Development Economics - EC540

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2017-18 2018-19
Canterbury Autumn
View Timetable
6 15 (7.5) MR A Amirapu


EC500 Microeconomics and EC502 Macroeconomics





Average income in the richest country in the world is more than 100 times greater than average income in the poorest country. The existence of such stark differences in living standards is one of the most striking features of the world we live in.

How did this come to be?
What are the proximate and fundamental causes of such differences?
What, if anything, can be done about it?

These are some of the most important questions for human society, and they form the basis for the field of Development Economics. More specifically, Development Economics is a sub-field of economics that tries to understand the unique problems of poor countries in order to answer the questions posed above. This course will serve as an introduction to this fascinating and challenging subject. In the course we will use economic analysis to better understand the structure of poor economies and the difficulties faced by individuals and policy makers within them. The course will primarily focus on studying problems at a more aggregate level, so it integrates particularly well with EC 570 (Microeconomics of Development – taught in the Spring term), which focuses on understanding the behaviour of individual agents in developing countries. The course assumes that students possess a strong background in basic macroeconomic and microeconomic theory as well as basic calculus and statistics.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

10 lectures
7 seminars

Method of assessment

10% In Course Test
10% Essay of 2,000 words
80% Examination (2 hours)

Preliminary reading

Core text
A P Thirlwall, Economics and Development: Theory and Evidence (9th ed), Macmillan, 2011

Recommended texts
R Day, Development Economics, 1998
A V Bannerjee, R Benabou, D Mookherjj, Understanding Poverty, 2006

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students will
• have a better understanding of the important questions above, as well as a better understanding of some prominent answers to these questions
• learn some of the basic facts and theories pertaining to development economics
• have gained experience in interpreting and understanding basic data (in the form of tables and figures) and writing coherently about problems of economic development (drawing on relevant facts and theories)
• gain practice with using models to better understand the world around them, through problem sets and the ICT
• have an opportunity to hone communication skills by presenting on issues facing developing countries and approaches to policy making.

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