Development Economics - ECON5400

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 6 15 (7.5) Amrit Amirapu checkmark-circle


Development Economics is a sub-field of economics that focuses on the unique problems of poor countries. In the course we will use economic analysis to understand the structure of poor economies and the behaviour of individuals within them. The goal is to better understand why the world looks the way that it does so that one can make more informed opinions and decisions about policies meant to improve global welfare. The topics considered in the module will include:

• The development gap in the world economy and the measurement of poverty
• Characteristics of underdevelopment and structural change
• Models of the growth and development process
• The role of agriculture and surplus labour in the development process
• Industrialisation
• Dualism and vicious circles of poverty
• Trade and Development


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 26 hours
Private study hours: 124
Total study hours: 150


This module is optional for all Single and Joint Honours degree programmes in Economics.
This module is not available to students across other degree programmes in the University.

Method of assessment

Problem sets (10%)
Moodle quiz (25%)
Examination, 2 hours (65%)

Reassessment Instrument: 100% exam

*Exams will be in-person*

Indicative reading

Core text
• A P Thirlwall, Economics and Development: Theory and Evidence (9th ed), Macmillan, 2011
• Miscellaneous academic journal articles

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

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
8.1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of issues related to the divisions in the world economy between rich and poor countries
8.2. Demonstrate critical understanding of the prominent hypotheses regarding how these divisions arose and what forces perpetuate them
8.3. Understand and evaluate how factors such as agriculture, industry, investment performance, population growth, domestic finance, international finance and trade may explain the economic performance of countries
8.4. Understand how to use economic models to think about problems in development
8.5. Analyse and interpret economic data to test economic theories and guide economic policies
8.6. Critically assess development-related policy debates in the media and between politicians


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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