Module Details

EC902-7-SP-CO: Economic Development Theory

Year: 2017/18
Department: Economics
Essex credit: 20
ECTS credit: 10
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: Yes
Full Year Module Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students for a Single Term: No
Outside Option: No

Supervisor: Dr Patrick Nolen
Teaching Staff: Dr Patrick Nolen
Contact details: For further information, send a message to

Module is taught during the following terms
Autumn Spring Summer

Module Description

This module examines the distinctive features of less developed economies. In the first part of the module we review theories that try to explain persistent poverty and inequality in those economies. Issues such as child labour, inequality, growth, poverty traps, measurement, and urban-rural migration are examined theoretically. The second half of the module examines current empirical literature through carefully examining journal articles and working papers. We will examine issues of behavioural economics, public infrastructure, and how government provision of programs effect child development. The empirical part of the module will focus on micro-econometric studies and will introduce students to many new techniques used to evaluate policy programs. The common thread in linking the theoretical and empirical parts of the module is the attempt to identify policy options and prescriptions that can be used to alleviate many burdens - such as poverty and inequality - faced by less developed economies.

Upon successful completion of this module students will have an in-depth understanding of some of the problems facing developing countries and a toolkit on analyze policy programs both theoretically and empirically. Students will also be able to carry out advanced research into, and to act as policy advisors on, issues related to development economics. They should also be capable of evaluating policies in the context of the subject matter of the course from an economic perspective.

Feedback for this module will occur through class meetings where we will go over the answers to problem sets and where you will be able to ask questions about your own method of solution; answers that will be posted on the website for the module that will give you written guidance on the appropriate method to approach the problems, assignments, and tests; and office hours where any additional questions can be addressed. You should be sure that you use these methods to understand how to improve your own performance.

This course will provide a range of employability skills. In particular you will gain academic skills, professional working skills, and external awareness. The models discussed in class with provide you with numeracy skills while the ability to do a term paper and read current research work will allow you to develop working skills. Finally, given the topic of the course, you will be exposed to issues facing people in other countries and differences between other cultures that will increase your external awareness. All of this will provide you with a range of employability skills.

Learning and Teaching Methods

One 2 hour lecture per week


50 per cent Coursework Mark, 50 per cent Exam Mark


Term paper, upper limit 4,000 words

Exam Duration and Period

2:00 during Summer Examination period.


  • The course will make extensive use of journal articles, in addition to the following book:
  • K Basu, Analytical Development Economics, MIT Press 1997

Further information