Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

ECON6017 Economic Policy in Development

Module Overview

This course is concerned with economic development, growth, inequality and poverty and as such will focus on related policies. It combines a macroeconomic viewpoint with microeconomic foundations, to understand, evaluate and devise economic policy in developing countries.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

This module will familiarise students with techniques to examine real world economic problems analytically, propose potential economic mechanisms that are operating, identify the relevant mechanisms and problems that hinder economic development, propose remedies in form of policies based on the analysis, and to empirically evaluate policy effects. That is, not only will students acquire analytical skills such as rigorous analysis of complex social systems and corresponding policy advice, but also practical skills such as delivering sound policy advice both in oral (in class presentation) and written form (coursework in form of preparing a policy report).

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • To understand the complexity of underdevelopment through the lens of macroeconomic models with microeconomic foundations
  • To empirically evaluate alternative policy proposals in the context of a range of problem areas for developing countries
  • To use economic analysis in the design of policy in a variety of problem areas for developing countries
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • To be able to criticially evaluate and interpret scientific empirical studies on underdevelopment and policy evaluation
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • To present content related to the evaluation of specific problems or policies to an expert audience


The course presents current theories of poverty and underdevelopment, for instance those emphasizing links to financial market frictions, inequality, health, political economy, discrimination and institutions, as well as their empirical support. Policies that seek to address these issues will be considered, with a special emphasis on empirical evaluation of their efficacy. The course will familiarize students with applying economic analysis to inform policy as well as with empirical policy evaluation. Summary of Topics: - Economic Growth and Convergence - Imperfect Capital Markets and Micro Finance - Randomized Controlled Trials and Natural Experiments - Health, Fertility, and Education - Gender, Ethnicity, Discrimination - At least one out of: Agricultural Production and Property Rights, Institutions, Political Economy and Corruption.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures and interactive learning sessions. Teaching will follow a problem based approach, presenting methodological background (growth theory, some contract theory, basics of instrumental variables estimation and randomized controlled trials) as it is needed.

Independent Study75
Total study time100

Resources & Reading list

Economic Development. 

The Analysis of Household Surveys. 

Development Economics. 


Assessment Strategy

In the event of you having to resit this unit, neither your coursework nor your presentation marks will be carried forward.


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 50%
Presentation 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.