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Department of Economics

Microeconomic theory and techniques (MSc Research for International Development)

Course Code:
Unit value:
Year of study:
Year 1
Taught in:
Term 1

This course is only available to students enrolled on the MSc Research for International Development programme.

The aim of the course is to provide an overview of modern microeconomics. In particular, students will be expected to understand the critical assumptions behind theoretical models and the relevance of models for policy-making in developing countries. Particular emphasis is put in this course on game theory, the economics of asymmetric information and on externalities as these are used in models applied to developing countries. Other topics include, risk, general equilibrium and welfare economics, and theories of collective action. Case studies are used from a variety of developing countries. A background in economics is important, though no mathematical ability is assumed.

This course will delivered alongside the parallel course Microeconomics, worth 18 CATS credits. Students will have the opportunity to attend all lectures and tutorial, but the examinable component will be approximately  85% of the 18 CATS credits syllabus. The following topics will not be part of the examinable component of this course: Week 6: The Agricultural Household Model

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:
1. Summarise the critical assumptions behind theoretical models and their relevance for policy making in developing countries
2. Show an understanding of the relative merits of game theory, economics of asymmetric information and of externalities when applied to developing countries.  
3. Illustrate through case studies examples of risk theory and theories of collective action and of general  equilibrium and welfare economics


Teaching takes place through 2 weekly 2 hour lectures

Method of assessment

Assessment weighting: Exam 70% / Coursework 30% (1 essay). Resubmission of coursework regulations apply.

Suggested reading

Background Reading
Kreps, Game Theory and Economic Modelling, Oxford University Press, 1990.
Varian, H., Microeconomic Analysis, W.W. Norton & Co, London 1992.