NIFB14033U Development Economics

Volume 2020/2021

BSc Programme in Agricultural Economics
BSc Programme in Natural Resources


This course examines the challenges posed by poverty affecting a billion people in low-income countries across the world, taking an economic approach to conceptualizing those challenges, their causes and solutions. The course will provide the students with theoretical frameworks enabling them to understand, measure, analyse and discuss themes within the development economics literature focusing on poverty, its consequences and its alleviation. Key questions discussed during the course include: What is life like when living with under a dollar a day? Are famines unavoidable? Is child labour necessary? Is education and health key to lifting people out of poverty? Why are the poor forest-dependent and the forest-dependent poor? Does growth help the poorest of the poor? And does aid matter for development?

The course includes the seven thematic topics (subject to change):

  • Poverty and inequality
  • Economic growth and development
  • Health and Education
  • Agricultural transformation  
  • Poverty and the environment
  • Aid
  • Poverty and conflicts
Learning Outcome

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



  • Define  development economic concepts and models
  • Describe common economic characteristics and problems of life in low income countries



  • Apply development economic concepts to explain the causes and the interconnection of problems faced by households and institutions in low income countries
  • Analyse quantitative data using excel to answer development economic questions
  • Interpret the implication of development economic measures and models for development policy-related questions



  • Discuss and cooperate with fellow students to solve problems
  • Critically reflect on  and discuss causes and consequences of economic problems faced by households and institutions in developing countries

The course takes departure in various textbook material provided through Absalon. The curriculum will be described on Absalon prior to course start. Additional material including scientific articles, 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 online quizzes, group and individual assignments, lectures and classroom exercises. Each week, students will be asked to: (1) read the mandatory literature; (2) take an online quiz (multiple choice or similar) covering the topic of the week’s reading; (3) meet up in class to attend lectures, discuss the weeks theme and reading material, and (4) participate in classroom exercises to solve assignment problems (based on quantitative and qualitative data). In addition, the course involves a number of written group or individual assignments upon which the group/student will receive feedback.
An interest in global affairs, life in low-income countries and the alleviation of poverty is a plus.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 24
  • Preparation
  • 133
  • Practical exercises
  • 21
  • Project work
  • 24
  • Exam
  • 4
  • Total
  • 206
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)

Rubrics and quizzes will be used to evaluate performance and provide feedback to groups or individuals depending on the assignment, either written or orally as relevant. Students will be expected to provide peer feedback on assignments based on agreed criteria. 

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 4 hours under invigilation
Written examination. 4 hours under invigilation.
Exam registration requirements

Two written group or individual assignments submitted and approved. 

All aids allowed

All aids allowed for the written examination including books and written notes.

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

Written or oral examination depending on the number of students. The exam will be oral if less than 10 students register for the re-exam. Oral examination of 20 minutes duration with no time for preparation and no aid allowed. Written examination 4 hours under inviligation. All aid allowed for written examination.

If the student has not handed in and gotten two group assignments approved, the student must hand in the assigments indvidually three weeks prior to the reexam and they must be approved before the reexam.

Criteria for exam assesment

Assesment in accordance with the learning outcomes