AØKA08031U Development Economics

Volume 2013/2014
BSc in Economics
MSc in Economics
This is an introductory course in development economics at advanced undergraduate level. General textbook material and selected articles on the subject form the core of the readings, and a broad range of topics is covered, including basic principles and concepts, theories of development and structural change, micro- and macroeconomic issues and economic analysis as well as key policy issues and recommendations. The students are exposed to current questions and historical, long-run features. The various competing paradigms form part of the course together with reference throughout to existing strategies of economic development.
Learning Outcome
Development Economics has as overall aim to introduce the students to the field of development economics. Having successfully taken this course, students will be able to:

  • Explain both the basic concepts used and the issues addressed in Development Economics and document sound ability to apply standard micro, macro and empirical theory and methods to questions of development.
  • Identify, describe and assess the measurable indicators, which are used in socioeconomic surveys and analyses of the economic, social and institutional situation and characteristics of developing countries. 
  •  Describe the main historical experiences with development and structural change in the third world (including for example urbanization and rural-urban migration) and reflect convincingly on present challenges and perspectives for the future. 
  • Lay out the key elements of the classic theories of development as well as more recent theories and development models, and document ability to undertake critical assessment, add nuance and relate the various theories/models to each other.
  • Review theories and empirical evidence on economic inequality, poverty and growth and their internal relationships. 
  • Present and discuss existing theory and empirical evidence on the importance of human resources (health, education and population) and the role of agriculture in the development process.
  • Summarize and assess theory and empirical evidence on the economic characteristics and functions of selected markets (land, labour and capital/credit) in developing countries and relate the interaction between the environment and development to concepts and methods used in economics.
  • Explain how selected macroeconomic policies (fiscal, financial, monetary, exchange rate, trade and structural) are applied in the context of economic reform programmes in developing countries and reflect about ongoing professional debate in areas such as international trade, foreign direct investment and foreign aid.
  • Convey knowledge about issues, theory and empirical evidence in the field of development economics in a clear and well-argued manner and demonstrate ability to apply taught theoretical and empirical knowledge in a competent, coherent and original way in relation to current challenges.


Textbooks :

  • Michael Todaro and Stephen Smith, 2009. "Economic development", Addison-Wesley, Tenth Edition, Chapters 1-15
  • Bruce Wydick, 2008. ”Games in Economic Development”, Cambridge University Press, chap. 1, 3, 6, 9-12.Debraj Ray, 1998. “Development Economics”, Princeton University Press, Chapters 6,7,12-14.
  • David N. Weil, 2008. "Economic Growth", Pearson International Edition, Second Edition, Chapters 5-8.

Journal Articles:

  • Dani Rodrik, 1993. “The positive economics of policy reform”, American Economic Review 83: 56-61.
  • Finn Tarp, 2006. “Aid and development”, Swedish Economic Policy Review 13: 9-61
  • Henrik Hansen and Finn Tarp, 2000. ”Aid effectiveness disputed”, Journal of International Development 12, 375-398.
  • Karla Hoff, 2003. "Paths of Institutional Development: A View from Economic History", World Bank Research Observer 18: 205-226.
  • William Easterly, 2007. "Inequality does cause underdevelopment: insights from a new instrument?" Journal of Development Economics 84: 755-776.

Book Chapters:

  • World Development Report, 2008. "Agriculture for Development", World Bank/Oxford University Press, Ch. 1
Students should have taken Microeconomics and Macroeconomics courses corresponding to 2nd year undergraduate level at the Department of Economics.
3 hours of lectures per week in 14 weeks.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 3
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 161
  • Total
  • 206
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 3 hours under invigilation
3 hours writtten assignment taking place at Peter Bangs Vej 36.
Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
20 % censurship
Exam period
Will be updated before the start of the semester
Same as ordinary. But if only a few students have registered for the re-exam, the exam might change to an oral exams with a synopsis to be handed in. This means that the examination date also will change.
Criteria for exam assesment
The Student must in a satisfactory way demonstrate that he/she has mastered the learning outcome of the course.