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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

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. Indicative Topics: - Economic Growth and Convergence - Imperfect Capital Markets and Micro Finance - Randomized Controlled Trials and Natural Experiments - Health, Fertility, and Education - Gender, Ethnicity, Discrimination - 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

The Analysis of Household Surveys. 

Economic Development. 

Development Economics. 


Assessment Strategy

Coursework (50%) and in-class presentation (50%). The same applies for internal repeat. Referral and external repeat assessment is through 100% final written exam.


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 50%
Presentation 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Final Exam  (2 hours) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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