finclude template="_xhtml-a.cfm"> Module catalogue: FE6058

module specification

FE6058 - Development Economics (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Development Economics
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
9 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
105 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Seen Examination 100%   2 Hour Part Seen Exam
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Monday Afternoon
Autumn semester North Monday Morning

Module summary

This module enables students to acquire a systematic knowledge and understanding of the main theories, policies, issues and evidence in economic development with particular focus on emerging economies.

It develops students’ ability to apply economic principles and analysis in a variety of contexts in economic development and policy formulation.

It fosters an appreciation of the economic, social and political dimensions of development issues in an interdependent globalised world.

The module examines different perspectives on economic development and theories of economic growth and development. A range of sustainable development issues will be discussed: poverty, inequality, education, climate change, foreign aid, informal finance. Trade and comparative economic development in selected countries such as Russia, India and China are also examined.

It addresses gender inequality and inequality in terms of income, gender, access to education, health, finance, credit and employment.

Internationalisation is addressed when examining poverty, inequality, foreign aid, trade, climate change, environment and economic development of selected emerging economies.

Students are encouraged to reflect and draw on their diverse socio-cultural
backgrounds and experiences.

Equality is promoted by treating everyone with equal dignity and worth, while also raising aspirations and supporting achievement for people with diverse requirements, entitlements and backgrounds

A range of transferrable and subject specific skills are developed, in particular: subject research; critical thinking; problem solving; written and oral communication; data and quantitative analysis.


Introduction to concepts of economic development: different definitions and perspectives. - LO1

Comparative economic development: definition and indicators of development, discussion of different human development indices, characteristics of the developing world - LO1

Sustainable development goals and recent evidence in achievements - LO1

Classic and modern theories of economic growth, development, and structural transformation - LO1

Poverty: definition, measurement, absolute and relative poverty, policies, and recent global trends especially in developing countries - LO1, LO2

Inequality: definition, measurement, absolute and relative, policies and  recent global trends particularly in developing countries - LO1, LO2

Human capital: education and health in economic development, causes, consequences, policies, recent trends and the gender gap - LO1, LO2

The environmental crisis: climate change, environmental issues affecting development and the poor. - LO3

Informal financial markets: issues, advantages and disadvantages of informal markets, role of microfinance in rural areas in developing countries, gender inequality in terms of access to finance - LO3

Foreign Aid: development assistance debate, motives for donors and recipients, recent trends - LO3

International trade and development strategy, recent trends - LO3
Analysis of recent economic development and performance of emerging economies such as India, China and Russia. - LO4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Students’ learning is organised around formal direct contact time with the teaching team, and reflective independent learning. Student formal contact time is normally 3 hours per week consisting of 2 hour lecture and 1 hour seminar. Lectures are interactive and deliver core subject knowledge, theory and analysis in development economics. Seminars are student centred and facilitate student learning through discussion, problem solving, examination of case studies, oral presentations and formative feedback.

Students are expected to complement the 'formal' learning activity with independent reading; engaging with research published in academic journals; participating in class discussions; solving economic development problems; analysing case studies; conducting research; writing, planning and preparing for the final exam.

Professional and transferable skills are developed in lectures and seminars, and through independent directed learning and assessment. During seminars a range of economic development issues faced by economies, governments and international organisations are discussed.

Initiative and independence is developed progressively through the module such that students are required to take greater responsibility of their work.

The module makes extensive use of a virtual learning environment platform, WebLearn, where module handbook, lecture slides, seminar questions, assessment and feedback strategies, assessment and grading criteria, past exam papers, journal articles, research reports and other relevant learning materials are provided. Links to other online resources, government data bases and videos are also available on Weblearn.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of theory, issues, problems and policies in development economics.
  2. Provide evidence and analyse qualitative and quantitative data for a range of issues and policies in economic development such as poverty, inequality and education.
  3. Critically evaluate a range of theories, problems and policies in development economics in areas such as environment and climate change; informal finance; foreign aid and trade.
  4. Analyse comparative economic development and performance of emerging economies such as India, Russia and China.

Assessment strategy

During seminars students receive formative feedback on their knowledge and understanding of the learning materials through analysis of case studies, journal articles and preparing answers for seminar questions. This preparation and feedback helps students tackle the summative assessment task.

The summative assessment is a part seen exam assessing all learning outcomes at the end of the module.

The exam assesses the student’s knowledge and understanding of development economics and emerging markets covering theory, issues and policy; ability to apply and critically assess what they learn; and ability to provide evidence, both qualitative and quantitative.

Subject research, written communication; data and quantitative analysis; critical thinking; evaluation, problem solving and presentation skills are assessed.

Revision sessions are provided before the final exam to support students’ learning, boost students’ confidence and improve their performance.


Core Textbooks:

Thirlwall, A.P. and Pacheco-Lopez, P. (2017). Economics of development. 10th ed.,
    Palgrave Macmillan. [This is an E-Book. Hard copies are available at 330.91724 THI]

Todaro, M. and Smith, S. (2020). Economic development, 13th ed., Prentice Hall
    [Hard copies are available at 330.91724 TOD]

Additional Reading:

Adams, B. (2019). Green development: Environment and sustainability in a 
     developing world. (edited), Taylor and Francis Publishers

Desai, V. and Potter, R. B. (2014). The companion to development studies. (edited),
    3rd edition. Routledge. [This is an E-book]

Easterly, W. (2001). The elusive quest for growth: Economists’ adventures and
    misadventures in the tropics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    [Hard copies available at 338.90091724 EAS]

Greve, B. (2019). International handbook of poverty. Routledge

Handbook of Development Economics, Volume 3A and 3B.  Elsevier B.V., various
    years. [This is an E-resource]

Human Development Reports 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
    [This is a E-resource]

Ray, D. (1998). Development economics, Princeton: Princeton University Press.
    [Hard copies available at 338.9 RAY]

Rosser, J.B., and Rosser, M.V. (2018). Comparative economics in a transforming
   world economy, 3rd edition. MIT Press. [Hard copies available at 337 ROS]

Weil, D.N. (2013) Economic growth, 3rd ed., Pearson. [Hard copies available at
    338.9 WEI]
Further Textbooks on Thinkers of Development Economics:
Simon, D. (ed.), (2019).  Key thinkers on development, 2nd ed., Routledge.
   [Hard copies are available at 338.9 FIF]
Textbooks on Specific Countries and Topics:
Amsden, A. H.  (2004). The rise of the rest: the challenge to the west from late
  industrialising economies.  Oxford University Press. [This is an E-Book]
Garnaut, R., Golley, J., and Song, L. (2010). China: the next twenty years of reform and development. Canberra, ANU E Press. [This is an E-Book]
Hsaio, F.T. (2018). Economic development of emerging East Asia : catching up of Taiwan and South Korea. London, Anthem Press. [This is an E-Book]
Jackson, T. (2017). Prosperity without growth: foundations of economy tomorrow, Abingdon, OXON Routledge. [This is an E-Book]
Myant, M.R., Drahokoupil, J, (2011). Transition economies: political economy in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. Hoboken, NJ, Wiley. [Hard copies available at 330.947 MAY]
Shome, P. (2014). The G20 macroeconomic agenda: India and the emerging economies. (Edited) Cambridge University Press. [This is an E-Book]
Wolf, C. (2011). China and India, 2025: a comparative assessment. Santa Monica, CA, RAND. [This is an E-Book]