31526 - Economic Development

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2020/2021

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module students should have achieved the following outcomes: (a) acquired an enhanced empirical knowledge of economic conditions in low and middle income economies; (b) acquired an understanding of the key structural characteristics of these economies and of their significance for economic development; (c) consolidated their understanding of those elements of basic economic theory which we apply to the problems of development; (d) acquired an understanding of the empirical methods that are used by the profession to study developing countries

Course contents


1) Financial Capital: Returns to Capital and Financial Access. Credit Markets Imperfections in less developed countries

2) Financial Capital: Microfinance

3) Financial Capital: Savings Accumulation in less developed countries

4) Human Capital: Determinants of Educational outcomes in less developed countries

5) Human Capital: Determinants of Health outcomes in less developed countries

6) Social Capital and Conflict

7) Institutions: Political and Economic Institutions


Topic 1:

Banerjee Abhijit and Esther Duflo (2014) Do Firms Want to Borrow More? Testing Credit Constraints Using a Directed Lending Program, Mimeo,Review of Economic Studies (2014) 81 (2): 572-607

Banerjee, Abhijit V. and Kaivan Munshi (2004), How E¢ ciently is Capital Allocated? Evidence from the Knitted Garment Industry in Tirupur, Review of Economic Studies 71(1):19-41

Cole, Shawn. 2009. "Fixing Market Failures or Fixing Elections? Agricultural Credit in India." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 1(1): 219-50.

De Mel Suresh , David Mckenzie and Christopher Woodruff (2008) Returns to Capital in Microenterprises: Evidence from a field experiment, Quarterly Journal of Economics 123 (4): 1329-1372

Karlan, Dean and Jonathan Zinman (2009) Observing Unobservables: Identifying Information Asymmetries with a Consumer Credit Field Experiment, Econometrica, 77(6), pp. 1993-2008

Karlan, Dean S. and Jonathan Zinman. 2008. "Credit Elasticities in Less-Developed Economies: Implications for Microfinance." American Economic Review, 98(3): 1040-68.

Khwaja, Asim, and Atif Mian. (2005). Do Lenders Favor Politically Connected Firms? Rent Provision in an Emerging Financial Market, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 120(4).

Topic 2:

American Economic Journal: Applied Economics; Vol. 7 No. 1 January 2015 (entire issue on Microfinance)

Feigenberg, B, E Field, and R Pande (2013), "The economic returns to social interaction: Experimental evidence from microfinance", The Review of Economic Studies 80.4: 1459-1483.

Field, Erica, Rohini Pande, John Papp and Natalia Rigol. 2013. "Does the Classic Microfinance Model Discourage Entrepreneurship among the Poor? Experimental Evidence from India." American Economic Review, 103(6): 2196-2226.

Giné, Xavier & Karlan, Dean S., 2014. "Group versus individual liability: Short and long term evidence from Philippine microcredit lending groups" Journal of Development Economics, vol. 107(C), pages 65-83.

Karlan, Dean S., Social Connections and Group Banking. Economic Journal, Vol. 117, No. 517, pp. F52-F84, February 2007

Topic 3:

Nava Ashraf & Dean Karlan & Wesley Yin (2006). "Tying Odysseus to the Mast: Evidence from a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines" The Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 121(2), pages 635-672, May.

Robin Burgess and Rohini Pande (2005) Do Rural Banks Matter? Evidence from the Indian Social Banking Experiment, American Economic Review, 95(3).

Dupas, Pascaline, and Jonathan Robinson. 2013. "Savings Constraints and Microenterprise Development: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Kenya." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 5(1): 163-92.

Guiso, Luigi, Paola Sapienza and Luigi Zingales. 2004. "The Role of Social Capital in Financial Development."American Economic Review, 94(3): 526-556.

Kast, Felipe and Meier, Stephan and Pomeranz, Dina, Under-Savers Anonymous: Evidence on Self-Help Groups and Peer Pressure as a Savings Commitment Device. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6311

Topic 4:

Nava Ashraf & James Berry & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2010. "Can Higher Prices Stimulate Product Use? Evidence from a Field Experiment in Zambia" American Economic Review, vol. 100(5), pages 2383-2413, December.

Banerjee, A., E. Duflo, and R. Glennerster (2008): “Putting a Band-Aid on a corpse: Incentives for nurses in the Indian public health care system,” Journal of the European Economic Association, 6, 487–500.

Banerjee, Abhijit Vinayak, et al. "Improving immunisation coverage in rural India: clustered randomised controlled evaluation of immunisation campaigns with and without incentives." Bmj 340 (2010): c2220.

Bjorkman.M and J.Svensson (2009) Power to the People: Evidence of a Randomized Field Experiment on Community-Based Monitoring in Uganda, Quarterly Journal of Economics 24:735-69.

Cohen.J and P.Dupas (2010) Free Distribution or Cost-Sharing? Evidence from a Randomized Malaria Prevention Experiment, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 125 (1): 1-45.

Jessica Cohen & Pascaline Dupas & Simone Schaner, 2015. "Price Subsidies, Diagnostic Tests, and Targeting of Malaria Treatment: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial" American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(2), pages 609-45, February.

Das, Jishnu & Hammer, Jeffrey, 2007. "Money for nothing: The dire straits of medical practice in Delhi, India" Journal of Development Economics, vol. 83(1), pages 1-36, May.

Das, Jishnu & Hammer, Jeffrey, 2005. "Which doctor? Combining vignettes and item response to measure clinical competence" Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 348-383, December.

Pascaline Dupas, 2011. "Do Teenagers Respond to HIV Risk Information? Evidence from a Field Experiment in Kenya," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 1-34, January.

Pascaline Dupas, 2014. "Short‐Run Subsidies and Long‐Run Adoption of New Health Products: Evidence From a Field Experiment" Econometrica, vol. 82(1), pages 197-228, 01.

Galiani.S, P.J.Gertler and E.Schargrodsky (2005) Water for Life: The Impact of the Privatization of Water Services on Child Mortality. Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 113: 83-120.

Paul Gertler, 2004. "Do Conditional Cash Transfers Improve Child Health? Evidence from PROGRESA's Control Randomized Experiment" American Economic Review, vol. 94(2), pages 336-341, May.

Topic 5:

Sarah Baird & Craig McIntosh & Berk Özler, 2011. "Cash or Condition? Evidence from a Cash Transfer Experiment" The Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 126(4), pages 1709-1753.

Abhijit V. Banerjee & Shawn Cole & Esther Duflo & Leigh Linden, 2007. "Remedying Education: Evidence from Two Randomized Experiments in India" The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1235-1264

Najy Benhassine & Florencia Devoto & Esther Duflo & Pascaline Dupas & Victor Pouliquen, 2015. "Turning a Shove into a Nudge? A "Labeled Cash Transfer" for Education, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, vol. 7(3), pages 86-125, August.

Hoyt Bleakley & Joseph Ferrie, 2016. "Shocking Behavior: Random Wealth in Antebellum Georgia and Human Capital Across Generations" The Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol 131(3), pages 1455-1495.

Duflo, Esther. 2001. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment." American Economic Review, 91(4): 795-813.

Duflo, Esther, Pascaline Dupas and Michael Kremer. 2011. "Peer Effects, Teacher Incentives, and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya." American Economic Review, 101(5): 1739-74.

AD Foster, MR Rosenzweig (1996), Technical change and human-capital returns and investments: evidence from the green revolution, The American economic review, 931-953

Hanna, Rema N. and Leigh L. Linden. 2012. "Discrimination in Grading." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 4(4): 146-68.

Hoff, Karla and Priyanka Pandey. 2006. "Discrimination, Social Identity, and Durable Inequalities." American Economic Review, 96(2): 206-211

Michael Kremer & Edward Miguel & Rebecca Thornton, 2009. "Incentives to Learn" The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(3), pages 437-456, August.

Robert Jensen, “The (Perceived) Returns to Education and the Demand for Schooling,” Quarterly Journal of Economics 125 (2) (2010): 515–548.

Robert Jensen, Do Labor Market Opportunities Affect Young Women’s Work and Family Decisions? Experimental Evidence from India The Quarterly Journal of Economics (2012) 127(2): 753-792

Reinikka, Ritva, and Jakob Svensson. (2004). Local Capture: Evidence from a Central Government Transfer Program in Uganda, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 119 (2).

Reinikka, R. and J. Svensson (2005), Fighting corruption to improve schooling: Evidence from a newspaper campaign in Uganda, Journal of the European Economic Association, 3 (2-3), 259-267

Reinikka, Ritva and Jakob Svensson (2011). The Power of Information: Evidence from a Newspaper Campaign to Reduce Capture, Journal of Public Economics, Volume 95, Issues 7–8, August 2011, Pages 956–966

Paul Schultz, T., 2004. "School subsidies for the poor: evaluating the Mexican Progresa poverty program" Journal of Development Economics, vol. 74(1), pages 199-250, June.

Sujata Visaria & Rajeev Dehejia & Melody M. Chao & Anirban Mukhopadhyay, 2016. "Unintended consequences of rewards for student attendance: Results from a field experiment in Indian classrooms" Economics of Education Review, vol 54, pages 173-184.

Topics 6 and 7: TBA

Teaching methods

Slides and Blackboard

Assessment methods

Written Exam/Take home exam and oral presentation

Teaching tools

Slides in PDF

Office hours

See the website of Paolo Masella