DEV-101: Economic Development: Theory and Evidence

Offered:  Fall 2020, Fall 2019

DEV-101 is a semester-long course that evaluates theories of economic (under)development and scrutinizes empirical evidence in order to understand key features of the development process across countries. To do so, the course will utilize analytical frameworks, grounded in economic theory, that examine the determinants of factor accumulation by individuals, firms and societies. Drawing on empirical evidence on individual and societal behavior, we will evaluate the relevance of these frameworks for diagnosing root causes of economic development. The course has three broad sections: (i) Analytical frameworks for understanding proximate determinants of economic growth and factor accumulation; (ii) Individual determinants and returns to investment in human capital (health and education), financial capital (credit markets, savings behavior) and the role of behavioral economics, culture and governance systems in affecting individual investments; and (iii) resource misallocation, learning and coordination and their impacts on productivity; the role of industrialization and growth diagnostics. In the Spring, DEV-102 will use these frameworks to examine the design of development policies. This course is only open to MPA/ID students. 
Link:  HKS Course Description


DEV-401: Applications and Cases in International Development

Offered:  Year-long 2019

This course has two objectives: first, to systematically explore the nature of change in the development process, and of the associated role of policy and institutional design; and second, to illustrate the use of the range of concepts and techniques learned in other MPA/ID core courses in the diagnosis of development change. This will include the normative analysis of change (applying various concepts of well-being, efficiency, social justice and poverty), the application of economic concepts (to the interpretation of household and firm behavior, strategic interactions and economy-wide patterns), and the role of political, governmental and social behavior in shaping the possibilities for, drivers of, and resistance to change. This will be undertaken through a mixture of discussion of overall patterns backed by a strong focus on case studies in particular country settings. The topics will include issues relating to poverty, social development, macroeconomic management, aggregate economic development, and the political economy of policy design and change. The core teaching will be complemented by a visiting speaker series, from the worlds of ideas and practice, to expose students to a variety of perspectives and actual experience; this will be drawn both from faculty and outside the school. This course is required for first-year MPA/ID students. It is not open to non-MPA/ID students. 
Link:  HKS Course Description