AØKK08072U  Seminar: Development Economics and Microeconometrics

Volume 2017/2018

MSc programme in Economics

The seminar is primarily for students at the MSc of Economics


The seminar will focus on the scope and difficulties of doing applied work with microdata from a developing country. It will give the participants hands-on experience with household panel data from Tanzania. Within the limitations of the data, the student will be free to choose a research question. This could both be survey-related such as the construction of poverty measures or the role of measurement error, or it could be related to the content exploring agricultural choices, household composition, etc. with special attention to the challenges related to establishing causal effects.

Learning Outcome

After completing the course, the student should be able to:


  • The challenges of working with survey data from a developing country

  • The structure of common household questionnaires and data files

  • Relevant econometrics methods

  • Specific knowledge within the topic chosen



  • Navigating between questionnaires and the corresponding data files

  • Merging multiple data files

  • Setting up a panel data set at the relevant level of observation

  • Formulating a research question that can be answered given the constraints of the data

  • Motivating the research question based on existing literature within the topic chosen

  • Choosing the relevant econometric method to address the research question with the given data

  • Performing an econometric analysis on survey data

  • Structuring a coherent paper

  • Presenting the research question, methods, and results in a clear manner, both written and orally



  • Carefully interpreting results from an econometric analysis using household data from a developing country with special attention to the establishment of causal effects

  • Assessing the extent to which the research question could be answered with the given data

  • Assessing the adequacy of the chosen econometric method, discussing potential drawbacks of the method and relating the chosen method to other econometric methods

  • Discussing how the results relate to the existing literature

  • providing constructive feedback on other students’ seminar papers

  • receiving feedback on own paper, considering how concerns can be addressed and adjust accordingly

Background literature for the econometric analysis:

Angrist and Pischke (2009) Mostly Harmless Econometrics
Deaton (1997) The analysis of household surveys: A microeconometrics approach to development policy
Wooldridge (2002) Econometric analysis of cross section and panel data

Suggested readings for inspiration:

Special issue in Food Policy 2017: “ Agriculture in Africa – Telling Myths from Facts”, Luc Christiaensen (editor), Food Policy, vol 67, pp: 1-192 (February 2017)

It is recommended to have followed Econometrics I and Development Economics prior to taking the seminar.
It is furthermore an advantage to follow or have taken: Advanced Development Economics - Micro Aspects, Econometrics II, and Advanced Microeconometrics
Kick-off meeting, research and writing process of the seminar paper, sessions with presentation of own paper and critical evaluation/feedback to another student´s paper, actively participating in discussions at class.

Before the session a "so-finalized-as-possible"-draft of the paper must be uploaded in Absalon. After the presentations, the student submit an edited version of the paper in the Digital Exam portal as the final exam paper. The aim is that students use the presentation sessions as an opportunity to receive and use the constructive feedback to improve the paper.
• Kick-off meeting: Monday, February 5th, 2018, 10:00-12:00
• Introducing teaching: Mondays, February 12th, 10.00-12.00 (Subject to change if it coincides with a course that many participating students follow)
• Deadline of commitment paper: not later than March 1 at 10 AM
• Deadline of pre-paper upload in Absalon: A week before the presentations
• Presentations/Workshops: May 8th,9th and 10th depending on number of participants
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination
- a seminar paper in English that meets the formal requirements for written papers stated in the curriculum and at KUNet for seminars.
Exam registration requirements

Attendance in all activities at the seminar as stated in the formal requrements in the Curriculum and at the KUnet for seminars (UK) and Kunet for seminars (DK) is required to participate in the exam.


All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Exam period

Deadline for uploading the final seminar exam paper to DE: 1st of June 2018 before 10:00 AM


Exam information:

For enrolled students more information about examination, rules, exam schedule etc. is available at the intranet for master students (UK) and  master students (DK)



The reexam is a written paper as stated in the  Master curriculum and at the KUnet for seminars for master students (UK) and master students (DK). 


Exam information:

For enrolled students more information about re-examination, rules, re-exam schedule etc. is available at the intranet for  master students (UK) and  master students (DK)

Criteria for exam assesment

Students are assessed on the extent to which they master the learning outcome for the seminar and the objectives stated in the Curriculum.

To receive the top grade, the student must with no or only a few minor weaknesses be able to demonstrate an excellent performance displaying a high level of command of all aspects of the relevant material and can make use of the knowledge, skills and competencies listed in the learning outcomes.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Seminar
  • 20
  • Project work
  • 186
  • Total
  • 206