The course program covers basic elements of development economics and the evolution of international cooperation strategies, mostly from the post-war period to the present day.
The program may be summarized as follows: first we present the main stylized facts on economic and human development around the world, with particular emphasis on the ways in which development, poverty, and inequalities can be measured. Then some of the most relevant economic theories that explain the dynamics and the gaps in development among countries will be reviewed. We will study the different facets of economic and human development, distinguishing between proximate determinants of economic growth (e.g. education, health, gender, the family, land relations, etc.) as well as the so-called "deeper" determinants (e.g. informal and formal institutions, geography, technology, epidemics, conflicts, history, as well as unexpected exogenous events).
Then we will look at the role of development policies and international development cooperation and the impact they can have in different institutional contexts, today and in historical perspective.
This second part of the course tries to tackle the main development strategies and policies adopted in the last century and examines them according to their success or failure in enhancing welfare.
The detailed teaching plan is structured as follows:
- Development and Underdevelopment: definitions, measurement, origins, and history;
- Economic growth and development versus human development;
- Growth theories: review of the basic concepts and models:
- Proximate determinants of economic growth;
- Deep determinants of economic growth.
Development policies and strategies:
- Approaches to development policy-making;
- A brief history of development aid and international cooperation;
- Development aid actors and institutions and different types of aid;
- Micro and macro implications of development policies and aid;
- At the frontiers of development policies: the UN 2030 Agenda and SDGs and the current debates and challenges.
Students should be acquainted with the basic concepts of demand, supply, production, prices, allocation of resources, and distribution of income as well as elementary principles of welfare economics.
Students should understand the fundamental laws and concepts of macroeconomic theory (e.g. the determinants of national income and GDP, unemployment rates, and inflation rates) as well as the existing tools of public policy which can be used to promote macroeconomic goals.
Suggested textbooks: N.G. Mankiw, M.C.Taylor, Principi di economia, VII edizione, Zanichelli, 2018 or N.G. Mankiw, L'essenziale di economia, Zanichelli, 2016.
Conventional lectures, flipped classrooms, groupwork and interactive presentations and individual study.
Students will work in small groups and will be asked to present a specific topic chosen from a list provided by the teacher in the initial meetings. Class presentations will be organized as follows: groups will be formed by 3-4 persons who are all required to present a part of the speech; groups are required to present their topic making use of slides which will be graded as well.
Students are expected to actively participate in preparing the selected readings before each class when required.
Materiale di riferimento
Todaro M.P., Smith S.C., 2015. Economic Development, 12th ed., Pearson Education Limited
Chapters for the first part: 1, 2, 5, 6 (escl. 6.4), 8;
Chapters for the second part: 4.7, 5.6, 6.6, 9.6, 11 (pars. 1,2,4,6,7), 12 (pars. 5,6,7), 13 (pars. 1, 5), 14 (pars. 2, 4), 15.3.
Vaggi, G. 2018. Development: the re-balancing of economic powers. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.
Provisional selected readings:
Sen, A. (1988). The concept of development. In Handbook of development economics,1, pp. 9-26.
Acemoglu, D. "Root Causes: A Historical Approach to Assessing the Role of Institutions in Economic Development," Finance and Development, 2003 (June): 27-30.
Rodrik, D. and A. Subramanian. "The Primacy of Institutions," Finance and Development, 2003 (June): 31-34.
Sachs, J. "Institutions Matter but not for Everything." Finance and Development, 2003 (June): 38-41.
Banerjee, A.V., Duflo, E. 2007. The Economic Lives of the Poor. The Journal of Economic Perspectives. 21(1):141-167.
Easterly, W., 2009. Can the West Save Africa? Journal of Economic Literature, Vol. 47, No. 2, pp. 373-447.
World Bank, selected years. World Development Report, especially World Bank 2012. Gender Equality and Development.
A more detailed list of required material will be announced soon.
Teaching materials (slides and notes) and any other additional material will be posted on dedicated webpage for this course.
Modalità di verifica dell’apprendimento e criteri di valutazione
Attending students will be assessed as follows: class presentations and interaction - 40% of the final grade; written final exam - 60% of the final grade.
Non-attending students will be assessed on a written final exam.
The exam consists of a single written test covering the entire program.
The exam questions include a series of true/false questions and open-ended questions. Open ended questions are intended to be review questions in the form of short synthetic essays.
The final mark is expressed in 30 points. Each question is worth a variable number of points depending on the question and will be made explicit on the text. The final mark is given by the sum of the points obtained in the answers.
Class presentations are intended to verify critical thinking skills and the ability to communicate complex concepts focusing on a specific topic of the course.
The written exam is aimed at verifying the students' disciplinary knowledge and interpretative and argumentative skills as well as the reasoning skills based on the theoretical tools presented during the course.
Criteria for evaluation for both class presentations and written in-class exam:
a) knowledge of the topic and relevance of the content requested;
b) argumentative capacity and logical consistency in the conduct of the discussion;
c) clarity and completeness, with particular attention to terminological precision.