SOAS University of London

Department of Economics

Economic development of South Asia

Module Code:
Year of study:
Year 3
Taught in:
Full Year

Please note that this course is capped at a limit of 25 students

The object of this course is to undertake an analysis of the economic development of South Asia, with particular emphasis on India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, from the 1950s to the present. It focuses particularly on problems and debates, of which the following are illustrative:

  • planning, 
  • economic liberalisation, 
  • domestic resource mobilisation, 
  • land reform, 
  • the 'new technology' in agriculture,
  • poverty, 
  • the population question,
  • the public sector, 
  • labour markets, 
  • industrialisation, 
  • foreign trade, 
  • aid, 
  • private foreign investment, 
  • the role of the state 
  • contemporary issues of governance and reform.


(153400123) Macroeconomic Analysis


(153400130) Microeconomic Analysis

(Note: For BSc Economics and BSc Development Economics students both these courses are core courses in year 2 of their degrees, but BA two-subject degree students can only take EITHER of these two courses in their year 2)

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Outline the history of economic development in South Asia, in particular India, Pakistan and Bangladesh from the 1950s.
  • Contrast the competing economies of the main South Asian countries
  • Explain clearly the issues of governance and reform that these countries face today

Method of assessment

Assessment weighting: Exam 80% / Coursework 20%. Resubmission of coursework regulations do not apply to this course.

Suggested reading

  • Stuart Corbridge and John Harriss 2000. Reinventing India: Liberalization, Hindu Nationalism and Popular Democracy. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • P.Bardhan 1984. The Political Economy of Development in India. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
  • Kaushik Basu (ed) 2004. India’s Emerging Economy: Performance and Prospects in the 1990s and Beyond London: MIT Press.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules