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Prof. Nadia Cuffaro

Contact information:

Term: First Semester

Credits (ECTS): 6

Prerequisites: Successful Completion of Economics

Language of Instruction: English

Class hours: 42


Cognitive / Knowledge skills

  • This course aims at giving students an introduction to Development Economics, the branch of economics that deals with the workings of the economy at early or intermediate stages of development
  • Students will develop an understanding of several dimension of development and their measures
  • Basic tools of growth theory will lead to the identification of development constraints/ development policies

Analytical / Critical Thinking Skills

  • Use economic frameworks as tools for the analysis of  development problems
  • Use a wide array of international data basis for cross section analysis of several development issues (such as inequality, poverty, institutions)
  • Develop an ability to participate in class presentations and debate of specific topics (e.g. easy of doing business; role of corruption) and current events  (e.g. “Trump economics” and its implications for development)




Millenium development goals

Income based measures of growth

Human Development Index


Growth Theory: Solow Model; convergence; endogenous growth

Problems of development: environmental issues

Specific topic for in class presentations.


The class will meet for 2 hours (gross of interclass break), twice a week, for a total of 18 sessions. After an introduction aimed at providing the needed background, participants are required to read the materials related to the class and to be prepared prior to coming to class. Classes will consist of a lecture by the instructor, to be followed by a discussion of the main topics. Main points about the materials and all doubts brought up by the students will be addressed by the instructor during the class.



♦Weeks 1-3  Part I (Todaro Textbook) Millenium development goals; Income based measures of growth ; Human Development Index; Inequality

First in class test on: Inequality; HDI.

♦Weeks 4-5  Part II (Todaro textbook and lecture notes)

Growth Theory: Solow Model; convergence; endogenous growth

Second in class test on the Solow model.

♦Weeks 6-7 Part III (lecture notes and Anderson Textbook) The AK model; Problems of development: environmental issues

♦Week- 8-9 Issues of development:  in class presentations; in class exercises for exam preparation.



All students are expected to spend at least 2,5 hours of time on academic studies outside of, and in addition to, each hour of class time.



The instructor will use forms of assessment to calculate the final grade you receive for this course. For the record, these are listed and weighted below. The content, criteria and specific requirements for each assessment category will be explained in greater detail in class.




Class Participation  


Research Presentation


Written test on each of the three parts (students must score at least 18/30 on each part to pass). Two tests during course. Third at final exam



Class Participation:  This grade will be calculated to reflect your participation in class discussions, your capacity to introduce ideas and thoughts dealing with the texts, your ability use language effectively, and to present your analysis in intellectual, constructive argumentation. If you cannot attend classes your participation can be shown by interacting with your instructor during office hours, i.e. by asking about specific subjects of the syllabus and discussing assignments

Research Presentation: All the students will develop a short presentation on the results of their individual research.

Three in class written tests, each on a part of program, each 25% of  final mark .

At final exam there will be three parts. Students who pass the two previous tests will take only part three. Other students will take also the parts which they did not pass previously.



Attendance and Classroom behavior: Although attendance is not compulsory, it is highly recommended. All students must have a respectful attitude towards the professor as well as the classmates.

Arriving late / departing early from Class: Once they have decided to attend, students must behave consistently. Arriving late or leaving class early is disruptive and shows a lack of respect for instructor and fellow students.

Make-up classes: The instructor reserves the right to schedule make-up classes in the event of an unforeseen or unavoidable schedule change. Make-up classes may be scheduled outside of typical class hours, as necessary. 

Missing Examinations: Examinations will not be rescheduled. Pre-arranged travel or anticipated absence does not constitute an emergency and requests for missing or rescheduling exams will not be granted.

Use of Cell Phones, Laptops and Other Electronic Devices: Always check with your instructor about acceptable usage of electronic devices in class. Inappropriate usage of your electronic devices will result in a warning and may lead to a deduction in participation grades. Use of a cell phone for phone calls, text messages, emails, or any other purposes during class is impolite, inappropriate and prohibited Faculty determines whether laptops will be allowed in class. The use of a laptop, tablets or of cell phones is prohibited during all tests and exams, unless otherwise specified by your instructor. 



The reference textbook is
Todaro, Smith ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (Selected chapters) and you can download the pdf at
For additional material please go to


[Ultima modifica: martedì 19 gennaio 2021]