Introduction to Development Economics

The course aims to provide an outline of the main issues underpinning development economics today, by outlining simple theory and providing extensive applied evidence from developing countries.

5 ECTS Credits — Studies start 13 January 2020 — University of Helsinki

Image by: © 2003 Melissa May, Courtesy of Photoshare
Image by: © 2003 Melissa May, Courtesy of Photoshare

Course dates

13 January 2020 – 15 March 2020

Registration period

1 November 2019 – 31 December 2019

Coordinating university

University of Helsinki

Instructors

David Lawson

Credits

5 ECTS

Course dates: 13.1.2020-15.3.2020
Registration dates: 1.11.2019-31.12.2019
Coordinating university: University of Helsinki
Responsible teacher: David Lawson ()
Credits: 5 ECTS

Course summary

The course aims to provide an outline of the main issues underpinning development economics today, by outlining simple theory and providing extensive applied evidence from developing countries.

The lectures and supplementary reading will provide a theoretical understanding of the main development issues – with a strong focus on current issues of development economics – particularly poverty and extreme poverty, but also a focus on economic growth and the role of the public sector (i.e. taxation) in economic development.

The course will provide applied developing country examples, and individually assessed work exercises, focused around the abovementioned topics. For example, students will critique the relationship between economic growth and poverty and critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses associated with poverty and other measures of development.

No prior knowledge of development economics is assumed.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Understand, critique and apply the main theories and principles of economic development, particularly in relation to economic growth and poverty.
  • Understand the linkage between theory and practice.
  • Develop analytical skills relevant to the assessment of these different economic development principles.
  • Examine the main sources of economic and social data relevant to economic development – particularly in relation to economic growth and (extreme/chronic) poverty analysis.
  • Understand the knowledge and skills acquired to the study of the main forces sustaining and limiting economic development today, and the design of effective policy interventions.

Learning methods

  • Reading
  • Pre-course questionnaire
  • Lectures (ppoint)
  • Pre-course questionnaire (sent on the start date of the course)
  • Focus work sheet exercises, from which students will be required to submit answers/one page summaries of reviewed evidence and literature and case studies all based on online sourcing
  • Individual short work assignments based on the lectures/development economics literature readings
  • Final assessment essay

All materials will be in English.

Study materials

Texts, www-materials, access to internet essential. Materials are presented via Moodle.

Recommended Reading:

  • Lawson, D, L. Ado-Kofie and D. Hulme) “What Works for Africa’s Poorest: Poverty Reduction Programmes for Extremely Poor People”, Practical Action.UK. https://www.developmentbookshelf.com/doi/pdf/10.3362/9781780448435
  • Todaro, M. P. & Smith, S. (2006) Economic Development 9th ed. Pearson, London
  • Meir, G. & Rauch, J.E. (eds) (2005) Leading Issues in Economic Development 8th edition Oxford UP

Assessment

Grade 0-5.

The final mark will consist of:
1) Two short essays (1000 words each) - 25% for each essay
2) One final essay (2000 words). – 50%

Additional information

The maximum number of students is 40. Targeted level of students is at the BA level 2nd or 3rd year students, or MA level students.

Virtual Studies Course Catalogue