SemesterSpring Semester, 2021
DepartmentInternational Master's Program in International Studies, First Year International Master's Program in International Studies, Second Year
Course NameDevelopment Economics: An International Perspective
Course TypeElective
Course Objective
Course Description
Course Schedule

Week 1

Introduction of the Course & Major Themes of Int’l Political Economy

  1. Todaro & Smith, Chapter 1


Week 2  

Economic Development & Comparative Economic Development  

  1. Todaro & Smith, Chapters 1~2.

  2. Banerjee, A.V. and Duflo, E. (2007). The Economic Lives of the Poor. The Journal of Economic Perspectives. 21(1):141–167

  3. Sachs, Jeffrey. 2007. “Breaking the Poverty Trap” Scientific American, August 17, 2007 (

  4. William Easterly. 2014. “Celebrity Musicians Can’t Feed the World” Slate. April 29, 2014 ( )


Week 3    

Classic Theories of Economic Growth and Development

  1. Todaro & Smith, Chapter 3

  2. Krugman, Paul, “The Myth of Asia’s Miracle,” Foreign Affairs, 73(6): 62-78.


Week 4

Contemporary Models of Development and Underdevelopment

  1. Todaro & Smith, Chapter 4.


 Week 5   

Poverty, Inequality, and Development

  1. Todaro & Smith, Chapter 5


Week 6

 Population Growth and Economic Development 

  1. Todaro & Smith, Chapter 6


Week 7

Urbanization and Rural-Urban Migration

  1. Todaro & Smith, Chapter 7


Week  8   

Human Capital: Education and Health in Economic Development

  1. Todaro & Smith, Chapter 8


Week 9

Agricultural Transformation and Rural Development  

  1. Todaro & Smith, Chapter 9.


Week 10

The Environment and Development  

  1. Todaro & Smith, Chapter 10.


Week 11

Development Policymaking and the Roles of Market, State, and Civil Society

  1. Todaro & Smith, Chapter 11


 Week 12

International Trade Theory and Development Strategy

  1. Todaro & Smith, Chapter 12


Week 13

Balance of Payments, Debt, Financial Crises, and Stabilization Policies

  1. Todaro & Smith, Chapter 13


Week 14

 Foreign Finance, Investment, Aid, and Conflict

  1. Todaro & Smith, Chapter 14


Week 15

 Finance and Fiscal Policy for Development

  1. Todaro & Smith, Chapter 15.


Week 16

Research Paper Presentation I


Week 17

Research Paper Presentation II


Week  18

Research Paper Presentation III



Teaching Methods
Teaching Assistant

Response Papers (30%)

       Each student needs to write THREE response papers (within 2 pages, single-spaced). Each paper should be distributed to all members. Other participants are expected to read response papers prior to the class.

       These are analytical response papers, analyzing and discussing the assigned readings for a particular week. These papers should include a short summary of the readings (i.e. two-three sections) and a major portion of critical analysis. A successful response paper should focus on the strengths and weaknesses of the readings, possible intersections among the readings, and potential theoretical issues or practical policy questions for the future research. Each week should have at least two students writing a response paper. Students cannot write a response paper in the same week when he or she is a discussion leader.


Group Discussion & Discussion Leader (30%)

        Students will be divided into groups. Each group will play as a discussion leader at least once during the semester.

  1. Discussion Leader

The chief responsibility of the discussion leader includes:

1. To conduct an oral PowerPoint presentation on the assigned readings.

2. To lead and stimulate discussion on the designated subject and to provide critiques on other students’ response papers.

3. To raise one theoretical question, one policy questions, and one empirical case related to the designated subject, in order to generate more in-depth intellectual deliberation on the subject. 

The total time for the former two items should not be more than twenty minutes. For the rest of the time, the discussion leader should fully focus on the discussion of the three questions, or any questions of classmates. The professor will assist the discussion leader to direct the discussion and provide additional explanations and analyses.

  1. The Groups Not Being Discussion Leader

For those groups not being the discussion leader, their task in each week is as follows:

1. To find ONE most appropriate case study (i.e. a specific country) related to the designated subject and explain why this case study suits this subject.

2. To provide a short explanation and analysis about what kind of development issue this country faces.

3. To provide your policy prescriptions for this development issue.

       The above shall be written within ONE page (single space) of the Profile of Case Study, with three sections, respectively: Introduction; Analysis; and Policy Prescriptions. It is better to be written with a succinct style with a numerated bullet point format.


Final Research Paper (30%):

        Students shall write a paper during the course of the semester. There are two options for students to choose. The first one is book review. Students can choose one book that is related to the course and write a critical review paper. The chosen book must be approved by instructor in advance. Students shall not choose any book published earlier than the year of 2000.

The second option is to write a research paper. The topic should be policy-oriented and related to the topics covered in this course. Students are expected to focus on one specific issue and to conduct relevant information collection, comparison, and analysis. The topic of paper shall also be approved by the instructor before writing. Both kinds of paper shall not be longer than 5,000 words or 8 pages (using 12 point Times New Roman and one-half spaced). Students need to discuss with the instructor before the 10th week of semester to decide the topic of paper. The final research paper shall be printed out and handed to the instructor by the end of semester January 5, 2021.


Class Participation and Discussion (10%):

        Students are expected to actively participate in class discussion. Students should provide their arguments (a logical and organized statement, not personal feeling or opinion), questions, or objections related to the topic of the week during the class discussion. The class discussion is designed to make students feel comfortable to speak freely, in order to enhance the understanding of the readings and to inspire further interests in the covered issues.

        Student are expected to be fully engaged in class discussion every time. Students’ performances in the class will be evaluated by both quality and quantity in terms of their contributions to the class discussion. Students are allowed to take three leaves with justified reason. Students who fail to attend class more than three times without justifiable reason would be given zero in this item.   


Textbook & Reference

Todaro, Michael P. & Stephen C. Smith, 2015. Economic Development, Essex: Pearson Education Limited. 12th Edition. 338.90091724 T565E12

*The content and arrangement of syllabus is subject to be adjusted and updated by the instructor’s discretion.

* Additional readings will be added in the following weeks.

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