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E553 Development Economics: Experimental approaches

Course title: E553 Development Economics: Experimental approaches

Instructors: Dr. Niels Kemper, Dr. Andreas Landmann

Offered: spring term 2015

Number of participants: 15 + 3 guest auditor

Method (hours per week): lecture (2) + practical exercise (1)

Course level: Master 

Prerequisites: E700, E701, E702, E703 or equivalent; for MMM students: CC502 Applied Econometrics; for students from other programs: good foundations in econometrics 

ECTS-Credits: 7

Time and Location: The lecture will be split into 5 blocs à 4 sessions (lectures and practical exercises) respectively taking place in calendar weeks 7, 9, 12, 16 and 20 (most likely on Fridays). The introductory lecture will take place on February 11th, 3:15 PM. A Q&A session will take place before the exam.

Course language: English

Examination/grading: There will be problem sets and a written exam (90 minutes). They will count towards the final grade as follows: written exam: 70 percent, problem sets: 30 percent

Description of lecture:

Development economics deals with economic aspects of the development process in low-income countries. After an examination of the long-run factors of economic development, this lecture focuses on interventions intended to promote economic growth and welfare of the population in developing countries, for example, through interventions in microfinance (credit, savings and insurance), health and education.

In particular, it accumulates evidence to answer the following questions: Do these interventions really improve the living conditions of the poor? Which interventions do work? And which do not? 

Methodologically, this lecture comprises of econometric methods used for program evaluation. These methods identify causal relationships between interventions and their intended outcomes (e.g. using randomized control trials, instrumental variables, regression discontinuity). The practical exercises include hands-on empirical work with STATA. In terms of learning outcomes for students, the lecture pursues the following goals:

Introduce students to state-of-the-art research in Development Economics.

Enable students to do own empirical research work employing the econometric methods dealt with in this course.

Enable students to make critical assessments of research work. 

General readings: Particularly relevant readings are marked with a ”*”.

The following textbooks and book chapters will be covered in parts.

Angrist, J. and J.-S. Pischke (2009) Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion, Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press. [AP]

Armendariz, B. and J. Morduch (2007) The Economics of Microfinance, Cambridge (MA) and London: MIT Press. [AM]

Deaton, A. (1997) The Analysis of Household Surveys: A Microeconometric Approach to Development Policy, Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press. [D]

Duflo, E., Glennerster, R. and M. Kremer (2008) "Using Randomization in Development Economics Research: A Toolkit," in P. Schultz and J. Strauss (Eds.) Handbook of Development Economics, Vol. 4, Amsterdam: North-Holland. [DGK]

Please have a look on the detailed syllabus.

Contact persons: Dr. Niels Kemper, phone 181-1805, email: niels.kemper(at)uni-mannheim.de, L7, 3 - 5, room 101
Andreas Landmann, phone 181-1842, email: andreas.landmann(at)uni-mannheim.de, L7, 3 - 5, room 103

Office hours: By appointment (please contact us by email).