Instructor Information Course Information
Anthony Howell, PhD Course Meeting Time: TBA
Office: #322 School of Economics Bldg. Office Hours: By Appt.
Email: Course Website: Piazza Link


This course on development economics is geared towards understanding the economic aspects of the development process in poor regions and countries. Some of the questions we will explore in this class include the following. Why are some places rich and others poor? What can be done to reduce poverty and encourage economic growth? What are the linkages between growth and inequality? In the process of learning about these issues, students will be exposed to important topics that distinguish rich and poor places and the common methods and approaches used to analyze critical development economic issues.


Activity Grade Contribution
Quizzes 15%
Group Debates 10%
Group POGIL Exercises 15%
Proposal 10%
Group Final Paper/Presentation 50%

Quizes: Mini-quizzes will be given on occasion to ensure students remain engaged during lectures and group debates.

Group Debates: Each student will be required to sign-up and participate in a debate regarding a relevant current-event selected by the instructor. More information will be provided in class.

POGIL Excercises — Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning: This course is designed to provide students with on-hands training in analyzing and visualizing relevant data using open-source statistical software R and Rstudio. POGIL Exercises will begin as in-class activities led by instructor guidance and may then be extended as homework, if necessary.

Final project: Projects will be done in small groups of 2-3 students. Groups will perform an exploratory analysis of a data set of your choosing, with an emphasis on data visualizations and professional report writing based on skills developed in class. Each group will submit a short report (approx. 10-15 pages), data (if possible), code, and tables/figures.

A note about the Final Project: Projects are one of the most important learning tools of this class. The final project is entirely to the discretion of the group (upon instructor approval). Students are free to explore a problem of their interest and propose their own solution.

Piazza and WeChat Groups

I have created a Piazza for the course. All course resources will be posted to piazza, including the course syllabus, lecture materials, guidelines for group debates, and helpful tutorials for learning R. The WeChat group and the Piazza forum serve as discussion forums for the class in order to facilitate interaction between students and to promote broader participation. Students are expected to conduct themselves with respect by posting comments and replies only in the context of the course. Use the Piazza group to ask general questions about the homework, group debates, and lectures. You can also paste small snippets of code (on Piazza) to clarify an idea. Students are encouraged to answer each others’ questions. Recall that your thoughtful participation in this forum accounts for part of your final grade.

Class Attendance

Class attendance is expected and note taking encouraged. Important information may be communicated only in the lectures. We may also cover additional material (not available in the notes) during the lecture. If you miss a lecture, you should find what material was covered and if any announcement was made. Handouts for each course lecture will be posted on the course website. Quiz questions will be based entirely from lectures.


Excessive tardiness or absences will negatively affect your final grade. Any late work will be subject to a 5% grade reduction for each late day. Plagiarism is not allowed in any form. To avoid distractions, please do not use your cell phones or surf the web during class.


I value students’ opinions regarding my teaching effectiveness and the content, pace and level of difficulty of the course. I will take student feedback in consideration to make this course as exciting and engaging as possible. Thus, I will ask students for feedback through the semester by giving students a short survey on my teaching effectiveness, preferred teaching methods, and pace of the class. You can also leave anonymous feedback in the form of a note in my departmental mail box.

Course Outline

Week Topic Reading Activity
1 Introduction to Development Economics What Development Economics is all About
2 What Works in Development Economics? What’s Been Done So Far?
3 Income Well-Being, Income and Growth POGIL 1
4 Poverty The Changing State of Global Poverty
5 Inequality Causes and Consequences of Global Inequality POGIL 2
6 Human Development 2014 UNDP HDI Report Ch. 2
7 No Class – Ancestors Day No Assigned Readings
8 Group Debates No Assigned Readings Research Proposal
9 Growth The Four I’s of Economic Growth
10 Growth II UN: Macroeconomic stability, inclusive growth and employment POGIL 3
11 No Class – Dragonboat Festival
12 Institutions Institutions and Long-Run Growth, Ch. 1-2
13 Credit Constraints and Innovation Impacts of Microcredit POGIL 4
14 Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies
15 Migration and Development Migration and Development: A Theoretical Perspective
16 Student (PREZI) Presentations No Assigned Readings Final Paper (TBA)