DV590      Half Unit
Economic Development Policy I

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof David Keen CON 7.16, Dr Diana Weinhold CON 7.10 and Prof Danny Quah

Head of Department, Doctoral Programme Directors, MSc Course Convenor and PhD Supervisor


This course is available on the MRes/PhD in International Development. This course is not available as an outside option.

This course is available as an option for students enrolled in the MRes/PhD in International Development only.

Course content

This course focuses on analytically and empirically rigorous analyses of economic policies for macroeconomic growth in developing countries. We review current theoretical debates and consider how the use of empirical evidence can help to inform our analyses. In particular, increasing data availability has meant that the effectiveness of development policies, in terms of improving welfare, reducing poverty and promoting growth, can now be analysed using a variety of quantitative techniques. By looking at how these approaches can be applied to a range of development issues, the course will provide an overview of new thinking on the design of public policy in developing countries. While a strong mathematical or statistical background is not necessary to follow the course, students will be expected to actively learn and engage with regression analysis and other econometric techniques. These skills are developed through the term with mandatory weekly problem sets and occasional in-class quizzes supplementing the lectures and readings. The course consists of one lecture on the interpretation of empirical regression analysis and the role of quantitative methods in policy evaluation, and a further 9 two-hour lectures on theory and policy issues of relevance to developing countries. Topics themselves may vary from year to year but may include determinants of growth; human capital accumulation; globalisation and the political economy of trade policy; the global evolution of income distribution, structural adjustment, and financial crises; economic geography of development; aid; debt relief; and environment and growth. Seminars consist of student-led participatory in-depth analyses of best-practice theory and quantitative empirical research papers which students assess.


20 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the MT.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 piece of coursework in the LT.

A plan for the research paper (1500-2000 words) on which the student will receive feedback and topic approval

Indicative reading

Indicative reading: The bulk of the course will be taught using journal articles. A reading list will be handed out by the lecturers at the beginning of their sessions. Useful reference texts include D Ray, Development Economics (1998) which will serve as the course text, W Easterly, The Quest for Growth;


Essay (100%, 5000 words) in the ST.

1 x 5000 word research paper to be submitted on the first Friday of the Summer Term.  The research paper will be co-marked by the course convenor and the student's PhD supervisor

Key facts

Department: International Development

Total students 2016/17: Unavailable

Average class size 2016/17: Unavailable

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication