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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

LUBS3330 Economic Development

20 creditsClass Size: 128

Module manager: Suman Seth & Gaston Yalonetzky
Email: &

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20


LUBS2140Intermediate Microeconomics
LUBS2610Intermediate Macroeconomics

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module provides you with an introduction to some of the most interesting and relevant topics in economic development, including aspects of developed countries' economic history and contemporary challenges faced by developing nations. You start with some core notions of development, followed by methods to measure progress in social wellbeing and you learn some key theories of economic growth. Then you engage with the recent history of world population, with emphasis on the debate on the pros and cons of large populations. You then discuss the development of human capital: education and health. Later on in the module you debate the role of industrialization as an engine of development. Finally, recent research on the bidirectional relationship between institutions and other aspects of development is introduced to you.The module is characterized by a pluralistic approach to a subject like development economics, plagued by highly relevant yet controversial socioeconomic topics. You address key development theories with a strong emphasis on the available empirical evidence and its interpretation.


The module aims to introduce students to the most important problems in economic development, particularly in the areas of development concepts and measurement, population and human capital, industrialization, and institutional development. The module contributes to the overall learning outcomes of the program in manifold ways including the development of a critical approach to the relevant academic literature.

Learning outcomes
Upon completion of this module students will be able to:
- Critically evaluate some of the most important problems in economic development, both pertaining to aspects of the economic history of now developed countries and the contemporary challenges faced by developing countries
- Engage with the academic literature and appraise the empirical evidence on the addressed development topics
- Assess critically development policies and initiatives (e.g. from donor agencies, national governments, etc.)

Skills outcomes
Upon completion of this module students will be able to:
- Work effectively as member of a group/team
- Make oral presentations, including preparation, visual aids, delivery, etc
- Critically appraise conflicting scholarly opinion and evidence in academic and policy debates


Indicative content
Trends, concepts and measurement of economic development. The role of happiness measurement in development.
Formal theories of economic growth: neoclassical, endogenous, big-push, poverty traps and O-ring. Empirics of convergence.
Population and development: key demographic concepts, demographic transitions, views on population and development, household fertility decisions, population and poverty. Population policies.
Education and development: Private and social returns to education, educational production function and policies. Conditional cash transfers.
Health and development: Epidemiological transition, health gradients, health policies in developing countries. Health campaigns, neglected diseases and vaccines in developing countries.
Industrialization: industrialization and development, drivers of industrialization, industrial policy. Contemporary challenges to industrialization: cluster formation and commodity booms.
States versus markets: role of states versus markets in development, structural adjustment, the "Washington Consensus". Privatization of public enterprises.
Institution and development: concepts and measurement of institutions, relationship between institutions and development, colonial origins. Corruption.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours168.00
Total Contact hours32.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

For each 20 credits of study taken, the expectation is that the normal study time (including attendance at lectures and tutorials, self-study and revision) is 200 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Fortnightly group seminar presentations.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Written Work1 essay question - 2000 words45.00
Written Work1 essay question - 2000 words45.00
PresentationSeminar Presentations10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

IMPORTANT: If a student attends a seminar and provides written feedback to the fellow presenters then the student will be entitled to receive an extra 0.5% on their essay mark for that same semester. Since there are 4 seminars per semester, a student could in theory secure up to 2% bonus (4 x 0.5%) for that semester's essay should they attend every seminar. In the semester when they do the seminar presentation, the maximum attainable bonus would be 1.5% (3 x 0.5%). For example if a student got a 70 mark in their essay and secured a 2% bonus during that same semester, then the final essay mark for that semester would be 70*(1.02)=71.4. The resit for this module will be 100% by 3,000 word coursework.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 22/08/2019


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