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Unit information: Economics of Developing Countries in 2018/19

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Unit name Economics of Developing Countries
Unit code ECON30071
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Mr. Jahir Islam
Open unit status Not open

Intermediate Economics 1 (EFIM20008) and either Econometrics (EFIM20011) or Applied Quantitative Research Methods (EFIM20010)



School/department School of Economics
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


The main aim of the unit is to present selected key areas of development economics focusing on economic transformation of developing countries, and explore some of the major economic policy issues that contribute to such transformation.

This course develops the economic theory and models needed to address issues of particular interest to developing countries. Some big and unresolved debates will be covered using recent literature. Hence the course requires reading journal articles, besides text books. They will be made aware of the problems and the weakness of the theory, when it fails to fit the empirical evidence.

Performance in the examination will depend on ability to analyse problems, policies as well as the theory with respect to empirical evidence concerning development in the developing countries.

During the classes students are expected to discuss the empirical robustness of the theory. The course focuses mainly on the macroeconomic aspects of development, although some microeconomic aspects of development will also be covered.

Intended learning outcomes

Students should::

  • Be able to discuss the characteristics of developing countries’ economies and the underlying causes of underdevelopment with the help of appropriately selected economic theory and models.
  • Be able to use economic analysis assess alternative policy measures directed at improving the macroeconomic performance of developing countries.

Teaching details

  • 16 lectures plus two hours of revision lectures in Teaching Block 2.
  • Eight classes for each group.

Assessment Details

Summative Assessment: The final grade is entirely determined by a three-hour closed book examination in May/June. You will need to answer three questions from a choice of eight questions from eight topics. The learning outcomes will be assessed fully in the summative assessment.

Formative Assessment: Two essays will be submitted on questions similar to examination questions. The typical essay length is about 1500 words. Analysis of alternative policy issues is essential for these essays. The formative assessment will also test the learning outcomes.

Reading and References

  • Ray, Debraj, Development Economics, Princeton University Press.
  • Thirlwall, A. P., Growth and Development: with special reference to developing economies , Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Todaro, M. and Smith, S. C., Economic Development, Pearson Addison Wesley.