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SP50327: Economics for international development

[Page last updated: 01 August 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/23
Owning Department/School: Department of Social & Policy Sciences
Credits: 12 [equivalent to 24 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 240
Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Semester 1
Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Assessment Detail:
  • Market Study (CW 80%)
  • Book presentation (CW 20%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Learning Outcomes:
* Ability to use the language and methodology employed by economists in the context of development.
* Understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of economic explanations of consumption, production, distribution, welfare and development, with reference to specific markets, sectors and economies.
* Understanding of how economic analysis can contribute to policy analysis, particularly formulating strategies for promoting sustainable development.
* Insights into directions for more in-depth study of development economics and for understanding how economics relates to other social science disciplines.

* To be at ease with core concepts and models explaining consumption, production and distribution under conditions of scarcity, hence how such concepts relate to the determinants of poverty, inequality, well-being and sustainability over time
* To review theories of economic change at local, national and global levels, with particular reference to markets affecting low and middle income countries
* To assess the strengths and weaknesses of the way economists think, particularly in relation to the way economists conceive individual behaviour and its macro impact over time and space
* To strengthen the ability of students to apply microeconomic concepts to development issues of their choosing.

* Ability to relate economic theory and concepts on microeconomic behaviour to contemporary debates on poverty, inequality, and sustainability.
* Ability to collect and use empirical information in order to produce an original market study locating it within a wider international development context, analysing its evolution over time, and providing prospects regarding its future trends.

Content: The content is looking at the micro-foundations of economic development (1), the consumer and the impact of social identities on the demand for goods and services (2) then turn to the producer and to production economics (3), supply and demand together under different assumptions about the nature of competition and the dynamics of consumer and producer behaviour (4). From this, we then explore allocation of labour (5) and capital (6) through market and non-market institutions, moving onto the micro foundations for market success and market failure (7). We also graduate from seeking to understand the macro impact of micro behaviour from showing how economic institutions work to evaluating how well they work looking at inequality and poverty issues (8). This takes us finally to a comprehensive framework for understanding the determinants of economic growth (9), structural change, demand management and big push theories at national and global levels (10). Each lecture will be illustrated with reference to examples reflecting on how the context of poverty, inequality, weak infrastructure and governance affects the operation of market and non-market institutions of resource allocation. The lectures will be completed with participatory seminars where students will gain transferable analytical skills on assessing the macro impact of micro behaviour (e.g. Impact Evaluation, Qualitative Evaluation, Mixed Methods, Cost-Benefit Analysis).

Programme availability:

SP50327 is a Designated Essential Unit on the following programmes:

Department of Social & Policy Sciences

SP50327 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Social & Policy Sciences


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2022/23 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2023/24 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2022/23.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
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