Development economics

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The economy of the Global South


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Aims and scope: 

Economic development has always been one of the most lively and challenging areas in economics. Over the last decades, advances in economic theory and econometric methods have allowed development economists to review some age-old questions. Why do some countries grow faster than others? What is the link between inequality, poverty, and economic development? How can we explain rural-urban migrations in the light of urban poverty? Do poor people make the wrong decisions about consumption, work or investment? Why is credit more expensive in developing economies? Are free trade and foreign investment good for development? Does development aid work? This course will introduce you to these advances and give you a feel of the current debates, acquainting you with new ideas and new ways of answering fundamental questions about the economics of poor societies and the process of economic development.


This course will be based on synchronous web conferences and asynchronous online written discussions. At the start of the course, students will be paired in North-South teams for coursework that will account for 25% of the final grade.

Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) is an approach for learning content through an additional language (foreign or second), thus learning both the subject and the language simultaneously. This approach to teaching and learning has never featured as strongly on university curricula as it does now. Besides, the great revolution of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has had a tremendous impact on education and on the development of foreign language communication skills in particular. ICT is an ideal platform for developing interactive strategies and methodologies that promote independent learning, peer interaction, and language use for real communicative purposes. In a world where students are digital natives and where broadband connections and mobile-data enabled smartphones are widespread, there is great potential for combining CLIL with ICT. If we add to this the opportunities that international university partnerships and networks offer for student interaction across borders, we have all the necessary ingredients for a successful course.


1. Introduction to economic development. Concept and measurement. The scientific method. 2. Economic growth. The Neoclassical growth model and alternative growth models. Empirical evidence. Conditional convergence. 3. Economic inequality, poverty and development. 4. Population and development. The dual economy. Migration. 5. Emerging markets: land, labour, capital, and insurance. 6. International trade and finance. 7. Development policy.

Indicative reading: 

Ray, D. (1998). Development economics. Princeton University Press; Basu, K. (2003). Analytical development economics: the less developed economy revisited. MIT Press; Banerjee, A. & E. Duflo (2012). Poor Economics. Public Affairs; Thirlwall, A.P. (2011). Economics of development. Palgrave Macmillan. Todaro, M. P., & Smith, S. C. (2015). Economic development. Pearson.