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Understanding what drives human well-being is critical for sustainable development, particularly in developing economies.

The course will provide an extensive number of applied developing country examples to understand concepts and measures of development and how issues such as economic growth, extreme poverty, health and gender inequality interact. Within this process we highlight programs and policies that work for the very poorest people in the world. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOovarF203s&feature=youtu.be

An interest in development issues is the only pre-requisite for this course. The course will be complemented with group work exercises/interactive discussions and be assessed with a written assignment. No prior knowledge of development economics is required.

Kirjaudu sisään nähdäksesi Moodlen kurssiavaimen.


Tästä osiosta löydät kurssin opetusaikataulun. Tarkista mahdolliset muut aikataulut kuvauksesta.

Ma 12.8.2019
16:15 - 19:45
Ti 13.8.2019
16:15 - 19:45
Ma 19.8.2019
16:15 - 19:45
Ti 20.8.2019
16:15 - 19:45
Ma 26.8.2019
16:15 - 19:45
Ti 27.8.2019
16:15 - 19:45


Development Economics I - Preliminary Reading List/Links

Ilmoittautuminen ja opintomaksu

75 euros
More information

Summer courses are free of charge for undergraduate students of the University of Helsinki who are enlisted as attending students at the moment of registration. This excludes a possible fee for study materials.

Online registration is for students who have Finnish identity number. Registration begins at noon 45 days before the beginning of the course.

How can I become a student

More information about registration.


If you are interested in topical issues that underpin development policy then the course will interest you.

No prior knowledge of development Economics is required.

The course provides an overview of the main development concepts such as poverty and economic growth and how issues such as government expenditure relate to development. The course provides extensive examples from developing countries - linking development concepts to several country case studies (inc Uganda, Jamaica and Bangladesh). Part of activities will also take a look at programs and policies 'that work' in developing countries. Please see https://www.developmentbookshelf.com/doi/pdf/10.3362/9781780448435

and the video : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOovarF203s&feature=youtu.be

Language skills levels
In order to complete the course you must already have a good command of English. The course requires a starting level of B2-C1 ( CEF).

On completion of the unit students will be able to:

  • Understand and apply the main theories and principles of economic development, particularly in relation to growth and poverty.
  • Understand the linkage between theory and practice.
  • Develop analytical skills relevant to the assessment of these different economic development principles.
  • Examine the main sources of economic and social data relevant to economic development – particularly in relation to economic growth and poverty analysis.;
  • Understand the knowledge and skills acquired to the study of the main forces sustaining and limiting economic development today, and the design of effective policy interventions.

Course Content:
Introduction to Development Economics
Economic Growth - Theories/Concepts and Empirical Evidence
Poverty – Understanding the Principles
Case Study: Chronic and Extreme Poverty in Developing Countries
Poverty and Economic Growth
Case Study: Poverty and Growth – The Role of Inequality
Poverty and Health
Case Study: The Influence of HIV/AIDS on the Chronically Poor
Public Expenditure in Developing Countries
Case Study: How Important is The Public Sector and What is It’s Role
Taxation in Developing Countries – Providing the Basis for Growth
Case Study: Payroll taxes and the informal economy
Development Economics – Other Issues and Summary

Recommended Textbooks:

Todaro, M. P. and Smith, S. (2006) Economic Development 9th ed. Pearson, London (recommended for all)
Meir G and Rauch JE (eds) (2005) Leading Issues in Economic Development 8th edition Oxford UP (recommended for all)

See also the Preliminary Reading list, which can be found in the course programme: Materials.

Grading: 0-5

Lectures 24 hours + group exercises + essay (3000 words)
The course will be complemented with group work exercises and be assessed through a written assignment.

The most pro-active student/s in class will also win a copy of the convenors book "What Works for Poorest: Poverty Reduction Programmes for the World's Extreme Poor "


Online learning environment Moodle will be used on the course. The course Moodle will open on Mon 12.8 August 2019.

Mon and Tue 12.8.-27.8. at 4.15-7.45 pm

The essay must be returned to Moodle on 15 September 2019 at the latest.

Teacher: Dr David Lawson

The lectures are providing by Dr David Lawson, who has more than 28 years of applied policy experience in developing countries, having worked for and advised a series of donors (including WHO, UNICEF, World Bank and NORAD) and developing country governments. He is Senior Researcher at Nordic Africa Institute (nai.uu.se) Adjunct Professor, University of Helsinki and Associate Professor Public Policy and Development, University of Manchester