ECON42600 Development Economics

Academic Year 2022/2023

This module will look at a range of issues that are central to economic development in the world’s poorest countries. The module will focus mostly on issues around input markets, specifically, the market for land, the market for labour and the market for credit in developing countries. The module will have a mix of (i) Theoretical models (ii) Analysis of the extensive range of empirical studies on development issues that has taken place in recent decades and the debate on the best way to proceed in empirical studies of issues in development.
Topics covered on land markets will include the economics of tenancy arrangements (Shareholding, renting ownership) and the economics of land reform (land distribution and land certification). Topics on labour markets will include models of the formal and informal sector in the developing world, the impact of regulation (minimum wages, employment protection etc) on labour markets in developing countries, the impact of internal and international migration on development. The empirical literature in development has been dominated by the extensive use of Randomised Controlled trials in recent decades. Arguably we have learnt a lot from these studies. We will discuss the benefits and what some prominent economists argue are the limitations of RCT’s.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

The aim of the module is that students will cover a range of important issues which are central to economic development and develop a solid grounding in the theoretical literature which provides a framework for trying to understand how markets work in the developing world, as well as a good knowledge of the empirical literature. The term paper/data project will give students experience in using microdata from developing countries to analyse relevant topic.

Indicative Module Content:

Labour Markets in Developing Countries
Markets for Land in Developing Countries
The evaluation of policies in Development Economics
The role of migration in development

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning






Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Face to face lectures, regular assessments and in class discussion
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: There will be regular assignments throughout the semester. These will all be submitted online. Throughout the Trimester n/a Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No


Examination: Final 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

We will possibly add other readings as we go along. I will highlight key readings in each topic as we proceed through the course.

Informal labour markets
Harris, John R., and Michael P. Todaro. 1970
“Migration, Unemployment, and Development:
A Two-Sector Analysis.” American Economic Review
60(1): 126–42.

Lewis, W. Arthur. 1954. “Economic Development
with Unlimited Supplies of Labor.”
Manchester School of Economic and Social Studies 22(2): 139–91.

Freeman Richard B. Labor Regulations, Unions, and Social Protection in Developing Countries: Market Distortions or Efficient Institutions? Chapter 70 in the Handbook of development Economics, Volume 5, 2010 Elsevier

Informality Revisited, William F. Maloney (2003) POLICY RESEARCH WORKING PAPER 2965, World Bank

Fields Gary S. (2007) Employment in Low-Income Countries: Beyond Labor Market Segmentation? In Pierella Paci and Pieter Serneels, eds., Employment and
Shared Growth. (Washington: World Bank).

El Badaoui, E,Strobl, E,Walsh, F; (2010) 'The formal sector wage premium and firm size'. Journal of Development Economics, 91:37-47.

Meghir, Costas, Renata Narita and Jean-Marc Robin. 2015. "Wages and Informality in Developing Countries." American Economic Review, 105(4):1509-46.

The Lewis Model: A 60-Year Retrospective , Douglas Gollin , Journal of Economic Perspectives—Volume 28, Number 3—Summer 2014—Pages 109–126

Rafael La Porta and Andrei Shleifer “Informality and Development” Journal of Economic Perspectives—Volume 28, Number 3—Summer 2014—Pages 109–126

De Soto, Hernando. 2000. The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else. New York: Basic Books.

Ray, Debraj Development Economics, Princeton University Press, 1998 chapters 11-12

Sharecropping in History and Theory, Joseph D. Reid, Jr.
Source: Agricultural History, Vol. 49, No. 2 (Apr., 1975), pp. 426-440

“Theories of sharecropping” Nirvikhar Singh, (2000) in: Readings in Development Economics volume 1: Micro Theory. Eds. Pranab Bardhan & Christopher Udry.

Abhijit V. Banerjee, Paul J. Gertler and Maitreesh Ghatak (2002)“Empowerment and Efficiency: Tenancy Reform in West Bengal” Source: Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 110, No. 2 (April ), pp. 239-280

Abhijit Banerjee and Lakshmi Iyer (2005) “History, Institutions, and Economic Performance: The Legacy of Colonial Land Tenure Systems in India” The American Economic Review Vol. 95, No. 4 (Sep.), pp. 1190-1213

de Janvry, Alain, Kyle Emerick, Marco Gonzalez-Navarro, and Elisabeth Sadoulet. 2015. "Delinking Land Rights from Land Use: Certification and Migration in Mexico." American Economic Review, 105 (10): 3125-49

Field, Erica. “Entitled to Work: Urban Property Rights and Labor Supply in Peru.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 122, no. 4, 2007, pp. 1561–1602.

Sebastian Galiani, Ernesto Schargrodsky, (2010) “Property rights for the poor: Effects of land titling”,Journal of Public Economics, Volume 94, Issues 9–10, 2010, Pages 700-729

Markus Goldstein and Christopher Udry (2008) “The Profits of Power: Land Rights and Agricultural Investment in Ghana” Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 116, No. 6 (December 2008), pp. 981-1022

Migration and Development
Borjas, George (2015) “Immigration and Globalization: A Review Essay” Journal of Economic Literature, 53(4), 961-974

Clemens, M. A. (2011). Economics and emigration: Trillion-dollar bills on the sidewalk? Journalof Economic Perspectives, 25(3):83–106.

Collier, Paul, (2013) Exodus: How Migration is Changing Our World , Oxfor Unicversity Press

Ruhs, Martin (2015) The Price of Rights: Regulating International Labor Migration, Princeton University Press
Dustmann, Christian and Ian Preston, (2018)“Free Movement, Open Borders and the Global Gains from Labor Mobility”, CReAM Working Paper
Kennan John (2013) “Open Borders” Review of Economic Dynamics” 16, L1-L13
International Migration report (2017) United Nations
Alesina Alberto, Armando Miano & Stefanie Stantcheva (2018) “Immigration and Redistribution” NBER working paper 24733

NEW DATA, NEW DOUBTS: A COMMENT ON BURNSIDE AND DOLLAR’S “AID, POLICIES, AND GROWTH” (2000) A Reply to New Data, New Doubts: A Comment on Burnside and Dollar’s Aid, Policies, and Growth By Craig Burnside and David Dollar
(This is Burnside & Dollars reply to Easterly’s criticisms)

COUNTING CHICKENS WHEN THEY HATCH: TIMING AND THE EFFECTS OF AID ON GROWTH Michael A. Clemens, Steven Radelet, Rikhil R. Bhavnani and Samuel Bazzi, The Economic Journal (2012) , 122 ( June), 590–617.

“The effect of aid on growth: evidence froma Quasi-experiment” Sebastian Galiani1 , Stephen Knack Lixin, Colin Xu, Ben Zou, Econ Growth (2017) 22:1–33

“The limitations of randomised controlled trials” Angus Deaton, Nancy Cartwright 09 November 2016

Poor Economics: A radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty
Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo, Public Affairs books (2011)
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Thurs 10:00 - 11:50