Development Economics

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

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


This course is available on the Double Master of Public Administration (LSE-Sciences Po), Double Master of Public Administration (LSE-University of Toronto), 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), 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  This course has a limited number of places (it is controlled access) and demand is typically very high.


The expectation is that students will have previously taken PP440 and PP455 or other equivalent courses.  Students who have not taken PP440 and PP455 (including MPA Dual Degree students spending Year 2 at LSE) 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.


This course is delivered through a combination of lectures and classes totalling 40 hours of lectures and 20 hours of classes in the Michaelmas Term, Lent Term and week 1 of Summer Term. 

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 (60%, duration: 3 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the summer exam period.
Essay (40%, 2000 words).

Student performance results

(2018/19 - 2020/21 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 31.9
Merit 58.2
Pass 9.9
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: School of Public Policy

Total students 2021/22: 23

Average class size 2021/22: 12

Controlled access 2021/22: Yes

Lecture capture used 2021/22: Yes (MT & LT)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.