Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


The learning outcomes of this course are to help students (i) become conversant with a number of active research areas in development economics and empirical approaches they use; (ii) apply research findings to key public policy issues facing developing countries today; (iii) acquire some hand-on skills in data analysis (useful, e.g., for thesis research); and (iv) hone their academic writing skills.

Credits: 6

Schedule: 01.03.2021 - 14.04.2021

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Ritva Reinikka

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Ritva Reinikka

Contact information for the course (valid 01.02.2021-21.12.2112):

Ritva Reinikka, Professor of Practice. Please check MyCourses for the detailed and revised syllabus and reading list for 2021.

Lectures will be held in period IV, from 1 March to 7
April, 2021 via Zoom, on Mondays at 15:15-17:00
and Wednesdays at 15:15-17:00 (11x2h). The total work requirement of the 31E16000
Development Economics II
course is 160 hours (6 credits/ECTS).

Please note that there are no separate exercises this year (even if it is mentioned below). This academic year exercises were included in Dev Econ I course in Fall 2020.

CEFR level (applies in this implementation):

Language of instruction and studies (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022):

Teaching language: English

Languages of study attainment: English


  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    This course builds on the course “Development Economics I: Fundamentals” (Autumn 2019). It focuses primarily on (i) empirical analysis in development economics, and (ii) how such analysis/research can be applied to real-life policy questions facing developing countries. We will study economic behavior under different types of market and government failures. We will cover a number of active research fields in development economics, including institutions, corruption, education, health, agriculture, and credit. Gender will be explored as a cross-cutting theme. The course will also delve into some current debates regarding empirical methods/approaches in development economics. Separate exercise sessions (4x2h) concentrate on hands-on micro data analysis.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    Please note that the course content has been revised somewhat from Spring 2020, given that the Fall 2020 course Dev Econ I was also revised from its predecessor. Here are the up-to-date details on the course content.

    MSc (Econ)-level course focuses on economic development and development policy
    in low and middle-income countries. The course concentrates on three main areas
    as described below. At the same time, these three components are closely intertwined
    as practically each lecture contains elements of each area.

    Public economics of development.
    Poor people are poor because markets fail them and governments fail
    them. The course analyzes public policies in developing countries from the
    perspective of the market failures that these policies were intended to correct
    as well as the government failures created by the implementation of these
    policies. Health insurance and health care are especially prone for both market
    and government failures. Moreover, the course explores empirical research on
    corruption, especially the roles of political accountability and information to
    combat corruption. While public economics is the focus, the course also touches
    upon economic behavior of individuals/households, firms and
    service providers.

    Empirical microeconomics of development,
    with a focus on the economics of education. Human capital is a key factor in
    economic growth, returns to investment in education are important for labor
    market outcomes, and education can be a way out of poverty. But often
    schooling ain’t learning. Therefore, education systems—as opposed to individual
    interventions—are currently in the research spotlight. The course also examines accountability for quality and
    equity, and how government policy can address
    market failures in (poor people’s) private schooling and can improve public
    schools. Students’ group assignment during the last two lectures of the course will
    highlight the empirical “method debate” in development economics today.

    Economics research and development policy.
    How does research in development economics influence policy choices and
    decisions in real life? The course explores examples such as the Service
    Delivery Indicators initiative and international trade policy, and takes a
    closer look at the role of policy research in a major international development
    finance institution, the World Bank.

    As mentioned above, there will not be an exercise sessions as these were included in Dev Econ I in Fall 2020.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    A final exam based on the lectures plus required readings (50% of the grade).

    A group assignment (2-4 students) consisting of a presentation of about 15 min. during the last week of the course. We will focus these group assignments on the current debates on empirical methods/approaches in development economics (10% of the grade).

    A term paper, which can be either an econometric exercise or an essay based on literature (40% of the grade)

  • Applies in this implementation:

    Note that the presentation of group work is only 15 minutes. Otherwise these requirements are the same as last year (Spring 2020).

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    • Lectures
    • Presentation, essay/term paper and independent study
    • Exam

  • Applies in this implementation:

    Note that this year (Spring 2021) we will have 11 lectures (not 12 as last year). Furthermore, there are NO exercises this year as they were already included in the Fall 2020 Dev Econ I course.


Study Material
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Specific book chapters and journal articles will be announced to course participants when the course is active (Reading List).

  • Applies in this implementation:

    Please see the syllabus and reading list in MyCourses (the fist tab under MATERIALS).

SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    8 Decent Work and Economic Growth