Development Economics

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Gharad Bryan SAL.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 Hertie), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and NUS), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Tokyo), MPA in Data Science for Public Policy, 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 and Double 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 Autumn Term, Winter Term and week 1 of Spring 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 spring exam period.
Essay (40%, 2000 words).

Student performance results

(2019/20 - 2021/22 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 36.2
Merit 61.2
Pass 2.5
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: School of Public Policy

Total students 2022/23: 17

Average class size 2022/23: 9

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.