DV491      Half Unit
Economic Development Policy II: Microeconomic Analysis

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Sandra Sequeira


This course is available on the MSc in Anthropology and Development, MSc in Development Management, MSc in Development Management (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Economic Policy for International Development, MSc in Environment and Development, MSc in Environmental Economics and Climate Change, MSc in Environmental Policy, Technology and Health (Environmental Economics and Climate Change) (LSE and Peking University), MSc in Health and International Development, MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies, MSc in Political Economy of Late Development and MSc in Political Science (Political Science and Political Economy). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Students will be allocated places to courses with priority to ID and joint-degree students.  If there are more ID and joint-degree students than the course can accommodate, these spots will be allocated randomly.  

Non-ID/Joint Degree students will be allocated to spare places by random selection with the preference given first to those degrees where the regulations permit this option.


For students without strong skills in economics and statistics DV494 constitutes the foundational prerequisite for DV491 in the Autumn term. 


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 three main themes:

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

(ii) Institutions and Markets: labour markets, state capacity for public service delivery and private sector development

(iii) Behavioural Economics and Development Policy Design: the importance of psychology in explaining economic behaviour and how it can inform better development policy design


This course is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars in the WT. Seminars will be 90 minutes duration and lectures will be 120 minutes duration. There will be a weekly workshop run by a Teaching Fellow for students to ask questions about the material.

Seminars start in week 1 and there will be a reading week in Week 6.

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

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

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 spring exam period.
In-class assessment (30%) in the WT.

Key facts

Department: International Development

Total students 2022/23: 51

Average class size 2022/23: 17

Controlled access 2022/23: Yes

Lecture capture used 2022/23: Yes (LT)

Value: Half 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.

Personal development skills

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