UCL Department of Economics


ECONG056 - Applied Development Economics, Interdisciplinarity and Methodology

This course will not run in 2017/18

Course outline:

In this course – Applied Development Economics, Interdisciplinarity and Methodology – topics are presented and interactively discussed, with applied and concrete policy examples from around the ‘developing world’. The course takes an interdisciplinary focus and also critically discusses quantitative and qualitative research methods. Topics covered range from measuring development and human wellbeing; analysis of child labour and education policies; the role of institutions, state capacity and delivering public services; designing, implementing and evaluating policy – and the related methodological constraints; assessing impact with RCTs, the limits of this research method and the causality debate; behavioural foundations and development policy design; ethics and development policy analysis; the interdisciplinarity of development economics and policy.


Students will:

  • Understand different methods to measure development and poverty, and their advantages and disadvantages;
  • Be familiar with the inter-linkages between poverty, inequality, and development, their potential constraints and enablers, and public policies aimed at addressing these;
  • Analyse policy challenges through several policy applications/case studies;
  • Understand the policy cycle from problem diagnosis, and development policy design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, to policy reform;
  • Understand common gaps and linkages between applied research and public policy: political economy considerations and the politics of policymaking;
  • Be familiar with the constraints and biases facing common research methods and with cross-disciplinary analysis (as global challenges cannot be well understood from any single discipline);
  • Gain understanding in evidence-based policymaking, with a focus on microeconomics of development.
    Taught by:
    module not offered in 2017-18
    Assessment: 2 hours of lectures per week and 5 problem classes with written assignments. The course will be examined by a 2-hour written exam in Term 3.
    Suitable for:
    Graduate students
    Moodle page: