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Development economics

academic year

Course teacher(s)

Philip VERWIMP (Coordinator) and Yasmine BEKKOUCHE

ECTS credits


Language(s) of instruction


Course content

it is an advanced course geared towards MA students in Economics. In the course I assign a total of 23 papers from the literature on the topics such as ‘Agricultural Household Models’ (Singh, Inderjit, Lyn Squire and John Strauss (eds.); (Fafchamps, M and A.Quisumbing, 2007); ‘Health over the life-course (Heckman, J, 2007); Education and Economic Growth (Krueger, A. and M. Lindahl. (2001); Conflict and Institutions’ (Acemoglu, D. , J.Robinson and S.Johnson (2001), Miguel, E., S.Satyanath and E.Sergenti (2004).

Objectives (and/or specific learning outcomes)

The objective of the course is to learn how established development economists have tackled important problems in the field.

The course not only wants students to learn about the findings of new research, but also how the researchers reached those findings and to what extent the research community can ‘trust’ the accuracy of their findings. The course invites the students to a critical reflection on empirical research.

Teaching methods and learning activities

The course is literature-based whereby each session is built around two seminal articles from the literature. The students are required to read these articles. The exposure of students to the research and publications of many different scholars in the field gives an overview of ‘what is there and how did they do it’. From the start of the class I inform the students that there is a lot to read, but that is the only way learn the details about what researchers have done to tackle important issues in their field. The course tends to attract highly motivated students who are able to digest published papers, present them in class, discuss them and criticize them. This results in a lively classroom that is the opposite of frontal teaching.

Contribution to the teaching profile

Competency:’ Analyser une situation, en s'appuyant sur des techniques de gestion de données et de modélisation, en vue de développer des outils d'aide à la décision, de prospective et d'évaluation’,

Competency: ‘Pratiquer une veille scientifique, politique et d’actualité dans le domaine des sciences économiques afin d’actualiser ses pratiques professionnelles

Competency:’ Concevoir et exploiter de grandes bases de données afin d’en extraire les informations pertinentes au travers d’outils quantitatifs”.

MCompetency: ‘Résoudre des problème complexes de nature économique, financière et de politique publique en s’appuyant sur une démarche scientifique de transposition des savoirs afin d’opérationnaliser les solutions’;

References, bibliography, and recommended reading

complete set of papers will be made available to students

Other information




Method(s) of evaluation

  • Other


In order to verify that the students have read the required articles, each student has to hand in 5 summaries over the course of the semester. A student also has to present one of the scholarly articles in class and another student acts as discussant. This imroves synthesizing skills, presentation and communication skills. The overall note is based on a combination of four types of evaluation, which are clearly communicated to students at the start of the course: summaries of papers from the literature, class presentation, discussion and oral exam.

Mark calculation method (including weighting of intermediary marks)

half of the grade on the assignments during the course, the other half on the final exam

Language(s) of evaluation

  • english