Development Economics I


A. Knowledge and Understanding:
Solve theoretical models applied to development issues.
Understand causality and interpret empirical results in the development context.
Know the range of evaluation methods for development interventions.
Be able to think creatively about development interventions and measurement of outcomes.
B. Subject-Specific Skills:
Confidently discuss the literature in development economics.
C. General Skills:
Critically evaluate economic research.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Pedro Vicente


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Banerjee, Abhijit V., and Esther Duflo (2011), Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global
Poverty, Public Affairs;
Collier, Paul (2007), The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can Be Done About It,
Oxford University Press;
Easterly, William (2006), The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much
Ill and So Little Good, Penguin Press;
Sachs, Jeffrey D. (2005), The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time, Penguin Press.
Angrist, Joshua D., and Jörn-Steffen Pischke (2008), Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion,
Princeton University Press;
Duflo, Esther, Rachel Glennerster, and Michael Kremer (2006), Using Randomization in Development Economics
Research: A Toolkit, NBER Technical Working Paper 333.

Teaching method

There will be two classes of 1 hour and 20 minutes per week, based partly on slides and blackboard notes.
For each topic, a general overview of the theoretical and empirical issues will be given, and some examples taken from
recent research will be studied in greater detail.
The participation of students will be strongly encouraged to foster discussion. Individual written work will encourage
students to gain research skills.

Evaluation method

Presentation of a research paper (20%).
Writing a proposal for a research design (30% of the grade): To be done individually.
Participation in class (10%)
Final exam (40%).

Subject matter

The focus of the course will be on the main current topics in the development economics literature. After a brief
methodological overview, the course will discuss poverty traps and foreign aid effectiveness. The remaining of the
course is devoted to assessing development interventions. We will first analyze social programs devoted to health and
education. Then we turn to incentivizing access to formal banking, namely to credit, savings, and remittances. Finally,
we devote some attention to agriculture policy in developing countries.


Programs where the course is taught: