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The Economics of Less Developed Countries

Module Code: EC304B

Module Title: Economics of Less Developed Countries

  • ECTS Weighting: 5
  • Semester/Term Taught: Michaelmas Term
  • Contact Hours: 22 hours of lectures and 4 hours of tutorials
  • Module Personnel: Lecturer - Tara Mitchell

Module Learning Aims

The problems facing less developed countries are among the greatest challenges facing the world today. This module will focus on the diverse structures and common characteristics of less developed countries and will offer an evaluation of policies being pursued.
The module begins by discussing the idea of economic development before moving onto sources of and barriers to development. It uses contemporary models of economic development to investigate why some countries are rich and others are poor.

Module Content

  • What is "development" and who are the "developing countries"?
  • Theories of Growth and Development
  • Income Levels, Income Distribution and Development
  • Education and Health in Development
  • Financial Markets and Development
  • Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Population Growth and Urbanisation: Problems and Policies

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will be able to:

  • Explain what is commonly meant by development and which countries fit into the less developed country category and why they do so.
  • Critically assess the evidence for a relationship between growth and poverty.
  • Explain and evaluate models of economic growth and how education and development may be related.
  • Apply economic theory to issues of population growth and urbanization and examine the evidence for these theories in developing countries.

Satisfactory completion of this module will contribute to the development of the following key skills:

  • The ability to apply economic theory to complex situations with imperfect markets.
  • The ability to use techniques learnt in earlier courses to a practical subject of interest to the students.

Recommended Reading List

The main textbook for the course is: Michael Todaro and Stephen C. Smith, Economic Development, (11th edn.), Addison Wesley Longman, 2011.

A supplementary reading list will also be available on Blackboard.

Assessment Details

The assessment for this module will be composed of two essays and a group presentation. The group presentation will account for 5% of the overall grade. One of the essays will account for 55% of the overall grade and the other for 40% of the overall grade.

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