DV491      Half Unit
Economic Development Policy II: Microeconomic Analysis

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Sandra Sequeira


This course is available on the MPA in International Development, MSc in African Development, MSc in Anthropology and Development, MSc in Anthropology and Development Management, MSc in Development Management, MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Environment and Development, MSc in Environmental Economics and Climate Change, MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies, MSc in Political Economy of Late Development and MSc in Political Science and Political Economy. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Entry onto the course might be limited at the discretion of the instructor.


Economic Development Policy I: Applied Policy Analysis for Macroeconomic Development (DV490) or equivalent background in statistics and economics.

Course content

This course examines the microeconomic foundations of economic policy-making in developing countries. Classes will combine economic theory and rigorous empirical analysis to better understand the impact of economic development policy on development goals. We will focus on specific examples chosen from development cases worldwide to learn which policies have worked, which ones have not, and how a rigorous analysis of these experiences can inform the design of better economic development policies in the future

The course is structured around four main themes:

(i) Human Development: including discussions on health policy, education policy and intra-household dynamics

(ii) Institutions and Markets: including discussions on labor markets, state capacity for public service delivery and private sector development

(iii) Social Networks, Economic History and Cultural Economics: including discussions on the importance of culture, historical developments, social dynamics and migratory movements on development

(iv) Behavioral Economics and Development Policy Design: including discussions on the importance of psychology in explaining economic behavior and how it can inform better development policy design

Through in class discussions, lectures and coursework, students will develop analytical and quantitative skills for the study and practice of international development policy. These skills will enable students to interpret and critique both conceptual arguments and the empirical evidence used in the development economics literature and discourse.

Coursework will include a combination of class discussions with guest lecturers engaged in international development, problem sets, presentations and computer-lab based sessions for students to explore programming and statistical skills.

Students are strongly encouraged to take DV492, as a highly complementary course that will also apply the empirical methods taught in DV490 to topics in government policy such as redistribution, taxation and social insurance.


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

There will be a two hour revision session in late LT or early ST.

Indicative reading

Cohen, J. and P. Dupas (2010) “Free Distribution or Cost-sharing? Evidence from a Randomized Malaria Prevention Program”,  Quarterly Journal of Economics

Das, Jishnu, Jeffrey Hammer and Kenneth Leonard (2008) “The Quality of Medical Advice in Low Income Countries”, Journal of Economic Perspectives

Dupas, Pascaline. (2011). “Do teenagers respond to HIV risk information: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Kenya”, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics

Duflo, E.; R. Hanna, S. Ryan. (2012). “Monitoring Works: Getting Teachers to Come to School”, American Economic Review

Muralidharan, K and V. Sundararaman. (2011). “Teacher Performance Pay: Experimental Evidence from India”, Journal of Political Economy

Duflo, E., and C. Udry. (2004) “Intrahousehold Resource Allocation in Cote d'Ivoire: Social Norms, Separate Accounts and Consumption Choices”, National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper

Qian, Nancy (2008) “Missing Women and the Price of Tea in China: The Effect of Sex-Specific Earnings on Sex Imbalance”. Quarterly Journal of Economics

Olken, Ben. (2007). “Monitoring Corruption: evidence from a Field Experiment in Indonesia”, Journal of Political Economy

Fisman, Ray (2001) “Estimating the Value of Political Connections”, American Economic Review

Dupas, Pascaline and Jonathan Robinson. (forthcoming) “Why don’t the poor save more? Evidence from Health Savings Experiments, American Economic Review

Morduch, Jonathan. "Microinsurance: The Next Revolution?" Chapter 22 in Understanding Poverty

Ardagna, S. and Annamaria Lusardi (2008) “Explaining International Differences in Entrepreneurship: The Role of Individual Characteristics and Regulatory Constraints”, NBER Working Paper No. 14012

Guiso, L., P. Sapienza and L. Zingales, (2004) “The Role of Social Capital in Financial Development” American Economic Review

Nunn, N. (2008) “The Long-Term Effects of Africa’s Slave Trades", Quarterly Journal of Economics

Chong, A., S. Duryea and E la Ferrara (2012), “Soap Operas and Fertility in Brazil”, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics

Bertrand, Marianne, and Sendhil Mullainathan (2004). "Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination.", American Economic Review

Duflo, Esther, and Petia Topalova. (2004) "Unappreciated Service: Performance, Perceptions, and Women Leaders in India."


Exam (70%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
In class assessment (30%) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: International Development

Total students 2014/15: Unavailable

Average class size 2014/15: Unavailable

Controlled access 2014/15: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills