Economic Development



ECON 615: Development Economics I

This class will discuss the facts about growth and development economics. It will then explore models of economic growth and institutions, with emphasis on property rights and political regimes as causal factors affecting development. The course also discusses empirical methods widely used in the field. Finally it covers important related topics including poverty, inequality, education and health.

ECON 616: Development Economics II

This class surveys a variety of models explaining how market failures may lead to poverty and underdevelopment, with an emphasis on the empirical evaluation of constraints faced by individuals in developing countries and the programs that attempt to alleviate those constraints. Topics include: agricultural and land markets, labor markets, human capital in developing countries, credit markets, and consumption smoothing and risk coping.

Field Requirements in Economic Development:

Major field: Econ 615, Econ 616, and one other course to be approved by the development economics faculty. It is expected that most students will take Econ 626, either as part of the development sequence or as a supporting course in addition to the three courses required to fulfill the major field requirement.

In rare cases, students may be permitted to substitute Econ 615 or 616 with an approved course from another field. This option will be extended on a case-by-case basis when the development faculty agree that a student's academic interests would best be served by pursuing a combination of courses spanning multiple fields.

Average grade of B+ or better in courses.

Field paper, due February 1 of the third year. Students will submit an initial proposal for the field paper as part of Econ 615; students getting below an A- on this proposal must submit a revised proposal by September 1 of their third year.

Passing the field paper assures students that the development faculty will discuss the student's proposed dissertation research with them for the following year. Any further commitment beyond one year depends on evidence of satisfactory progress by the student, unless the development faculty agree that there were extenuating circumstances for the lack of progress, such as illness or other personal issues.


Minor field: Econ 615 and Econ 616. In rare cases, students may be permitted to substitute another approved course for Econ 615 or Econ 616. This option will be extended on a case by case basis.

Average grade of B+ or better in courses.