Development Economics

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Robin Burgess 32L.3.03 and Dr Gharad Bryan 32L.3.10


This course is compulsory on the MPA in International Development. This course is available on the MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Columbia), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Hertie), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and NUS), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Sciences Po), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Tokyo), MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, MPA in Public and Social Policy, MPA in Social Impact, Master of Public Administration and Master of Public Policy. This course is not available as an outside option.

Students may not take both this course and EC428 Development and Growth.   


The expectation is that students will have previously taken PP440 and PP455 or other equivalent courses.  Students who have not taken PP440 and PP455 will require permission from the course lecturer to attend the course.

Course content

In this course, students will apply their understanding of economics and econometrics to the task of policy making in developing countries.  The focus is on acquiring the necessary theoretical and empirical skills to engage in the rigorous analysis of public policies in developing countries. Topics at the forefront of development economics will be covered. These include political economy, trade liberalization, growth, access to finance, technology adoption, education, health, infrastructure, property rights, land reform, gender, environment, mass media and political accountability. The emphasis will be on combining theory and data to evaluate the effectiveness of policies in these different areas.


20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the MT. 20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT.

Formative coursework

Students to complete weekly exercises based on course readings with one of these exercises being marked in a given term.

Indicative reading

A reading list will be distributed at the start of the course.


Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the summer exam period.

Key facts

Department: School of Public Policy

Total students 2018/19: 33

Average class size 2018/19: 16

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information