Course code ECN253

ECN253 Economics of Development and Poverty

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2022 - 2023 .

Course responsible: Arild Einar Bjørn Angelsen
Teachers: Julia Del Carmen Naime Sanchez Henkel
ECTS credits: 5
Faculty: School of Economics and Business
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Spring parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Spring parallel.
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2022-2023
Course contents:

Development economics is the study of how national economies achieve development and reduce poverty, hunger and illiteracy. In this introductory course, we will address questions such as: Why do some countries make rapid progress while many others remain poor? What are the causes of extreme poverty? What policies have been most effective in improving the lives of the poor? How do economic institutions and natural resources shape the prospects of sustainable development?

The course will be structured in three parts: (i) major economic development theories, concepts and indicators, (ii) domestic policies and the structure of national economies, (iii) economic development within a global context: International and sustainability dimensions.

Learning outcome:

Knowledge goals:

  • Knowledge about major theories and concepts used in development economics.
  • A critical understanding of key questions and debates on growth and poverty in developing countries.
  • Knowledge about the role of institutions, international cooperation and trade in economic growth and development.

Skills goals:

  • Able to understand and critically evaluate current debates on economic development and growth.
  • Able to write about and critically discuss a selected topic on economic development and poverty.
  • Able to orally present and discuss a topic in economic development.
Learning activities:
A combination of lectures and class discussions based on the required readings. A textbook to be selected will provide the reading for most classes.
A textbook in Development Economics to be selected.
Recommended prerequisites:
It is recommended that students have some basic training in economics, for example, introductory courses in microeconomics (ECN110) and macroeconomics (ECN120/ECN122) or general economics (ECN100/ECN101). Motivated students with a limited formal economics background will be guided on how to obtain the needed basic understanding of economics concepts and reasoning.
Mandatory activity:
Compulsory 80% attendance of classes and exercises

A combined assessment consisting of:

  • One multiple-choice exam at the end of the course (40%).
  • One individual essay (approx. 2000 words) on a chosen topic, approved by the course responsible (40%).
  • One short essay (approx. 600 words), critically discussing the class presentation and essay of a fellow student (20%).  
Nominal workload:
125 hours
Entrance requirements:
Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse)
Type of course:
11 lectures (2 hours each, one per week) + student presentations.
The course is in English. Incoming students can contact student advisors at the School of Economics and Business ( for admission to the course. 
An external examiner will control the quality of the syllabus, questions for the final examination, and principles for the assessment of the examination answers.
Allowed examination aids: A1 No calculator, no other aids
Examination details: Combined assessment: Letter grades