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University of Exeter Business School

Development Economics

Module titleDevelopment Economics
Module codeBEEM155
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Mr Rakesh Banerjee (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Module description

You will be given a thorough exposition of concepts, policy issues and debates on the causes and characteristics of the wealth and poverty of groups and nations. These series of lectures, without being exhaustive, will draw on classic themes in the subject and will cover recent developments in the literature. They 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. Other important topics include the concept and theories of underdevelopment, distributional factors and poverty, institutions, human resources (health, education and population), conflict, gender, measurement and methods, and behavioural science factors. You will also learn about cash transfers, corruption, and governance.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module undertakes a detailed examination of theories, policy issues, controversies and progress in raising standards of living in the developing world. Lectures will explain why certain societies and countries remain under-developed. We will cover theoretical models, behavioural studies, empirical and applied studies.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Apply economic theory to policy issues concerning economic development in low-income countries
  • 2. Explain features of successful policies and solutions and account for the unsuccessful ones

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Draw casual inference in order to explain why it has been difficult to improve the economic conditions in the lesser developed countries
  • 4. Critically discuss various methodologies commonly used in the analysis or various problems and proposed solutions for poverty in developing countries

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Read and analyse research papers about developing countries
  • 6. Produce written reports and documents on issues concerning policy challenges in developing countries

Syllabus plan

It is envisaged that the syllabus is likely to include some, or all of the following topics, although precise content, order delivery method may vary;

  • Introduction and overview
  • History, Markets and Traps
  • Financial Inclusion
  • Micro-credit, digital banking and financial innovation
  • Health
  • Education
  • Gender and development
  • Government and corruption
  • Market failure and firms

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
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities20Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities5Seminars
Guided Independent Study125Reading, research, reflection; Preparation for lectures, tutorials and assessments

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Tutorial discussionEvery other week3,4,5Oral
Proposal for essay 250 words1-6Written

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
Exam702 hours1-6Written and will be posted on ELE
Essay302500words1-6Written provided with the essay grade.

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
ExamExam1-6Referral/deferral period
EssayEssay1-6Referral/deferral period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Ray, D. (1998). Development Economics. Princeton University Press.
  • Banerjee, A. and Duflo, E. (2012). Poor Economics. Penguin.


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

  • Required readings, which are recent academic papers, will be listed and posted on ELE.

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

  • All other resources including readings, links for data and videos will be provided on ELE.

Key words search

Development Economics, 

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date