Economics of Developing Countries

week 1

Measuring Development.


Week 2

Capital Accumulation, Growth, and Development.

Week 3

Geography and the Disease Environment.

Week 4

History and Institutions.


week 5

Education and Fertility choices.


Week 6

The Second Tragedy.


Week 7

Finance and Development.


Week 8

Trade and Development.



Around the world, in 2005, 13% of the population lives on less than 1$ a day. These people live in over 50 countries covering more than a half off the inhabitable regions of the world. Why do so many individuals live in poverty when others do not? Is poverty linked to initial conditions of the regions where the people live? Is it due to their countries’ institutional environment? To conflict? To education? To health? Why have some countries escaped from poverty and others have not? Are there efficient policies to improve the lives of the poorest? Can we actually give convincing answers to all these questions?

The goal of this tutorial is to familiarize you with the main questions and techniques of the Economics of Developing Countries. The tools you learnt for Quantitative Economics, Macroeconomics and Microeconomics will be useful.

The tutorials do not necessarily follow the schedule of the lectures but we will treat most of what you learn during these lectures.


The tutorials will be given to groups of two or three students. For each tutorial, you will have to write one assignment among two types of exercises: (1) either a short essay (or a Problem-Set) on a specific question, (2) or a referee report on a reading.

I will randomly assign each task to one student, but you are welcome to exchange the tasks among the members of the tutorial group. The only request is therefore:

  •  For each tutorial session, each assignment is written by one student.
  •  During the term, each student has to have written at least one assignment of each category during the term.

The assignments will be discussed during the tutorials so each student should have read all the assignments written for the tutorial he will attend.

  • The assignments have to be uploaded to the tutorial’s Dropbox on Mondays, before 13:00.
  • The assignments should not be longer than 2000 words. Try to be as precise and concise as possible
  • I encourage you to re-write your essays using the feedback received,  your further readings, and the essays written by your tutorial classmates.


The following general references that will be useful all throughout the course. You should have read them by the beginning of the term. Every week, you will also have to read more specific articles and chapters, and sometimes go back to specific chapters from the general readings. These specific reading lists are specified on the tutorials' pages.  Here is the general reading list

  • Banerjee and Duflo, Poor Economics, Penguin Books, 2012.
  • Deaton, The Great Escape, Princeton University Press, 2015.
  • Easterly, The Elusive Quest for Growth, MIT Press, 2002.
  • Easterly, The Tyranny of Experts, Basic Books, 2014.
  • Sen, Development as Freedom, Oxford University Press,  2001.