Advanced Development Economics - Micro Aspects

Course content

The World is rapidly changing and understanding the dynamics of economic development is as important as ever. This course will cover the microeconomics of development, and will focus on approaches to understanding the behavior of households and firms, and the functioning of markets and institutions in developing countries. Since development is a field with a strong empirical tradition, most of the course will be centered on discussing and evaluating the empirical strategies used in the literature. Moreover, the course will also (via exercises) provide students with an opportunity for an “hands-on” experience, as results in selected readings are replicated (and criticized) using appropriate software packages.

General textbook material and selected articles form the core of the readings. The range of topics covered include theories of development, micro-economic analysis as well as key policy issues and recommendations. Topics covered in course include: (i) Poverty and inequality, (ii) The agricultural household model (AHM), (iii) Agriculture and livelihoods, (iv) Doing business (industry and services), (v) Health and nutrition, (vi) Jobs, labor market and migration,  (vii) Education and skills, (viii) Land markets and property rights, (ix) Credit and microfinance, (x) Social networks and learning, (xi) Risk and insurance, (xii) Coping with conflicts and disasters, and (xiii) a “Hot topic”.

The course will therefore:

  • Provide the students with a critical overview of the recent literature and important debates within the micro aspects of economic development.

  • Provide insight into methodological issues that arises when doing research on microeconomics of development. The emphasis will be on (i) How theoretical microeconomic hypothesis may be tested with data and (ii) how to identify causal relationships. One aim is to through exercises to gain insight into what makes a good empirical study.

  • Provide students with a “hands-on” experience on how to replicate empirical results using relevant econometric software. This will hopefully prepare students for original independent empirical research and help identify possible interesting thesis topics.

MSc programme in Economics – elective course
MSc programme in mathematics-economics

Learning outcome

After completing the course, the student should be able to:


  • Show overview of the basic concepts used in micro development economics and lay out the key elements of the more recent theories and development models.

  • Critically discuss theories and empirical evidence on micro economic development

  • Present and discuss existing theory and empirical evidence related to the highlighted topics described in the “content” of the course.


  • Select relevant micro theories and empirical methods for analyses of the current economic development issues covered in the course.

  • Summarize and assess theory and empirical evidence on the economic characteristics and functions of selected markets in developing countries.

  • Reflect upon ongoing professional debate in areas within the topics highligted in the “content” of the course.

  • Empirical analysis of existing data relevant for development micro economics.


  • Ability to apply theoretical and empirical knowledge about economic development in a competent, coherent and original way in relation to current challenges.

  • Identify relevant model setups within development and implement existing empirical models in new contexts.

  • Introduce and solve new and complex empirical model setups within micro development economics in a professional and responsible manner.

  • Empirical analysis of new data using relevant software.


The format of the course is a combination of lectures, exercises and student assignments. In the lectures core concepts, theories, empirical measures and methods within the field of micro development are presented. In exercises classes students work in groups to understand and discuss central papers in the syllabus. During the exercises students will learn to replicate and extent central papers in the syllabus, which will be of direct relevance for the mandatory assignment and the exam.

Textbook: Bardhan and Udry (1999). “Development Microeconomics”, Oxford University Press.

Series of academic articles. Links made available on the course homepage.

The course builds upon knowledge gained during the under-graduate course “Developmnet Economics”. However, although it is recommended that the students have taken this course it is not a requirement to follow ADEMiA. It is also recommended that the students familiarize themselves with the program package Stata, as exercises are carried out using this particular software. Links to relevant tutorials for Stata will be available on the course homepage.

2 hours lectures 1 to 2 times a week from week 6 to 20 (except holidays).
2 hours of exercise from week 6/7 to 20 (except holidays).

Timetable and venue:
The schedule for the semester spring 2018 will be available no later than 7th of November 2017

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, 24 hours under invigilation
individual take-home exam. The exam assignment is given in English and must be answered in English.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
if chosen by the Head of Studies.
Criteria for exam assessment

Students are assessed on the extent to which they master the learning outcome for the course.

To receive the top grade, the student must be able to demonstrate in an excellent manner that he or she has acquired and can make use of the knowledge, skills and competencies listed in the learning outcomes.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 112
  • Exam
  • 24
  • Class Exercises
  • 28
  • English
  • 206