Development economics is a branch of economics which deals with economic aspects of the development process in low income countries. Its focus is not only on methods of promoting economic development, economic growth and structural change but also on improving the potential for the mass of the population, for example, through health and education and workplace conditions, whether through public or private channels. Development economics involves the creation of theories and methods that aid in the determination of policies and practices and can be implemented at either the domestic or international level. This may involve restructuring market incentives or using mathematical methods like inter-temporal optimization for project analysis, or it may involve a mixture of quantitative and qualitative methods. Unlike in many other fields of economics, approaches in development economics may incorporate social and political factors to devise particular plans. Different approaches may consider the factors that contribute to economic convergence or non-convergence across households, regions, and countries.
ECON 760 Theories of Economic Development - Students will learn the microeconomic theory of development that is relevant to the poorest countries in the world. This will include the study of information based market failures, coordination failures, the role of institutions, and the role of the state, primarily in the context of predominantly rural agrarian based economies. Dualism, interlinked credit and labor markets, dependency, migration and population will be examined as specific concepts/issues in these countries. Students also will learn how empirical research is undertaken using data from household surveys. They will read journal articles using household survey data that are representative of the current field and will complete a research study of their own (replicating a published study) using data from a household survey in a developing country. The importance of paying attention to gender in development will be emphasized throughout the course.
ECON 792E Macroeconomics of Development - This course focuses on the macroeconomics of economic development, covering theoretical, empirical and policy aspects of the field. It is designed as somewhat of a survey course, to give students a sense of current debates, methodologies, and areas for new research. In devising this syllabus we have presumed that students taking the course have completed the graduate-level macro course sequence, and therefore have a solid foundation in growth theory and empirics.