Topics in Development Economics - ECON8460

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


The module consists of topics related to common causes and consequences of institutional failure in developing countries, such as market failures and failures in political, legal and social institutions. Topics will cover ways in which individuals, social groups and governments deal with these failures, including the use of informal institutions, social networks and policy interventions. Students will be exposed to both theory and empirics, with a focus on theoretical and empirical tools appropriate for studying the behaviour and constraints of individuals, households and firms in developing country settings. Emphasis will be placed in particular on studying strategic interaction between agents in the absence of markets and identifying causal effects.


Contact hours

Contact Hours: 30
Private Study: 120
Total Hours: 150


Optional for MSc Economics

Method of assessment

• Problem sets: 20%
• Examination (2 hours): 80%

Reassessment: 100% exam

*Exams will be online*

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.
The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

• systematically and comprehensively understand how concepts related to institutional failure, including market failure and distortions in other institutions, can account for underdevelopment and poverty
• systematically and comprehensively understand how modern theoretical and empirical methods can be used to study responses to institutional failure by individuals, social groups, and governments
• use economic models to think about problems in development at the high level of abstraction and generality
• comprehensively understand how economists use data to test contradicting and/or controversial theoretical hypotheses and explore causal relationships in development economics
• articulate informed opinions on advanced topics with high level of abstraction and build convincing argumentation in seminar debates on controversial matters
• solve complex analytical problems through the use of the different models studied within the curriculum
• enhance their ability to utilize modern computing resources to access and acquire data from all available sources


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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