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BECO 1115A - Development Economics

Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

The aim of the course is to introduce students to the concepts of development economics theory and the methods of rigorous impact evaluation that allow a deeper understanding of poverty, inequality, and the micro-economic problems facing developing countries, as well as insights into how to overcome them. The first part of the lecture will acquaint students with the “big-picture” issues of poverty, inequality, and population and will cover some of the major debates in development. The second part of the lecture familiarizes students with the methods of impact evaluation of public policies, and covers the evidence on the effectiveness of alternative development interventions on a range of policy issues (education, health, financial tools for the poor, agriculture, entrepreneurship).


STEIN, Mattea (PhD Student)

Pedagogical format

At the end of the course, the student is expected to: 1°) Be familiar with stylized facts on the state of development of the world along multiple dimensions and understand some of the major debates in development economics; 2°) Be able to use appropriate economic concepts and statistical tools to analyze the multi-faceted issues facing developing countries, and propose appropriate policy interventions; 3°) Understand the intuition behind different empirical methods of evaluating the impact of public policies, to be able to read and interpret research findings within and beyond the policy areas studied in the course. These pedagogical objectives will be achieved through a mix of lectures, an essay with a debate, and a group project.

Course validation

To validate the course, the student is expected to pass the following assignments: 1°) Short essay (20% of total grade) ; 2°) Group project (40% of total grade) ; 3°) Final exam (40% of total grade). In the short essay assignment (due in session 5), students will write a short essay on the aid effectiveness debate. The relevant reading material will be provided in the first session, and half of session 5 will be devoted to a debate on the question. In the group project assignment (due in session 10), students will work in groups of 3 to: 1) identify a micro-level problem facing a specific country, or a specific group of poor or otherwise under-resourced people in the country, 2) gather available empirical evidence, and 3) suggest a policy intervention to address the problem and a basic evaluation plan for the policy intervention.

Required reading

Development Economics: Theory and practice – Sadoulet E. and A. de Janvry – Routledge – 2015

Additional required reading

Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty – Banerjee A. and E. Duflo – Public Affairs – 2011