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2011Econ326syllabus(7) - Version November 8 2011 Econ 326...

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Version: November 8, 2011 Econ 326: Economics of Developing Countries Fall Quarter 2011 Instructor: Prof. Seema Jayachandran ([email protected]) Lectures: Tuesday and Thursday, 12:30 to 1:50 pm, Frances Searle Building 1441 Office hours: Tuesday, 3:00 to 5:00 pm, Andersen Hall 307 Teaching asst: Bridget Hoffmann ([email protected]) Sections: Friday, tentatively 10:00 am or 11:00 am, location TBD TA office hours: Monday, 1:00 to 3:00 pm, Andersen Hall 328 Course objectives The aim of this course is to better understand why some countries are poor and how their level of devel- opment can be improved. The emphasis will be on microeconomic issues rather than macroeconomics and growth. The questions we will investigate include: Why don’t individuals in poor countries invest more in health and education? Why do financial markets as well as other markets often function inefficiently in poor countries? To what extent are informal institutions able to fill this gap? What types of public policy can be used to spur economic development? Another important objective is to learn how to use both the theoretical and empirical tools of economics to investigate applied, policy-oriented questions such as those above. Therefore, econometric techniques and theoretical models will feature prominently in the course. Prerequisites The prerequisites are Econ 281, 310-1, 310-2 and 311-1. The readings and lectures will draw upon a fair amount of econometrics and economic theory. You probably will not enjoy the class very much if you are not comfortable with technical material. On the flip side, by the end of the quarter you hopefully will have a solid microeconomic framework within which to analyze important issues in development. Textbook, online readings, and software The main textbook is Development Economics by Debraj Ray. The second text is Poor Economics by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo. You may find it helpful to read Poor Economics from cover to cover at the beginning of the quarter (it’s written for a general audience), though I assigned relevant chapters throughout the quarter. These books are available at the bookstore. The reading list also includes academic journal articles, policy reports, etc., and in lieu of a photocopied course reader, electronic copies of these readings are available through the course website or the library’s electronic journals. The problem sets will ask you to use Stata, a statistical software package. Student versions at a discounted rate are available through the Stata “Grad Plan” . You will need “Intercooled Stata” rather than “Small Stata.” Stata is also available at several computer clusters on campus. 1
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Version: November 8, 2011 Requirements Readings . The first requirement is to do the starred readings for each class meeting which are listed below in the “Schedule” section. While I cannot directly enforce this requirement, the problem sets and exams will assume knowledge of the readings. You’ll also understand lectures better if you have done the reading. The unstarred readings are optional.
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2011Econ326syllabus(7) - Version November 8 2011 Econ 326...

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