Development and Growth

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Maitreesh Ghatak SAL 3.08A
Dr Gharad Bryan SAL 3.10


This course is available on the MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics, MSc in Economics, MSc in Economics (2 Year Programme), MSc in Environmental Economics and Climate Change and MSc in Environmental Policy, Technology and Health (Environmental Economics and Climate Change) (LSE and Peking University). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


Students must have completed Introductory Course in Mathematics and Statistics (EC400).

Students should have completed courses in intermediate level microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics.

Course content

This course will cover a number of topics at forefront of development economics, combining theoretical and empirical analysis with a clear focus on policy implications. These include economic growth, poverty traps, inequality and occupational choice, credit markets, microfinance, property rights, land markets current methodological debates; the allocation of capital and labour across firms, space and sectors; structural change during the development process; finance; psychology and development; governance and accountability; conflict and civil war; motivation of civil servants; taxation and development; firms and markets; trade; infrastructure; energy and the environment; and climate change.

Development economics is, arguably, the fastest growing and most vibrant field within economics. The course will enable the students to apply their econometric and theoretical skills to what are some the world’s most pressing problems. The experience of applying their economic knowledge to these topics will generate analytical skills that that can be used in wide variety of applied settings.


20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the AT. 20 hours of lectures and 9 hours of seminars in the WT. 1 hour of seminars in the ST.

There will be a reading week in Week 6 of WT only (no lectures or classes that week).

This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures totalling a minimum of 60 hours across Autumn Term, Winter Term, and Spring Term.

Formative coursework

Two marked assignments per term.

Indicative reading

Most of the reading is from journal articles which appear on reading lists distributed at the start of each part of the course.

However, the following references may serve as an introduction to material included in the syllabus.

D Ray, Development Economics, Princeton UP, 1998, Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo’s Poor Economics, New York: Public Affairs,2011, and the symposium on The Agenda for Development Economics - Journal of Economic Perspectives Volume 24, Number 3, Summer 2010: Articles by Deaton, Acemoglu, Ray, Rodrik, and Rosenzweig.


Exam (50%, duration: 2 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the spring exam period.
Essay (50%, 6000 words) in the ST.

Key facts

Department: Economics

Total students 2022/23: 26

Average class size 2022/23: 13

Controlled access 2022/23: Yes

Lecture capture used 2022/23: 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.