30L208 :Development Economics for ECO

General info

Instruction language English
Type of Instruction 11 Regular Lectures: each lecture divided in 2 blocks of 45 minutes.
9 Tutorials: 8 of them with students' presentations and graded online quizzes.
1 Econometric lab.
1 Synthesis Lecture
(Lecture schedule)
Type of exams The written exam will consist of questions about all the material covered in the lectures and tutorials (including all the mandatory readings, the lecture notes, assignments, all articles presented by students, computer based practicums, debates, discussions, videos, etc.). (Examination schedule)
Level:Bachelor
Course load:6 ECTS credits
Registration:via Blackboard
Blackboard InfoLink to Blackboard (When you see 'Guest are not allowed in this course', please login at Blackboard itself)

Lecturer(s)


dr. P.S. Dalton (Coordinator)

J. Rüschenpöhler


Objectives

The first goal of the course is to familiarize students with current topics in development economics: main problems, causes, consequences and alternative policies and views. This means that, at the end of the course, students are expected to:

- unravel current themes (poverty, decision-making under poverty, nutrition, health, human capital and education, credit, savings, entrepreneurship, aspirations, discrimination and institutions) and the corresponding theoretical and empirical argumentation in the academic literature.

- give brief and in-depth presentations for fellow students of seminal academic articles.

- present a well-grounded line of reasoning about the themes in a debate, and relate this to the arguments of fellow students and the required literature.

- be able to present a well-grounded line of reasoning about the themes in a debate, relating this to the arguments of fellow students and the required literature.

The second goal of the course is to familiarize students with modern research methods in development economics. This means that, at the end of the course, students are expected to:

- review and criticize the most commonly used statistical methods in research (ordinary least squares (OLS), instrumental variables (IV) estimation, randomized controlled trials (RCTs), difference-in-differences estimation, panel data).

- Critically evaluate the quality of academic studies in terms of statistical analysis and the assumptions on which this analysis is based.

The third goal of the course, in addition to obtaining knowledge about the themes and an understanding of the methods, is to develop the ability of students to think critically about these topics and to develop a critical academic attitude when reading academic studies. This means that, at the end of the course, students are expected to:

- act as a discussant of an academic paper during a workshop or conference and provide critical and constructive comments.

The fourth goal of the course is to develop the ability of students to conduct empirical analyses in the field of development economics. This means that, at the end of the course, students are expected to:

- formulate a research hypothesis, select and use a statistical method, and execute the statistical research using data and software.


Contents

The focus of this course will be on current topics in the development economics literature. We will cover both microeconomic and macroeconomic perspectives. Nevertheless, the main focus of the course will be on the microeconomic issues of development and poverty, as the macroeconomic perspective is studied in a complementary course: Macroeconomics 4.

The course proposes an in-depth exploration into the most important issues of persistent world poverty. Questions such as the following are explored through lectures, discussions, readings, and presentations: Why poverty persists? How and why poverty affects decisions people make? How do we make schools work for the poor? How nutrition relates to poverty? Is micro finance invaluable or overrated? Should we leave economic development to the market? What is the role of institutions for development?

Students will be asked to actively participate during both lectures and tutorials. Tutorials will consist of (i) students' presentations, (ii) computer based practicums and (iii) questions/answers and debates.


Specifics

Students should have completed an introductory econometrics course and should have a basic knowledge of regression analysis, including ordinary least squares (OLS) and instrumental variables estimation.


Compulsory Reading

  1. Banerjee, Abhijit and Esther Duflo, Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty, PublicAffairs, 2011, ISBN 9781586487980.
  2. Other academic papers.


Required Prerequisites

Students should have completed an introductory econometrics course and should have a basic knowledge of regression analysis, including ordinary least squares (OLS) and instrumental variables estimation.


Compulsory for


Recommended option for

(05-jan-2018)