2021 Introduction to Development Economics

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering
Abe Naoya  Sakamoto Yoshie 
Course component(s)
Lecture    (ZOOM)
Day/Period(Room No.)
Tue1-2(S422)  Fri1-2(S422)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
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Course description and aims

This course aims to equip students with the skills to understand historical and today's social, economic and environmental issues, mainly from economics point of view.

The goal of this course is to let the registered students to be able to raise a fundamental inquiry about an ideal state of society by their own. For that purpose, this course will focus on the topics and issues on the definitions and concepts of "development", poverty and inequality, consumer theory, population growth, economic growth theory, urbanization and migration, human capital, environment and development, state and market, and international trade.

Student learning outcomes

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

1) Explain the basic background of today's economic and social issues, which are reported and discussed by various media and on Internet

2) Discuss today's international and globalized issues

3) Raise a fundamental question about the significance of his/her own study as well as about an ideal state of our society, where there is no single and correct answer.


Development Economics, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

This course will consist of lectures with discussions and active participation by studnets is highly encouraged. There will be what the instructor called "weekly visual reports" assignment, where each student is requested to take a photo of a subject, which is related to the content of lecture in a week and to discuss why the subject is taken and how the subject is related to the lecture for better understanding of each lecture.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Orientation to this course + inquiry about the meaning of "development" Be able to argue the meaning and significance of "development"
Class 2 Defining developing countries and the frameworks to measure how they are Be able to explain the definition of basic economic indicators and indices such as GDP or HDI.
Class 3 Classic Economic Growth Theories Be able to explain the logic of the classic economic growth theories.
Class 4 Poverty,, Inequality and Development Be able to explain the definitions and notions of poverty and inequality in the context of "development"
Class 5 Basics of Microeconomics (Consumer theory) Be able to explain the basic logic of consumer theory in microeconomics.
Class 6 Population Growth and Economic Development Be able to explain the relation between population growth and economic development
Class 7 Urbanization and Rural-Urban Migration Be able to explain the theory of urbanization and the migration of people from rural area to urban area.
Class 8 Human Capital : Education and Health in Economic Development Be able to explain the roles of education and health for economic development
Class 9 Agriculture and rural development Be able to explain the relation between agricultural transformation and rural development
Class 10 Environment and Development Be able to explain the relation between the environment and development.
Class 11 Roles of state and market Be able to explain the roles of states and markets. Market failures and the roles of NGOs will be also discussed.
Class 12 International Trade Be able to explain the basic theory of international trade.
Class 13 Corona virus and economic development Be able to explain the impact of the spread of corona virus on economic development, especially that in developing countries
Class 14 Technology development and economic development Be able to argue the relation between technology development and economic development
Class 15 Summary of this course: reflection on the past sessions Be able to explain the purpose of this course as well as what is studied,

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.


Todaro & Smith (2011) Development Economics, Addison Wesley
(New editions are available too)

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Hayami (2000), Development Economics, Sobunsha
World Development Reports, the World Bank (various years)
Human Development Reports, UNDP (various years)

Assessment criteria and methods

Weekly Visual Report (60%)
Final Report (40%)

Related courses

  • TSE.C301 : Introduction to International Development

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)



Course content may change subject to the progress of the lectures.

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