Accessibility statement

Topics in Development Economics - ECO00105M

« Back to module search

  • Department: Economics and Related Studies
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Matthias Flueckiger
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24
    • See module specification for other years: 2024-25

Module summary

This module provides an international microeconomic perspective on development and its obstacles by providing a balanced overview of both theoretical and empirical research in the field.

Related modules

This module and Principles of Development Economics and Emerging Markets are the two core modules of the Development Economics and Emerging Markets MSc; however, the latter is not a prerequisite for this module.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2023-24

Module aims

This module covers a variety of topics from the frontier of research in development economics (mainly from the perspective of microeconomics). Indicative topics might include: impacts of poverty on choice behaviours in developing economies, including household-level decision processes for acquiring human capital (like healthcare), the role of shocks like pandemics on communities in such economies, design of mechanisms and institutions for alleviating poverty and discrimination (like those based on caste or race) etc.

This module further aims to provide students an overview of not only some theoretical tools (and models) being utilized recently for analyzing developing economies but also some empirical methods for establishing causality in the relevant contexts.

Module learning outcomes

Having completed this module, students should be able to use a variety of theoretical and empirical tools to understand and analyze some of the crucial microeconomic issues of current research interest in less-developed economies This should enable them to apply the insights to a variety of economic phenomena, to evaluate some of the published research on the topics, to use insights from microeconomic theory to establish working hypotheses which may be tested in empirical work on less-developed economies.

Further, students should be better able to form an educated opinion based on insights from research papers, as well as to discuss and present their ideas both in an oral-presentation style as well as in a written report-like format.


Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Closed exam : Topics in Development Economics
3 hours 70
Presentation : Topics in Development Economics
N/A 15
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Presentation : Topics in Development Economics
N/A 15

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Opportunities for formative assessment

Oral feedback that can be used for the referee report will be provided during the seminar

Oral feedback for the presentations will be provided during the seminar sessions


Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Closed exam : Topics in Development Economics
3 hours 70

Module feedback

  • Feedback on the seminar presentation will be provided within two weeks of the presentation

  • Feedback on the referee report will be provided within two weeks of the due date

  • Feedback on the exam will be provided within 25 working days of the exam

Indicative reading

Weil, David N. (2014). Health and Economic Growth. In: Philippe Aghion and Steven N. Durlauf. ed. Handbook of Economic Growth. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Kremer, M., G. Rao and F. Schilbach (2019): “Behavioral development economics”. Chapter 5 in Bernheim, B. D., Stefano DellaVigna, David Laibson eds Handbook of Behavioral Economics, vol 2. Elsevier.

Ghatak, M. (2015): ``Theories of Poverty Traps and Anti-Poverty Policies”. The World Bank Economic Review, Volume 29, Issue suppl_1, 1 January 2015, Pages S77–S105.

Sönmez, T. and B. Yenmez (2022): Affirmative action in India via vertical, horizontal, and overlapping reservations. Econometrica, 90: 1143–1176.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.