SOAS University of London

Department of Economics

Growth and Development

Module Code:
Taught in:
Term 2

This module consists of a survey of key issues in the political economy of growth and development.  The aim is to familiarise students with the debate in key areas of policy and to develop the analytical ability of students.  We emphasize the application of theory to real economic problems in developing countries.  Students are strongly encouraged to relate the ideas presented in the lectures to concrete examples in the developing world.

Growth and Development is broadly divided into four sections:

  1. The first consists of a critical assessment of growth theories including the convergence-divergence debate regarding trends in the international distribution of income and the links between growth and poverty reduction.
  2. The second section addresses agricultural and rural sector development including the role of agriculture in economic development and the relationship between rural poverty and growth.  It also looks at issues of commodity dependence and Dutch Disease theory.
  3. Section three looks at open economy issues and examines the links between trade and growth, aid and growth and the impact of IMF and World Bank policy based lending on growth and development.
  4. The final section considers the role of industrialisation and labour markets in the growth process.

Students pursuing a degree external to the Department of Economics should contact the convenor for approval to take this module.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

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

  • Understand the major and minor strands in popular and policy-critical development debates.
  • Apply knowledge in constructing a critical analysis of the issues for a particular country.
  • Use economic data appropriately.  

Method of assessment

Assessment weighting: Exam 70% / Coursework 30% (1 essay). All coursework is resubmittable.

Suggested reading

  • Perkins, D.,  Radelet, S., Lindauer, D. and Block, S. (2013), Economics of Development, seventh edition, International Student Edition, Norton


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules