Week 1 - Measuring Development

Hans Rosling shows the evolution of development indicators over time

Does GDP accurately capture well-being? The psychological cost of recession can wipe out the benefits of many years of growth.


How does the distribution of wealth across nations look like? Does that distribution give an accurate picture of economic development in the world? Can we think of better indicator of development?  How can we compare development across countries and across regions?



- Chapter 2 “Economic Development: Overview” in Development Economics (Debraj Ray)
- “Why Growth Matters” in Easterly, The Elusive Quest For Growth, MIT Press, pp: 5-19
- Introduction, and Chapters 1 and 2, in Sen (1999) Development as Freedom, OUP, pp: 3-54
- Introduction, and Chapter 1, in Deaton (2013), The Great Escape, PUP, pp: 1-55

- Tracking Light from Space : Innovative ways to measure economic development, blog post in World Bank's "Sustainable Cities"

-Patel and Kleinman, "Poverty and Common Mental  Disorders in Developing Countries", Bulletin of the WHO, 2003.



- in Chapter II, Sections 12 and 13, in John Rawls (1971), A Theory of Justice, Harvard University Press
- Introduction, in Sen , A. (2010), The idea of Justice, Harvard University Press
- Sen, A. (1984), "The Living Standard", Oxford Economics Papers New Series, Vol. 36, Supplement: Economic Theory and Hicksian Themes (Nov., 1984), pp. 74-90
- Sen, A. (2003). "Development as Capability Expansion". In: Fukuda-Parr S, et al Readings in Human Development. New Delhi and New York: Oxford University Press; 2003.


Assignment 1

From 2017's final (Q. 1-Either):

"Amartya Sen's capability approach' to the study of development is valuable, but it does not lead to obvious implications for economic policy" Discuss



Assignment 2

Solve Question 2 from 2017's final, and briefly (<500 words) answer the following question:

"What key characteristics distinguish measures of poverty from measures of inequality? How are they related?"

Assignment 3

"The GDP is the best index to measure development and to draw international comparisons." Discuss.