11483 - Development Economics

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

The course introduces students to some of the central topics in Development Economics focusing on some key factors that drives the development process such as human capital, inequality and growth. At the end of the course, students will be able to use scientific evidence to: a) understand meanings and determinants of the economic and social development process; b) identify the relationship and the interactions between development and inequality; c) critically analyse the use of aggregate indicators to monitor the level and the dynamics of development and inequality.

Course contents

The course is an introduction to Development Economics focusing on some topics that are key to understand the process of economic and social development. Topics that will be discussed include the determinants of the economic and social development, the measurement of human capital, the theory and measurement of inequality. For each topic, we will discuss the main theoretical models, how theory is brought to the data, and the use of empirical evidence to influence decision making.


The textbook of reference is Debraj Ray. 1998. Development Economics. Princeton University Press. A detailed list of chapters, as well as additional material is available on the course's page at https://virtuale.unibo.it/

Teaching methods

The course is organized in 10 weeks and presents 5 main topics. Each topic is presented and discussed for 2 consecutive weeks with a mix of lectures (odd weeks) and seminars (even weeks). To promote active participation, students will be divided in two groups and, in each even week, will attend one seminar for each topic.

Assessment methods

There are 2 different exam formats, one for students that regularly attend and participate to classes and seminars, and one for students that do not regularly attend classes and seminars.

Regularly attending students

Students are “regularly attending students” if they skip a maximum of 5 classes.

Exam for regularly attending students

The exam has 2 parts.

The first part consists of responses to weekly (individual or group) assignments assigned during the seminars. Three of these assignments will be marked and graded pass/fail. All passing marks will be 1 point to add to the final grade.

The second part consists in a written exam at the end of the course. The exam will have 2 open-ended questions based on the programme of the course. This written exam represents 100% of the final grade (plus a maximum of three points from the passing marks of the weekly assignments).

Students will have to take this second part by the final exam session scheduled for September 2023. To take the second part of the exam, students have to sign up on Almaesami. If regularly attending students do not take the second part of the exam by the September 2023 deadline, their grade achieved in the first part will be automatically cancelled and they will have to take the entire exam as non-attending students.

Exam for non-attending students

Written exam with 2 open-ended questions.

To take the exam, students have to sign up on Almaesami.

For all students

The only valid mark is the one achieved in the most recent attempt to pass the exam.

Students who pass the exam can refuse the final mark (thus requesting to re-take the exam) only once, in accordance with the university’s teaching regulations.

After having rejected a passing mark, any other subsequent passing mark will be recorded in the candidate’s transcripts.

Each student is personally responsible for his/her registration to the exam session on AlmaEsami. Registration closes 5 days before the exam date.

Teaching tools

The slides of the lectures will be provided.

Office hours

See the website of Chiara Binelli