An introduction to development economics

An introduction to development economics

The scope of this course is therefore inherently cross-disciplinary. 

Course code: SHS-ETC04

Professor: Dr. Stanslaus Muyebe

Course Description

Within the wider disciplines of economics and political economy, development economics is one of the most recent branches, as well as one of the most exciting and challenging. Development economics studies one of the key challenges of our time, namely, economic growth and development in low-income countries, and the transformation of these economies into modern, high-income countries.

Development economics is therefore about economics of developing countries whose people are faced with high levels of poverty, inequality, and unemployment.

As an introduction to development economics, this course will focus on the concept of economic development and theories of economic development: What are the causes of economic growth as well as the barriers to development? How do we best explain sustained economic development, and what are the limitations of these theories?

While development economics is concerned with sustained economic growth over time, its interests are not restricted to economic growth, as its scope is broader than that of traditional economics. Rather, development economics is predicated on an understanding that growth without development is possible, even if the two are closely linked.

Accordingly, the study of economic development also treats the economic, political and structures and processes necessary for rapid and large-scale improvements in levels of living for the populations of developing countries. The scope of this course is therefore inherently cross-disciplinary. It draws not only on economics, but also on approaches ranging from political science to philosophy, -anthropology, cultural history, and private sector development.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course, it is hoped that students will be able to:

  • Understand the complexity of economic growth and development and the debates surrounding the ways and means to support it.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with some central themes and issues of economic development.
  • Demonstrate the understanding of the difference between growth and development,
  • Be able to critically address current debates surrounding major growth theories.
  • Analyse empirical evidence on the patterns of economic development.
  • Read critically the journal literature in the area of economic development. 
  • Apply key conceptual tools to contemporary development problems

Course Objectives

The objectives of this course are:

  • To give you a comprehensive understanding of the fundamental concepts on economic growth and economic development.
  • To expose you to the differences between economic growth and economic development
  • To guide you in understanding the determinants of economic growth.
  • To acquaint you in understanding some growth and development theories/models and their policy implications.
  • To familiarize you with basic tools for measuring of poverty, economic growth and development

Course Outline

Learning Unit 1: Development Gap between Global North and South

Learning Unit 2: Determinants of Economic Growth

Learning Unit 3: Concept and measurement of poverty