NIFB14033U Development Economics

Volume 2017/2018

Bacheloruddannelsen i jordbrugsøkonomi


This is a course for students interested in the challenges posed by the vast and enduring world poverty, in the way economists conceptualize those challenges, their causes and solutions. Key questions we will be discussing during this course include: What is life like when living with under a dollar a day? Are famines unavoidable? Is child labour necessary? Is education the key to lift people out of poverty? Without property rights, is life destined to be miserable? Why are the poor forest-dependent and the forest-dependent poor? Does growth help the poorest of the poor?


The topics explored include:

  • Poverty and inequality

  • Economic growth theory

  • Food production and consumption

  • Health and Education (human capital)

  • Poverty-Environment linkages

  • Urbanization and migration

  • Democracy, governance and conflicts

Learning Outcome

Towards the end of the course, students should be able to:


  • Define and explain development economics concepts and models

  • Characterize economic life in developing countries



  • Explain the root causes of the problems faced by households and institutions in developing countries
  • Analyze quantitative data with Excel
  • Solve case study problems on different aspects of economic life in developing countries



  • Discuss and cooperate with fellow students to solve problems

  • Apply general economic thinking as well as the concepts and specialized models of development economics to analyze development econoimic and policy-related questions

  • Critically reflect on  and discuss causes of economic problems faced by households and institutions in developing countries

The course is based on a textbook. Precise details on literature will be given on Absalon prior to course start.

Additional material (e.g. scientific articles, selected book chapters and reports) will be supplied throughout the course.

No prior academic qualifications are needed, yet a bit of knowledge of basic economic theory is an advantage, as well as some experience using MS Excel for basic data analysis.
Blended learning combining e-learning and classroom activities. E-learning is centred around online asynchronous discussions in small groups (7-9 people). Each week, students will be asked to (i) read the mandatory literature (ii) participate in online asynchronous discussions on a particular topic of relevance for the week’s theme; (iii) meet up in class to discuss the reading material and solve problems (based on quantitative and qualitative data).
  • Category
  • Hours
  • E-Learning
  • 25
  • Exam
  • 4
  • Lectures
  • 20
  • Practical exercises
  • 27
  • Preparation
  • 130
  • Total
  • 206
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Continuous assessment
Written examination, 4 hours under invigilation
The assessment has two components: (i) continuous assessment of participation to online discussions (20% of final mark); (ii) Written examination (80%).
Only certain aids allowed

All aids allowed for online discussions. No aids allowed for written examination.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
One internal examiner

Oral examination. 20 - 30 minutes. No time for preparation. No aids allowed.

Criteria for exam assesment

Assesment in accordance with the learning outcomes