Microeconomics of Development - EC570

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2018-19 2019-20
Canterbury Spring
View Timetable
6 15 (7.5) DR Z Wahhaj


EC500 Microeconomics, EC580 Introduction to Econometrics and EC581 Introduction to Time Series Econometrics





In the last 30 to 35 years, the study of economic development has increasingly focused on the behaviour of individuals – their opportunities, constraints, and choices – to understand the causes and nature of poverty, and on formulating strategies for improving their economic well-being. This trend includes the increased application of microeconomic theories to understand phenomena related to underdevelopment, the collection and analysis of data at the individual level (as opposed to the regional or national level) and, most recently, the use of lab and field experiments to better understand individual behaviour.

The module introduces you to these trends, to show how the related microeconomic tools have contributed to a better understanding of the process of economic development. Some of these methods are now widely used by international development agencies – such the World Bank and DfID – as well as academic researchers to critically assess development strategies and evaluate programmes aimed at improving the economic well-being of the poor in developing countries.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

10 lectures,
5 Seminars

Method of assessment

20% Essay (2000 words)
80% Examination (2 hours)

Preliminary reading

D Ray, Development Economics, Princeton University Press, 1998
K Basu, K, Analytical Development Economics: The Less Developed Economy Revisited, MIT Press, 1997

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 course, you will
• understand how a variety of microeconomic concepts, such as market failure, and strategic decision-making, have been used to investigate causes of underdevelopment and guide development-related policies;
• understand how household surveys, natural experiments and various methods of programme evaluation can be used to test economic theories and guide economic policies;
• be able to construct coherent economic arguments by making reference to microeconomic theories and empirical evidence on individual decision-making;
• be able to assess critically different theories about the behaviour of poor individuals or households in developing countries using existing theories and evidence on individual decision-making;
• be able to discuss critically the effectiveness of various development-related policies – eg credit subsidies for poor households or conditional cash transfers – in the context of existing theories and evidence on individual decision-making;
• be able to solve simple microeconomic models that can shed light on phenomena related to underdevelopment;
• be able to analyse microeconomic data using simple statistical methods.

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