. How animal owners see veterinarians. Vet services supply (geographical distribution, structure and organization, supply specialization and segmentation). Basics for the firm project implementation in the pet sector. Project cycle: vision, mission, objective and products. Deciding the Strategic Business Unit (Abell diagram). Linking customer needs, markets and technology in the SBU. Porter's diagramm for competition analysis. Cost leader vs. differentiation strategies. Application to pet sector. Marketings basics for the pet sector. Product life cycle and marketing mix. Examples in the pet sector. Pricing methods. SWOT analysis.

Economics of veterinary public health (VPH). Public health models. Basics eocnomics behind the public intervention in the  VPH (welfare economics, public goods and market failure, moral hazard, the social dimension of individual decisions). The role of the veterinarian in the VHP. Economic analysis of VHP. Management problems. Evaluation of VHP measures.

Exercises on simple cases of economic evaluation in animal health economics (participative methods, working groups)

Non attending Students are warmely adviced to put particular attention to the following issues: principle of economics (Brue, McMcConnel and Flynn, 2010) and practice management (Shilcock and Stutchfield, 2008)


Notes and slides delivered by the Teacher during the course

Brue L., McConnell C.m Flynn S. (2010), Essenziale di economia. Seconda edizione, McGraw-Hill (Italia), Milano

Shilcock M., Stutchfield G. (2008), Veterinary Practice Management. A practical Guide. 2nd edition, Saunders-Elsevier Edinburgh

Ackerman L. (2007), Veterinary Practice Management Consult. Blackwell's Five Minute. Blackwell Publishing, Ames, Iowa (USA)

Teaching methods

Front courses

Case study analysis and problem solving approach

Participatory teaching methods. 1) During the classes, Students are regularly required to apply the basic economic concepts and analytical schemes to practical cases and problems, suggested by the Sudents or by the Teacher himself. 2) At least once during the course (mid/final part) a review session is developed, based on Teacher instruction, where Students are demanded to recall the arguments treated during the classes, structure them according to logical criteria, identify functional links among concepts and analytical schemes. In case of remote learning, this activity can be substituted by mid-term test (multi-choice test).

Assessment methods

Oral examination. The aim of the oral examination is knowledge assessment.

Examination list will be published on Alma Esami. On-line examinations are performed through institutional platforms (Teams), directly linked to the public examination list (e.mail convocation and particpation link). The examen duration is at least 30'.

No support material is allowed during the examinations. Students with particular needs will address the Teacher to find adequate solutions.

During the examination Students will be asked at least 3 questions concerning respectively: 1) Institutions of Economics, 2) Pet sector, 3)Public veterinary health economics. The result of the examination is positive when the Candidate shows at least a minimal knowledge concerning the above-mentioned points.

A deep and complete knowledge of the topics addressed in the course, together with high skills of critical analysis, connection and a sure command of specific terminology will be evaluated with the maximum score (30-30L);

A thorough knowledge of most of the topics addressed in the course, together with good analytical and critical skills and the possession of a sure command of specific terminology will be evaluated with good marks (25-29/30);

A technically adequate preparation even with some lacks, a sufficient analytical capacity though not completely articulated, expressed in a correct language, will produce notes between 20 and 24/30);

A preparation showing some lacks, a sufficient analytical capacity which require Teacher support, expressed in a barely correct language, will determine lower evaluation (18-19/30).

Teaching tools

Slide presentation

Case analysis

Exercises and test based on web applications

Course materials are available at IOL. Students are invited to e.mail the Teacher for any problem concerning the access, the organization or the content of published materials.

Office hours

See the website of Maurizio Aragrande