Advanced Development Economics - Micro Aspects

Course content

This course covers the microeconomics of development with 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 is 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 “hands-on” experience, as results in selected readings are replicated (and criticized) using appropriate software packages.

Key topics in the course include:

  1. Poverty and inequality,
  2. Agriculture and livelihoods,
  3. Risk, insurance, and climate change,
  4. Credit and microfinance,
  5. Land markets and property rights,
  6. Jobs, labor market and migration,
  7. Health and nutrition,
  8. Education and skills,
  9. Illicit flows, informality, and corruption,
  10. State capacity and armed conflicts.


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 how theoretical microeconomic hypotheses may be tested with data and how to identify causal relationships. One aim is 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


The PhD Programme in Economics at the Department of Economics:

  • The course is an elective course with research module. In order to register for the research module and to be able to write the research assignment, the PhD students must contact the study administration AND the lecturer.


The course is open to:

  • Exchange and Guest students from abroad
  • Credit students from Danish Universities
  • Open University students
Learning outcome

After completing the course the student is expected to be able to:



  • Account for the basic concepts used in micro development economics.
  • Define the key elements of the more recent theories and development models.
  • Critically discuss theories and empirical evidence on micro economic development.
  • Reflect upon ongoing professional debate in areas within the topics highlighted in “Content”.
  • Present and discuss existing theory and empirical evidence related to the highlighted topics described in “Content”.



  • Analyze current economic development issues with use of relevant micro theories and empirical methods
  • Summarize and assess theory and empirical evidence on the economic characteristics and functions of selected markets in developing countries.
  • Empirically analyze existing data relevant for development micro economics.
  • Empirically analyze new data using relevant software.



  • Apply theoretical and empirical knowledge about economic development in a competent, coherent and original way in relation to current challenges.
  • Master relevant model setups within development and implement existing empirical models in new contexts.
  • Plan and solve new and complex empirical model setups within micro development economics in a professional and responsible manner.


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 extend 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 listed in the course-reading list.

The course builds upon knowledge gained during the under-graduate course “Development Economics”. However, although it is recommended that the students have taken this course it is not a requirement to follow "Advanced Development Economics - Micro Aspects".

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 a week from week 6 to 20.
3 hours of exercise classes one to two times a week from week 6 or 7 to 20.

The overall schema can be seen at KUnet

Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)


Feedback is obtained throughout the semester by:

  • The lecturer answering questions in class.
  • The lecturer giving oral feedback on written questions from groups.
  • The teaching assistant giving oral feedback on written exercises in exercise classes.
  • Student peer feedback on one assignment.
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 3 hours
Exam registration requirements

To qualify for the exam the student must no later than the given deadlines during the course:

  • Hand in written programming files where two-third of the files have to be approved.
  • Hand in one mandatory assignment.
  • Provide useful written peer feedback based on specific criteria to the mandatory assignments of two other students.


Please be aware of:

  • The teaching assistant and/or the lecturer control the assignments and the feedback.
  • The programmingfiles, the assignment and the peer feedback must be written individually.
  • The assignments and the peer feedback must be written in English. 
Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
An oral re-examination may be with external assessment.
Exam period


Exam information:

More information is available in Digital Exam from the middle of the semester. 

More information about examination, rules, aids etc. at Master (UK) and Master (DK).


20 min. oral exam with 20 min. preparation.

No aids allowed during the preparation time and during the examination.

The questions cover the entire curriculum and may be based on the cases in the written assignments from the course.

External assessment. 


Reexam information:

More information in Digital Exam in August. More information at Master UK) and Master DK)

Criteria for exam assessment

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


In order to obtain the top grade “12”, the student must with no or only a few minor weaknesses be able to demonstrate an excellent performance displaying a high level of command of all aspects of the relevant material and can make use of the knowledge, skills and competencies listed in the learning outcomes.


In order to obtain the passing grade “02”, the student must in a satisfactory way be able to demonstrate a minimal acceptable level of  the knowledge, skills and competencies listed in the learning outcomes.

Single subject courses (day)

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


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 semester

- Go to 'Signup' for information about registration and enrollment.

Information about admission and tuition fee: Master and Exchange Programme, credit students and guest students (Open University)

and venue:
- For teaching: Go to 'Remarks'.
- For exam and re-sits: Go to 'Exam'.
Department of Economics, Study Council
Contracting department
  • Department of Economics
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinators
  • Peter Kielberg Fisker   (3-726d684267657170306d7730666d)
  • Paolo Falco   (11-7a6b79767938706b766d794a6f6d797838757f386e75)
Saved on the 23-01-2024

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