Home » Faculty and Staff » Babu N.S. Dasari » Economic Development

Economic Development

Department of Economics
Course Syllabus: EC 339/90 Online
Economic  Development ~ Fall 2012

Instructor: Babu Dasari
Office Hours: Tu. Th. 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM (Armitage Hall – 317)
Email: babu.dasari@rutgers.edu

(Email contact is strongly preferred; you must use your Rutgers email, and always mention course number in your email. During the week, I will normally respond within 36 hours. If I have not responded within 48 hours, please send a follow-up email) 

Course Description

This course will take you through an exciting journey that will acquaint you with the forces that influence economic development and growth. Theories of economic development are studied in the context of rich empirical works conducted by international agencies like World Bank and United Nations, and academicians on developing / underdeveloped countries. As a part of curriculum, we will begin by exploring the concept of development, and go through various components of development that economists typically study, including economic growth, income inequality, poverty, population, Urbanization, Migration, Education, health and nutrition. Next, the focus will be set on issues pertaining to agricultural transformation and rural development, and environment and development. Finally, we focus our attention on development policymaking, and the roles of market, state and civil society to achieve desirable goals and objectives.

Teaching Methods

Discussion forums; PowerPoint Slides;  Case Studies; Streaming Videos; Internet Resources;

Course Objectives

  • To learn the basic concepts and theories in development economics
  • To apply the economic concepts and theories to the situation of the developing countries and their relations with developed nations
  • To conduct independent research on the problems and policies of economic development


220:102 or 105 or 106 or permission of instructor


Michael P. Todaro and Stephen C. Smith, Economic Development, Addison-Wesley, 11th edition, 2012.

Learning Outcomes and Assessment

Learning outcomes can be separated into three significant areas:

  1. A thorough understanding of principles and concepts relating to economic development
  • Meaning and different approaches to development, and its objectives
  • Millennium Development goals
  • Basic indicators of development and towards measuring development via Human Development Index and New Human Development Index
  • Characteristics of developing world in terms of low levels of living, productivity and human capital; higher levels of inequality and absolute poverty, higher population growth rates; adverse geography and underdeveloped markets.
  1. A critical examination of problems and policies of the developing world is dealt under the following heads
  • Poverty, Inequality and Development
  • Population Growth and Economic Development: Causes, Consequences, and Controversies
  • Human Capital: Education and health in economic development
  • Agricultural Transformation and Rural Development
  • Environment and Development
  • Development Policy Making and the Roles of Market, State, and Civil Society
  • Foreign Finance, Investment, and Aid: Controversies and Opportunities
  1. In the light of the above, writing a paper on a country in the context of development, and a research paper on some specific problem that is relevant with a developing country.

You will have several opportunities to demonstrate your competence in this course. You will be tested through Discussion Forums, Assignments, Country study and Research Paper. Discussion forums allow a more in depth exchange of ideas on some of the case studies presented at the end of each chapter and some videos on development issues taken from various sources. Assignments constitute essay questions on the material taught in the textbook.

Country Study: You choose a developing country to study. You must use the information presented in the textbook and The World Factbook to write about the country. The written report should be in the form of a 10-15 page double spaced typed paper. The write-up must cover geography, history, demography, and economy of the country. You conclude the write-up by discussing the impediments and prospects of development in this country.  

Research Paper: Each student will choose a development topic to research. Topics should include materials presented in the course applied to a country. Your task is  to submit a written report of your research in the form of a 10-15 page double spaced typed paper. Examples of paper topics include:

  • Women and Poverty: The Experience of Jamaica
  • Privatization and Economic Growth in Mexico
  • Income Distribution and Economic Development in Saudi Arabia
  • Population Growth and Economic Development : India vs. China
  • Environmental Decay and Economic Development: The Experience of Brazil
  • AIDS and Development in South Africa
  • Military Conflict and Economic Development: The experience of Israel
  • The form of Government and Economic Development: The case of Iran
  • Does War Hinder Economic Development? The Case of Iraq
  • Poverty and Development: Bangladesh vs. India
  • Transition to Capitalism: The Experience of Poland

Grade Components and Final Grade Calculation

Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

Assessment Component

Weight in  percent

Discussion Forums (6)

Assignments (3)

Country Study (1)

Research Paper (1)



15 %

25 %

There will be no extra credit projects, and no curving of grades.

Final Grade Rubric








   B +


90 – 100

85 – 89.99

80 – 84.99

    C +



75 – 79.99

70 – 74.99

60 – 69.99


0 – 59.99

Course Policies

Missed Examinations and / Assignments   

There will be no make-up tests! If you miss a test, the test will be scored as a “zero”. Late submission of country paper and research paper will not be accepted

Academic Violations

I follow a policy of zero tolerance for violations of standards of academic conduct. Please refer to the following document on Rutgers Academic Integrity Policy


Disability Statement

This course is open to all students who meet the academic requirements for participation. Any student who has a need for accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss the specific situation as soon as possible.  Information about requesting accommodations can be found at:


Important Dates:

Fall Semester Begins:

Tuesday, September 4th


Sept. 4th – Sept. 12th (refer to academic Calendar 2012-2013)

Thanksgiving Recess:

Thursday November 22nd to Sunday, November 25th


Sept. 11 – Oct 16 (refer to academic Calendar 2012-13)

Classes End:

Wednesday, December 12th

Reading Period:

Final Exam Period:

December 13th

Friday, December 14th – Friday, December 21st



Subject – Topic

Reading: Textbook (mandatory) and Supplementary (optional)

Assignments Due

Week 1

(Sep. 4 – Sep.9)

Introducing Economic Development

Textbook: Todaro (2012), Chapter 1


  1. Sen, A. (1992). “The Concept of Development” in H. Chenery and T.N. Srinivasan, Handbook of Development Economics, Volume 1, North-Holland, pp. 10-24.
  2. UN Millennium Project (2005) Investing in Development:  A Practical Plan to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Chapters 1-3 available at http://www.unmillenniumproject.org/reports/fullreport.htm.


Week 2

(Sep. 10–Sep. 16)

Comparative Economic Development

Textbook: Todaro, Chapter 2


Discussion Forum 1 on Comparative Economic Development- Pakistan and Bangladesh: Case Study 2 from textbook (pp.94 to 98)

Week 3


Comparative Economic Development (contd.) and Profiles of Development by Region

Textbook: Todaro (2012), Chapter 2

Essential Reading:

  1. Collier, P. and Gunning, J.W. (1999) “Why Has Africa Grown Slowly?”, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 13, pp. 3-22.  
  2. Ocampo, J. A. (2004) “Latin America’s Growth and Equity Frustrations during Structural Reforms,” Journal of Economic Perspectives, 18 No. 2, pp. 67-88. Chang,
  3. H. J. (2003).  “The East Asian Development Experience,” in Chang, H.J. (ed)  Rethinking Development Economics, London:  Anthem Press.
  4. Sen, A. (2008) “Perspectives on the Economic Development of India and China” in Secondi,  The Development Economics Reader,  London: Routledge.


Assignment 1 due on Sunday midnight

Week 4


Poverty, Inequality and Development

Textbook: Todaro (2012), Chapter 5


  1. Milanovic, B. (2006), “Global Income Inequality:  What it is and Why it Matters,” WPS3865, Washington, DC:  World Bank.
  2. Seguino, S. (2000) “Gender Inequality and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Analysis” in World Development Special Issue on Growth, Trade, Finance, and Gender Inequality 28(7): 1211-1230.   

Discussion Forum 2 on video: How economic inequalities harming societies by Richard Wilkinson

Week 5

(Oct.1 –Oct.7)

Poverty, Inequality and Development (cont.)

 Textbook: Todaro (2012), Chapter 5


  1. Milanovic, B. (2006), “Global Income Inequality:  What it is and Why it Matters,” WPS3865, Washington, DC:  World Bank.
  2. Seguino, S. (2000) “Gender Inequality and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Analysis” in World Development Special Issue on Growth, Trade, Finance, and Gender Inequality 28(7): 1211-1230


Week 6


Population and Development

Textbook: Todaro (2012), Chapter 6


  1. Acharya, Keya. (2001), “Sterilisation in India,” Contemporary Review, 279: 26.
  2. McElroy,Marjorie, and Dennis Tao Yang, (2000), “Carrots and sticks: Fertility effects of China’s population policies,” American Economic Review, 90: 389-392
  3. Sen, Amartya. (1992), “Missing Women,” British Medical Journal, 304: 587-588

Discussion Forum 3 on Population, Poverty, and Development – China and India: Case Study 6 from textbook (pp. 303-306)

Week 7


Human Capital: Education and Health

Textbook: Todaro (2012), Chapter 8




Assignment 2 due on Sunday midnight

Week 8


Urbanization and Rural-urban Migration

Textbook: Todaro (2012), Chapters 7


  1. WDR 2009: Reshaping Economic Geography
  2. HDR 2009: Human mobility and development


Week 9


Agricultural Transformation and Rural Development

Textbook: Todaro (2012), Chapters 9


  1. WDR 2008: Agriculture for Development

Country Study due on Sunday midnight

Week 10


Environment and Development

Textbook: Todaro (2012), Chapter 10


  1. HDR 2011: Sustainability and equity: A Better Future for All
  2. HDR 2007-08: Fighting Climate Change: Human solidarity in divided world
  3. Hardin., (1965), “The Tragedy of the Commons” Science, 162

Discussion Forum 4 on A World of Contrasts on One Island – Haiti and the Dominican Republic: Case Study 10 from textbook ( pp. 502 – 505)

Week 11


Development Policy Making: Market, State and Civil Society

Textbook: Todaro (2012), Chapter 11

Discussion Forum 5 on video: Social Experiments to fight poverty by Ester Duflo

Week 12


Development Policy Making: Market, State and Civil Society cont.

Textbook: Todaro (2012), Chapter 11


  1. http://www.brac.net
  2. Smillie, Ian. (2009), “Freedom from Want: The Remarkable  Success Story of BRAC, the Global Grassroots Organization That’s Winning the Fight against Poverty,” Bloomfield, Kumarian Press

Discussion Forum 6 on The Role of Development NGOs – the BRAC Model: Case Study 11 from textbook (pp. 552 -555)

Week 13


Foreign Aid and Development

Textbook: Todaro (2012), Chapter 14


  1. Easterly, W. (2006) “Planners versus Searchers in Foreign Aid,” Asian Development Review, Vol. 23, pp. 1-35.
  2. Radelet, S. (2006) “A Primer on Foreign Aid.” Center for Global Development, Working Paper No. 92. Available from www.cgdev.org. 
  3. Reddy, S. and C. Minoiu (2006) “Development Aid and Economic Growth,” Mimeo, Columbia University.
  4. Burnside, C. and D. Dollar (2000) “Aid, Policies, and Growth.” American Economic Review, 90(4): 847–68.

Assignment 3 due on Sunday midnight

Week 14


Research Paper – (Topic Selection and First Draft)

Research Paper Draft due on Sunday Midnight

Week 15


Research Paper – Final Version

Final Version of Research Paper due on Sunday Midnight

  • Supplementary reading is optional