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COURSE NAME: "Economics of Development "
SEMESTER & YEAR: Spring 2019

INSTRUCTOR: Yasmina Rim Limam
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 11:30-12:45 PM
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisites: Junior Standing, EC 201, EC 202

The course focuses on the economics of development, with specific reference to developing countries. While drawing extensively on the tools of standard economic theory, it deals with development issues for which economic theories at best provide only partial answers. It offers a problem-oriented approach, with a historical and institutional perspective, to issues such as poverty, population, income distribution, international trade, investment, aid, and the debt problem.

-         Facts and characteristics of developing countries.

-          Developing countries in the international context

-          What is economic development: challenges facing developing countries

-          International trade and strategies for development

-          Environmental economics and sustainable development

-          Food policy

-          Gender and economic development

-          Institutions and development


Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

1. Understand basic concepts of development and the characteristics of developing countries.

2. Apply basic economic theory to economic development.

3. Communicate knowledge on current issues and challenges facing developing countries.

4. Comprehend the complex and multisided character of development.

5. Understand interconnections between economic variables and the effect of economic policies on economic outcome.


Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Economic Development Michael Todaro and Stephen SmithPearson978-1292002972  

Midterm ExamThe midterm exam covers all material up to the week prior to the exam.30
Final ExamThe final exam is cumulative and covers all material covered in class up to the last day of classes. NOTE: Exams emphasize understanding and capacity of analysis rather than memorization of information. 40
Written AssignmentThere will be one brief written assignment. The assignment will focus upon analyzing an economic development challenge faced by a developing country chosen spontaneously by each student (ideally, each student should select a different country). Student should be able to relate the issue of his choice to economic theory. The assignment should not exceed 800 words.15
  Note: Exams emphasize understanding and capacity of analysis rather than memorization of information. 
Class PresentationThere will be individual or group presentations (the amount of these will depend on the final number of students taking the course). Presentations can be either on pre-assigned readings (from the reading list below) or on an open research question. If feasible, we will try to have at least one presentation per topic. Presentations will often open the door for further class discussion and in class interaction. Students should be able to use theoretical and empirical instruments to justify/illustrate arguments or suggestions. More information on presentations dates will be provided as we move on with the semester.15

AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course.
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.


You cannot make-up a major exam (midterm or final) without the permission of the Dean’s Office. The Dean’s Office will grant such permission only when the absence was caused by a serious impediment, such as a documented illness, hospitalization or death in the immediate family (in which you must attend the funeral) or other situations of similar gravity. Absences due to other meaningful conflicts, such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, student misunderstandings or personal convenience, will not be excused. Students who will be absent from a major exam must notify the Dean’s Office prior to that exam. Absences from class due to the observance of a religious holiday will normally be excused. Individual students who will have to miss class to observe a religious holiday should notify the instructor by the end of the Add/Drop period to make prior arrangements for making up any work that will be missed. The final exam period runs until ____________
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.


This course is an introduction to current economic challenges facing developing countries and their potential solutions. The course analyzes development issues from two simultaneous, often in tension, perspectives: closing the income gap with developed countries (and increasing standards of living) while addressing the effects of development on natural resources and the environment. Issues related to gender and institutions will also be analyzed. The course combines economic theory, case studies and data analysis and relies heavily on student participation and discussion.