Semester Offering: August

The course will provide introductory knowledge on the mechanism of poverty in low- and middle-income economies. The students will be equipped with key concepts in development economics for understanding and analyzing why some countries are still poor and others are not. Note: this course does not cover topics of environmental development economics as they are left to ED76.19 (or ED76.20) in the January semester.


Upon completion of the course, the students will be able to:
     1. Understand basic concepts of poverty and economic development.
    2. Evaluate allocations of different types of resources and propose policy instruments to correct for market failures and government failures.
    3. Identify relevant factors causing stagnation in growth, and prioritize development policies.


None. No previous background in economics is required.


I. Introduction
    1. Poverty, PPP Poverty Line, Poverty Rate
    2. Hunger, Child Mortality, Life Expectancy, Education
    3. MDG and SDG on poverty.
    4. Sectoral Structure, Growth, and Development

II. Key concepts and associated policy instruments
    1. Components of Poverty, Demographic Transition
    2. Inequality, Growth Effects, Distribution Effects, Kuznets Curve
    3. Stock vs. Flow; Types of Capital
    4. Poverty Trap (Poverty Dynamics, Shocks, Vulnerability to Poverty)
    5. Cargo Net vs. Safety Net
    6. Invisible Hands; Market Failures and Government Failures
    7. Typical Mistakes in Policies
    8. Middle Income Trap
    9. Roles of Entrepreneurship
    10. Rent-seeking




1.  Janvry, A.D., Sadoulet, E. 2016. Development Economics: Theory and Practice, 3rd ed. Routledge, London.
2.  Hayami, Y. 2005. Development Economics: From the Poverty to the Wealth of Nations, 3rd ed. Oxford University Press, Oxford.


1. Banerjee, A.V., Duflo, E. 2012. Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty, Reprint ed. PublicAffairs, New York.
2. Roland, G. 2013. Development Economics (The Pearson Series in Economics), 1st ed. Routledge, London.
3. Williams, A., Le Billon, P. 2017. Corruption, Natural Resources and Development: From Resource Curse to Political Ecology. 1st ed. Edward Elgar Pub, Cheltenham (United Kingdom).


1. World Development [Elsevier]
2. Journal of Development Economics [Elsevier]
3. Economic Development and Cultural Change [University of Chicago Press]
4. Journal of International Development [Wiley & Sons]
5. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization [Elsevier]


Lecture: 30 hours
Assignments: 20 hours
Self-study: 90 hours


Lectures in hybrid classroom, assignments, readings, and discussions.


An exam(s), the first and second assignments and carry 65 %, 15%, and 20% of the weight, respectively. Grade “A” will be awarded if a student can demonstrate thorough knowledge and mastery of concepts and techniques and understanding of subject matter with high degree of skill to relate them with real world examples. Grade “B” will be awarded if a student can demonstrate good knowledge and mastery of concepts and understanding of subject matter with good skill of relating them with real work cases. Grade “C” will be given if a student can demonstrate some knowledge of the concepts and understanding but lacks skill of relating them with real world cases. Grade “D” will be given if a student has poor understanding of concepts and techniques with no or little skill to relate with real world cases.