SOAS University of London

Department of Economics

Issues in Development Economics

Module Code:
Module Not Running 2021/2022
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Year 2 or Year 3
Taught in:
Full Year

A wide range of issues are covered in this course, which focuses in the first term on different theoretical contributions to our understanding of growth and development in low income countries. The second term is devoted to considering major contemporary themes and topics relevant to low-income countries. 

Term 1

  • Classical theories of growth and development 
  • The Lewis model 
  • The Solow model of growth
  • New growth theory
  • Structuralism and Dependency theory
  • Marxist and Neo-Marxist theories
  • New Institutional Economics and development
  • Globalization and development
  • Feminist theories of development

Term 2

critical domestic issues:

  • Industrialisation 
  • Agriculture
  • Income distribution and poverty 
  • Population growth and demographic change 

and international issues, in particular the role and impact of the following in low-income countries:

  • Foreign trade
  • Foreign aid
  • Private foreign investment and Multi-national companies
  • International financial institutions (World Bank, IMF, WTO)


(153400003) Introduction to Economic Analysis or (153401010) Comparative Growth: Theoretical Approaches 

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

The objective of the first part of the course is to explore the main strengths and weaknesses of orthodox and heterodox paradigms within development economics. This aims to provide students with knowledge and critical skills in the political economy of development. The second part of the course aims to foster the students' ability to assess critically the major policy debates (domestic and global) and to evaluate the empirical evidence with respect to these issues in developing countries.

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

  • Understand and differentiate between different theories of growth and development.
  • Explain the major strengths and weaknesses of orthodox and heterodox theories of growth and development.
  • Recognise and explain the domestic issues of developing countries that influence their economies.
  • Identify and assess the influence and impact of international factors in the economies of developing countries.

Method of assessment

Article Review  (worth 20% of module mark)
Essay (worth 40% of module mark)
Essay (worth 40% of module mark)

Suggested reading

Main textbook

  • Todaro, M. and Smith, S. C. (eleventh edition; 2011). Economic Development. London: Addison Wesley

Other useful textbooks

  • Cypher, J.M. and Dietz, J.L. (2009). The Process of Economic Development. London and New York: Routledge. (3rd Edition)
  • Meier, G. and Rauch, J. (2005). Leading Issues in Economic Development. Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • Thirlwall, A. P. (ninth edition; 2011). Economics of Development. London: Palgrave Macmillan


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules