PP454E      Half Unit
Development Economics

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Robin Burgess and Prof Oriana Bandiera


This course is available on the Executive Master of Public Administration and Executive Master of Public Policy. This course is not available as an outside option.


There are no formal pre-requisites, but the course is only available by prior agreement with the Executive MPA and Executive MPP Programme Directors if students haven't completed Empirical Methods for Public Policy (PP455E) and Economic Policy Analysis (PP440E) prior to this course.

Course content

The main focus of this course 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 growth and poverty, governance and accountability, motivation of bureaucrats, firms and markets, determinants of productivity, jobs and labour markets, shocks and insurance, infrastructure, connectivity, education and health, trade and globalization, the value of exporting, delivering public services, incentivising teachers and health workers, environment and climate change, management of natural resources, taxation and state capacity. The emphasis will be on combining theory and data to evaluate the effectiveness of policies in these different areas.


A one-week modular teaching block.

Formative coursework

One mock essay opportunity will be provided.

Indicative reading

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


Essay (50%, 2000 words) and online assessment (50%).

Please note that online assessments take place on the third Friday after module teaching concludes. Essays are due on the sixth Friday after module teaching concludes. Further details will be provided at the Executive MPA/ Executive MPP programme inductions.

Key facts

Department: School of Public Policy

Total students 2018/19: Unavailable

Average class size 2018/19: Unavailable

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Problem solving
  • Application of numeracy skills