cod. 1007136

Academic year 2017/18
2° year of course - First semester
Academic discipline
Economia politica (SECS-P/01)
A scelta dello studente
Type of training activity
Student's choice
30 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

a)Knowledge and understanding of: the functioning of markets in developing countries; externalities, increasing returns, coordination failures, and development policies; poverty, inequality, and population growth form normative, positive, and functional point of view; rural and urban structural interaction; globalization and gains from trade, trade policy for developing countries and the role of international institutions.
b) Ability to apply knowledge in order to: understand theoretical models, abstracting from a complex problem the main variables and analysing their interactions; read and understand empirical evidences emerging from tables, charts, and advanced statistic tools.
c)Ability to integrate knowledge and handle complexity, and formulate judgements in order to: understand the stage of economic and social development for a country and its relative performance; understand the effects of economic policies, and analysing sectoral dynamics from a functional point of view in an increasingly internationally open economic and social background.
d) Students will have the ability to address and support their arguments to economic agents as well as to non-specialist audiences, using a proper technical language, and making use of the experience gained by explaining data and analysing empirical evidence.
e) By means of the analysis of case studies through a logical problem solving, students will learn to understand and solve in a largely self-directed manner.


Basic macroeconomics and microeconomics.

Course unit content

This course explores some of the major topics in development economics, looking at both empirical and theoretical points of view. It begins by defining the concepts and measurement of development, then proceeds with a more detailed exploration of inequality, poverty, and population growth, pointing out their interconnections with economic development, and the possibility of uneven growth paths. To this end, in order to understand the structural transformation that accompanies the development process, rural-urban interaction and migration are explicitly introduced. It also looks at the markets and institutions that influence the lives of people in developing countries, stressing the role of market failures and their interrelations. Furthermore, it goes back to aggregate analysis, dealing with the role of initial conditions for development. The course focuses on history versus expectations, analyzing the role of complementarities and increasing returns. Finally, it provides an analysis of the key issues concerning globalization, by pointing out gains from trade, trade policy for developing countries, and their feedback on development and inequality.

Full programme

Syllabus: Selected topics from the following chapters of the textbook:
Chapter 2: Economic Development.
Chapter 5: History, Expectations, and Development.
Chapter 6: Economic Inequality.
Chapter 7: Inequality and Development: Interconnections.
Chapter 8: Poverty and Undernutrition.
Chapter 9: Population Growth and Economic Development.
Chapter 10: Rural and Urban.
Chapter 11: Markets in Agriculture: an Introduction.
Chapter 12: Land.
Chapter 13: Labor.
Chapter 14: Credit.
Chapter 15: Insurance.
Chapter 16: International trade.
Chapter 17: Trade policy.
Please note that the detailed syllabus will be available on Elly (enrollment on line on Elly is needed to download the detailed syllabus).


A selection of chapters from Debraj Ray, Development Economics, 1998, Princeton University Press.

Teaching methods

Lectures, examples and case studies.
The course slides will not be available. However, a few of them will be loaded weekly on the Elly plattform. Please note that these slides will be considered an integral part of the Syllabus only for attending students, as will be explained during lectures.
(Enrollment on line on Elly is needed to download these slides).

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam is written. Knowledge and understanding, the ability to study and to think strict and clearly about a subject, will be assessed through two open-ended questions dealing with theoretical or empirical topics in broad terms, for up to 20 marks.
The application of knowledge and understanding through a logical problem solving, will be assessed through one open-ended question concerning an in-depth case study for up to 10 marks.
The final vote (on the scale of thirty) corresponds to the sum of the two previuos scores.
Overall time limit of the exam: 90 minutes.
No additional material is needed to take the exam except for a ballpoint pen.
Exam results will be available no later than one week and will be automatically sent via e-mail at the institutional e-mail address of the student. On-line registration is needed.
Please note that since the syllabus is slightly different for attending students, exam questions may also be different for those attendant. However, there is no difference in the way in which learning could be verified and in the form of the exam.
Moreover, only attending students are allowed to take a mid-term exam (when explicitly foreseen in the academic calendar). This optional choice to split the overall syllabus in two parts will be presented at the beginning of the course.

Other information

Please note that the detailed syllabus will be available on Elly. It describes in details the pages, tables and charts, and case studies to be studied in the textbook. Not attending students will only have to rely on it to prepare for the exam.
The syllabus for attending students will be slightly different, as will be explained during lectures.
Please note that to attest attendancy a time-randomly raising of signatures would be collected in classroom.
Please check professor's webpage for updates on dates of exams, office hours and so on.
Students enrolling in the master degree 'Relazioni Internazionali ed Europee' who wish to borrow the course as an optional exam are asked to contact the Lecturer for information on the reduced syllabus (6 cfu) at