Skip to main content


Development Economics

Module description

An advanced course in development economics you will be given a thorough exposition of concepts, policy issues and controversies on the causes and characteristics of the wealth and poverty of nations. These series of lectures, without being exhaustive, will draw on classic themes in the subject and will cover recent developments in the literature. It will emphasise the importance of political economy factors, missing and incomplete markets in developing countries and the systemic effects this has on the process of economic development

After an introductory part on concept and theories of underdevelopment, the course will focus on distribution and poverty, institutions, human resources (health, education and population), conflict and behavioural factors affecting development and gender. You will also learn about cash transfers, corruption and governance.

Additional Information:



This is a very theoretical module that is internationally relevant, because it deals with development economics mainly in developing countries using examples from various counties.



Students have the opportunity to develop their writing and logical thinking skills.



All of the resource materials are available through the ELE (Exeter Learning Environment).


The assessment structure on this module is subject to review and may change before the new academic year. Any changes will be clearly communicated to you before the start of term and if you wish to change module as a result of this you can do so in the module change window.

Full module specification

Module title:Development Economics
Module code:BEE3052
Module level:3
Academic year:2023/4
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Surajeet Chakravarty - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:



BEE2024 or BEE2038 and BEE2039 or BEE2025 and BEE2026


None. Cannot be taken with BEE3052A

Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:


Duration (weeks) - term 2:


Duration (weeks) - term 3:


Module aims

This module seeks to provide an introduction to the theories, policy issues, controversies and progress in raising standards of living in the developing world. The analysis draws on recent economic theory, without neglecting history, and emphasises the importance of political economy factors, missing and incomplete markets in developing countries and the systemic effects this has on the process of economic development. Emphasis is also placed on the importance of carefully using empirical evidence to inform policy discussions.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. apply economic theory to policy issues concerning economic development in low-income countries
  • 2. have a professional economist's understanding of key controversies

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. demonstrate a knowledge of a wide variety of statistical sources and policy issues concerning developing countries
  • 4. present and defend an advanced economic argument in a clear and succinct manner

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. achieve or maintain very high standards of grammar and logical thinking

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Contact hours20Lectures
Contact hours5Seminars

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
4 sets of questions. Feedback during tutorials/revision sessionsDiscussion. 60 minutes1-21Oral/online

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Individual Essay202000-2500 words1-5Written
Examination802 hours1-5Written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Individual EssayIndividual Essay (20%) 2000-2500 words1-5September
ExaminationExamination (80%) 2 hours1-5September

Syllabus plan

  • Development: introduction, concepts, and comparisons
  • Poverty Traps
  • Financial Markets in Developing Countries Education and health
  • Micro finance
  • Property rights
  • Gender and Development
  • Conflict and development traps
  • Social Networks and Informal Institutions
  • Public Goods Provision
  • Education and Health Provision
  • Early life interventions
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Cash Transfers
  • Behavioural Interventions
  • Corruption and Governance

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Ray D., (1998), Development Economics, Princeton University Press.
Banerjee, A.V. and E. Duflo, (2011) Poor Economics. Penguin

Module has an active ELE page?


Origin date


Last revision date