Course code:



MA - Intermediate/Advanced

Class size limit:


Meets the following requirements:

  • QR - Quantitative Reasoning
  • HS - Human Studies

Typically offered:

Every other year

Economic growth in the developing world has lifted millions out of poverty at the same time that misguided attempts at widespread application of generic economic development theories has impoverished millions. As a result of this tragedy, new approaches and methodologies to economic development are emerging, and represent some of the most important, dynamic, and controversial theories in all of economics. This course examines these new perspectives on economic development. We will briefly contextualize the new by reviewing “old” economic development, then move on to theories that emphasize very place-based, country-specific approaches to how economies develop; this will involve examining the specific roles of capital accumulation, capital flows (including foreign exchange, portfolio capital, foreign direct investment, and microfinance), human capital, governance, institutions (especially property rights, legal systems, and corruption), geography and natural resource endowments, industrial policy (e.g. free trade versus dirigiste policies), and spillovers, clustering, and entrepreneurship. The course will involve a rigorous mix of economic modeling, careful application of empirical data (including both historical analysis and cross-sectional studies; students with no exposure to econometrics will receive a brief introduction) and country studies. Evaluation will be based on classroom participation, responses to reading questions, short essays, and a final project consisting of an economic development country study of the student’s choice that demonstrates application of theoretical concepts to the real world.


One economics course.

Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.