Development Economics

ECN423 Development Economics

Autumn 2021

  • Topics

    The course covers the following topics:

    Macroeconomic models of economic growth and development.

    Microeconomic models of development such as;

    • Agricultural household production
    • The role of institutions.

    Experimental approaches and research on topics such as;

    • Microcredit and savings
    • Entrepreneurship and business training
    • Education
    • Foreign aid.

    Non-experimental approaches and research on topics such as;

    • History, culture and institutions as determinants of growth
    • Migration
    • Resource curse in developing countries.

  • Learning outcome

    This course examines the central issues in economic development, including access to finance and entrepreneurship, poverty traps, gender and development, foreign aid, institutions, and health.


    Upon completion of the course, students will be able to

    • Understand the barriers to entrepreneurship in low and middle income countries.
    • master the macroeconomic and microeconomic theories of development, such as role of institutions in development.
    • recognise the various extensive and intensive margins that affects individual and household behavior, for example, in resource allocation, labor supply, and investment decisions


    Upon completion of the course, students will be able to

    • learn about the empirical methods used in the literature to evaluate the effectiveness of development policies
    • analyze and interpret econometric models in identifying causal effects of policy interventions that are targeted at improving the livelihoods of the poor
    • evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of existing research and measures of economic development, such as economic growth,poverty, and income inequality

    General competencies

    Upon completion of the course, students will

    •  have hands-on experience with designing a hypothetical randomized-control trial
    •  develop communication and presentation skills through group work and presentations

  • Teaching

    Plenary lectures: Vincent Somville and Justin Valasek will give most of  the lectures, with several guests intervening to cover their topics of expertise.

    The lectures will be interactive, with discussion between students. We aim therefore to meet physically and will only meet online if we cannot meet physically.

  • Recommended prerequisites

    Students should have taken basic courses in econometrics, microeconomics, macroeconomics and statistics.

  • Requirements for course approval

    Submission of a minimum of 90% of bi-weekly reading responses.

  • Assessment

    Written group project based on a proposed Randomized Control Trial (70%): Assessment of research proposal submitted during the semester. The assignment will be released in August and due in November. The project will also be presented to the class by the group members. 30% of the grade will come from this presentation.

    The language of the RCT Proposal and presentation is English only.

  • Grading Scale

    A - F

  • Literature

    Journal articles: selected papers from academic journals.


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Autumn. Offered Autumn 2021.

Course responsible

Assistant Professor Vincent Somville, Department of Economics (main course responsible)

Associate Professor Justin Valasek, Department of Economics