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 course introduces students to central concepts in the study of developing countries and poverty. Students will:

  • Gain an overview of the field of development economics and major topics in policy and research within the field.
  • Practice the understanding and use of the most common statistical methods used in the empirical study of development economics, with a focus on causal inference.
  • Learn about ways to measure and define poverty, and the main explanations highlighted in the field of economics for differences in growth and income levels between rich and poor countries.

Credits: 6

Schedule: 04.09.2023 - 20.10.2023

Teacher in charge (valid for whole curriculum period):

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Miri Stryjan

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):

Course teacher's email:

CEFR level (valid for whole curriculum period):

Language of instruction and studies (applies in this implementation):

Teaching language: English. Languages of study attainment: English


  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    The course will consist of classroom lectures and exercise sessions. It will cover topics such as:

    • How poverty is defined and measured
    • The livelihoods of the poor:
      • agriculture
      • small businesses
    • Credit and financial services
    • Health
    • Impact evaluation
    • Growth theories
    • Institutions

  • applies in this implementation

    See the detailed course plan uploaded on Mycourses.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Lectures, exercises, homework assignment, examination

  • applies in this implementation

    The final course grade is based on:
    Homeworks 50%
    - 10 % from pre-lecture assignments graded on pass/fail basis (individual submission)
    - 20 % from homework assignment 1 (recommended to submit in pairs)
    - 20 % from homework assignment 2 (recommended to submit in pairs)
    Final exam 50%
    A passing grade on the exam is required in order to pass the course.

  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    • Lectures 24h
    • Exercises 12h
    • Independent study 121h
    • Exam 3h

  • applies in this implementation

    The majority of the workload on the course is independent self-study.
    This includes
    - reading the required reading material, including material for the homework and lecture notes
    - Completing the homeworks
    - Doing pre-class exercises
    If needed: going over the extra resources on empirical methods for MA students, reading optional material.


Study Material
  • applies in this implementation

    See Literature list and first lecture notes.

Substitutes for Courses
SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    1 No Poverty

    3 Good Health and Well-being

    8 Decent Work and Economic Growth

    16 Peace and Justice Strong Institutions


Further Information
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Teaching Language : English

    Teaching Period : 2022-2023 Autumn I
    2023-2024 Autumn I

    Enrollment :

    Registration in Sisu. 

Details on the schedule
  • applies in this implementation

    While lectures are normally on Monday afternoons and Thursday mornings, note that one lecture has been moved to a Wednesday.