Microeconomics of Development

lbrai2210  2022-2023  Louvain-la-Neuve

Microeconomics of Development
3.00 credits
30.0 h
Basic optimization, micro-economics, introduction to game theory, basic statistics (notion of random variable)
Main themes
This course offers an introduction to selected topics in development economics. The aim is to analyze the major constraints impeding the economic development of rural areas in developing countries, namely a lack of access to credit, poor educational attainments, difficult access to land, water and technology.
Learning outcomes

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 a. Contribution de l'activité au référentiel AA (AA du programme)
1.1-1.5, 2.1-2.5 game theory, micro-economics
3.2-3.3 matching real situations with archetypal problems
3.4 solving mathematical models (game theory)
3.6-3.8 interpreting the results of abstract models
4.1-4.2 identifying typical problems in complex situations
4.4-4.7 drawing lessons from abstract models for complex, real situations
7.1-7.5 development policy in a context of poverty and inequality
b. Formulation spécifique pour cette activité des AA du programme
At the end of the course, students will be able :
- to understand some important constraints impeding economic development in rural areas.
- to highlight contextual and institutional elements that potentially lead to credit market imperfections, poor educational attainments, difficult access to land, water and technology,
- to explain the intuitions behind the economic models explored during the lectures and show his/her understanding of the related technical material,
- to show critical reasoning abilities in general.
Introductory part, presented by the teacher :
  1. Labor and land market imperfection : an introduction.
  2. Credit market imperfection : an introduction.
Students pick up a series of articles that they will read and present themselves in close association with the teacher. The assistance must subsequently raise two relevant questions on each presentation ; these are answered the next week.
The set of articles in which the students choose covers the following topics :
  1. Labour market imperfections, migration (brain drain, remittances,...), health.
  2. Capital market imperfections, micro-finance, informal insurance and savings, index-based insurance
  3. Education : family decisions, child labor, educational performances
  4. Land transactions, land tenure regimes and their impact on farm productivity
  5. Family economics, inheritances, dowries
  6. Foreign aid and participatory development
Teaching methods
Articles to be read, classes taught in association by students and the teacher, homeworks
Evaluation methods
Homeworks (student talks, critical questions, answers)
Other information
Before starting the course, the students are expected to be familiar with the basic concepts of statistics, such as a random variable, and of microeconomics, such as a utility function. In terms of mathematics, derivatives and simple optimization techniques are used.
Scientific articles will be available for readings, which are aimed at allowing a deep understanding of the course but those readings are not compulsory.
Online resources
The list of articles in which students choose is constantly evolving.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Learning outcomes
Master [120] in Environmental Science and Management

Interdisciplinary Advanced Master in Science and Management of the Environment and Sustainable Development

Master [120] in Agriculture and Bio-industries

Master [120] in Agricultural Bioengineering