Development economics

The objective of the course is to provide an overview of key issues and conceptual approaches to development economics. It will also provide a first introduction into the work of development practitioners. Each student is expected to select one development country from a list of countries provided and work throughout the course on this country. Students are expected to apply issues reviewed in class to their country and thus become familiar with country analysis and country policy prescriptions.

The course will provide a quick overview of different models of economic development. As poverty alleviation is the overriding objective of development policy, the course will study in some depth the nature of poverty and inequality. The course will present some analytical tools for poverty analysis and study different dimensions of poverty and will reflect on strategies how to address it. The course will also provide a brief introduction into economic growth models and will cover some selected sectors (education, health, agriculture, governance and institutions), which are central for poverty analysis and poverty alleviation strategies.

A key learning experience of the course is the work on country poverty assessments. These are voluminous and technical in nature. Work with these documents can be time consuming and tedious. Students will need to allocate sufficient time and patience to familiarize themselves with the technical and conceptual arguments. An essential pre-requisite for the course is an adequate understanding of macroeconomic and monetary policy. An adequate poverty and sectorial analysis cannot be carried out without some solid understanding of macro-economic fundamentals.