• Offered by International and Development Economics Program
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject International and Developmental Economics
  • Areas of interest Economics
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Ligang Song
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2016
    See Future Offerings

Understanding the microeconomic fundamentals of development problems lies at the heart of an effective development policy design. The goal of this course is to both understand the microeconomics of incentives and institutions underlying key development issues and the tools researchers and policy-makers use to study these issues and to design related policy interventions. It focuses on both theoretical interpretation and empirical estimation of microeconomic models of individual, household, farm, market and non-market institutions that relate to a range of issues attracting both research and policy attention in the field. For each development issue, we will discuss some theoretical and empirical backgrounds of the institutional settings and incentives, and will discuss some concrete policy interventions taken from recent empirical studies around the world. The course is designed for students with at least advanced undergraduate-level training in microeconomics and econometrics and an interest in advanced study and policy-oriented research in microeconomics of development.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On completion of the course, students will: 

  1. Be familiar with some of the key micro-level development issues, their related institutions and incentives
  2. Understand the microeconomic foundations and estimation techniques used to study these issues
  3. Be able to apply these theoretical and empirical techniques to constructively design and analyse related policy interventions for the current or other development issues.

Other Information

Course outline

Week 1:   Measures and empirics of economic development

Week 2:   Research methods in development microeconomics

Week 3:   Poverty traps, vulnerability and welfare dynamics

Week 4:   Labour productivity and market

Week 5:   Education

Week 6:   Health and nutrition

Week 7:   Intra-household resource allocation

Week 8:   Land and property right

Week 9:   Risks, saving and insurance

Week 10: Credit

Week 11: Agricultural productivity and technological diffusion

Week 12: Interlinked Agrarian contracts

Week 13: Environmental Externalities

Indicative Assessment

In-class presentation (10%) [all outcomes], Constructive policy briefs (20%) [outcome 3], Research assignment (30%) [outcome 2], Final examination (40%) [outcomes 1 & 2].

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


One two-hour lecture per week.

Prescribed Texts

The primary textbook for this course is

Development Economics. D. Ray. Princeton University Press (1998)

This book, however, will not provide full reference of the material covered in this course. The course material will also draw on the following three books supplemented by journal articles, book chapters, and technical papers on the relevant issues.

Poor Economics: Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty. A. Banerjee and E. Duflo. PublicAffairs (2011)

Portfolios of the Poor: How the World's Poor Live on $2 a Day. D. Collins, J. Morduch, S. Rutherford, and O. Ruthven. Princeton University Press (2009).

Understanding Poverty. A. Banerjee, R. Benabou and D. Mookherjee, editors. Oxford University Press (2006).


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $3660
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $4878
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8779 18 Jul 2016 29 Jul 2016 31 Aug 2016 28 Oct 2016 In Person N/A

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