After following the course ‘economic development’ students are able to:
- Explain the differences in economic development between countries and regions
- Explain the influence of (regional) economic policy on the differences in economic development between countries and regions
- Explain the two-way relation between economic development and other dimensions of development such as education and health
- Explain the main causes and consequences of poverty and inequality
- Present the main findings of earlier scientific research on the aforementioned topics
- Formulate critical questions with regard to earlier scientific research on the aforementioned topics
- Calculate several poverty and inequality measures using STATA and Excel and use them to answer research questions on development related issues.
The course ‘economic development’ deals with the determinants and spatial patterns of economic and human development and inequality and the relationship between development and poverty and inequality. Major questions addressed in the course are (a) What are the major determinants of the growth of regions/countries?, (b) how does the distribution of economic activity within and across countries and regions arise and develop?, (c) can this distribution be influenced by regional/development policy?, (d) what is the relationship between economic and human development and how do these forms of development influence, and how are they influenced by, the distribution of resources and rewards within societies, (e) what are demographic aspects of development and what is the (changing) position of women and children in the development process?
(a) What are the major determinants of the growth of regions/countries?
Students will be provided with a broad overview of differences in development between countries and regions. Attention will be given to economic development as well as human development. The main economic growth theories will be presented with specific attention to the role of human capital. Specific attention will be given to the measurement and analysis of development data, in particular the data available at the Global Data Lab (www.globaldatalab.org). Regarding data analysis students will do inequality analyses with STATA and learn to present data using Gapminder and other online visualization tools.
(b) How does the distribution of economic activity within and across countries and regions arise and develop?
This part of the course starts with focusing on why economic activities locate at certain places and not at others. Core element in this will be to understand why economic activity has a tendency to cluster in geographical space. Subsequently a dynamic element will be added to the spatial distribution of economic activities by considering how economic activities in regions grow and/or decline. Questions addressed include: Is regional specialization beneficial for regional growth or not? and can globalization and trade influence core-periphery structures?
(c) Can the distribution of economic activity be influenced by regional/development policy?
Having an understanding of how (regional) economic structures and differences come about and develop we move to the question whether, and if so how, these structures can be influenced by (regional) economic policy. Path dependency in economic processes and the resulting persistence of existing economic structures will play an important role in this part of the course.
(d) What is the relationship between economic and human development and how do these forms of development influence, and how are they influenced by, the distribution of resources and rewards within societies?
This part of the course will focus on poverty and inequality, including poverty and inequality measurement. We will discuss, among other, the measurement of human development at household and national level, GDP, HDI, household expenditure, wealth indices, inequality indices and so on. Attention will be paid to the effects of economic development on poverty and inequality and vice versa. In a similar vein we will discuss the relations between economic development and variation in education, work and health inequalities. Theoretically the capability approach will be central in this part of the course.
(e) Demographic aspects of development and the position of women and children
In many development processes women play a central role. Specific attention is paid to issues regarding gender and development, such as women’s employment and empowerment, and related demographic aspects of development like the fertility transition, family planning and the demographic window of opportunity. Over half of the population in low and middle income countries consists of children and their education and health is critical for the development of these countries. However, still too many suffer from health problems, are stunted and lack sufficient schooling. In the last week of the course, the causes and consequences of this situation are looked upon.
Basic knowledge of micro and macro economics (e.g. Economie van de Managementwetenschappen), Basic statistical knowledge (e.g. OIM A&B).
Written exam with open questions, Group presentation, Group assignment and Computer Assignments. Non-participation in these compulsory activities has negative consequences for the student’s grade. Partial result from previous year stay valid.