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GLB5320 Development Economics: Home

Course Description

Analyzing major economic questions relevant to less developed economies, this course aims to use economic analysis to further the students’ understandings of the obstacles to development in developing countries and discusses appropriate policies that can be adopted to overcome these obstacles. Issues resulting from unsustainable development such as unbalanced growth, inequality, poverty, human capital shortage, rural stagnation, trade imbalance, dependence on foreign aid and investment, and degenerating environment will be discussed by using examples from Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Recommended Books

Poverty and Development into the 21st Century

This book is arranged in five parts. The first part introduces the concepts of poverty and development. The second part presents the idea of “a world of problems”, including hunger and famine, diseases, unemployment, population, environmental degradation and war. The third part analyses the historical development of capitalism and the history of development. The fourth part explains further some current issues and concepts useful for understanding development, including globalization, democratization and good governance, technology, gender relations, urbanization, and wider aspects of culture. The fifth part concentrates on how to understand the issues that may dominate development in the early decades of the 21st century, including genetic engineering, ethnicity, industrialization, etc.

Does Aid Work? Report to an Intergovernmental Task Force

This study was commissioned by a task force of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The introductory chapter reviews the nature of foreign aid. The book then moves to analyze the effect of aid on economic performance, its relief of poverty, and the policy dialogue between donors and recipients. The book also presents a performance evaluation of both project and program aid, examines issues of technical cooperation and aid coordination, and analyzes the relationship between aid and market forces. The book ends with a comparison of the experience of multilateral and bilateral assistance, as well as recommendations.

Development Economics: From the Poverty to the Wealth of Nations

The book begins with establishing a theoretical framework that involves the interrelationship between the economy and culture-institutional entity. The book then presents the current status and growth potential of developing economies by means of highly condensed international comparative statistics, analyzes the effects of explosive population growth and resulting relative scarcity in natural resources, examines the roles of capital accumulation and technological progress in industrial development and the problems of inequality, poverty, and environmental degradation, and discusses what kind of institutional set-up would be appropriate for promoting economic development. The book concludes that developing economies must each develop effective economic systems suitable to their unique cultural and social traditions.

Money and Capital in Economic Development

McKinnon ascribes the retardation of the economic development to the extraordinary distortions commonly found in the domestic capital markets of developing countries. McKinnon examines the behavioral consequences of entrepreneurs who are forced to expand business through self-financing, explores the results of the "intervention syndrome" which characterizes the solutions applied by most less developed countries, shows that monetary assets are complements to real assets in private people's portfolios in fragmented economies, presents a model illustrating the effect that an optimum quantity of real cash balances will have on the equilibrium growth rate, and discusses fiscal, foreign trade, exchange rates, and foreign indebtedness policies to successfully liberalize the functioning of capital markets.

Development as Freedom

This book is a general work on development and the practical reasons underlying it, aimed particularly at public discussion. This book argues that expansion of freedom is both the primary end and the principal means of development, and that the removal of substantial unfreedoms is constitutive of development. It concentrates particularly on the roles and interconnections between certain crucial instrumental freedoms, including economic opportunities, political freedoms, social facilities, transparency guarantees, and protective security- Freedoms of different kinds can strengthen one another. Topics covered in this book include justice, poverty, markets, states, social opportunity, democracy, famines, gender, population, food, culture, human rights, etc.

The Wealth of Nations

Adam Smith develops his theory of economics, politics, and morality. Smith argues that it does not actually matter if societies are mainly driven by self-interest, since the overall effect is good. The ‘invisible hand’ of the free market makes sure that individuals acting to their own highest benefit end up elevating the whole. Smith believes that how wealthy a country becomes depends more than anything on the organization of its labor force. In Smith’s view, a nation grows rich by way of saving and trade, and looting, wars, and luxuries are dispensed. Smith also assumes that people should be free to follow their economic interests with minimum government interference.

The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Litter Good

This book explores the issue why previous efforts to development assistance repeatedly gained poor fruits. Easterly believes in the positive role of Western assistance in alleviating world poverty. He divides the public policy discourse into two camps – the searchers and the planners – and he shows the relevant merits of the searches in eradicating social ills and the futility of planners to achieve their ambitious goals. Evidence in the book is drawn from not only the plight of underdeveloped countries in Africa, but also the efforts to build a market society in East and Central Europe since 1989. Easterly concludes with ideas for progress against poverty in the developing world.

Recommended Databases