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Development Economics (Economics)
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The study programme

In this specialisation track you learn how to formulate your balanced, but critical views on matters of developmental policy. You unravel the complex interdependencies on the basis of empirical evidence. In this track the Amsterdam School of Economics joins with the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; stimulating different views and discussion. This specialisation applies a microeconomic approach to the international economy. The track International Finance and Trade is its more macro-focused counterpart.

The programme

Development Economics is one of the tracks of the MSc Economics. During your Master's you will follow 3 general courses and 3 track-specific courses. You will finish with a thesis. 

  • Macroeconomics
    Period 1

    In this course you will learn about modern macroeconomic models. You will learn how to use these models to explain and evaluate recent events and policy interventions. For example, the effect of uncertainty on savings, welfare and investment, the causes and nature of unemployment and inflation and the role of monetary and fiscal authorities.

  • Microeconomics and Game Theory
    Period 1

    In this course you will learn to understand the workings and limitations of the market. You will learn how to analyse consumer and producer behaviour and how to use basic game theory. The central question is: what can markets do and when do they fail? What determines the outcome, and how does that depend on market structure?

  • Applied Econometrics
    Period 1
    Period 2

    In this course you will learn about regression analysis. In applied economics this is a powerful tool to analyse empirical relationships. You will learn how to interpret estimation and testing results and build a satisfactory empirical model. You will follow lectures and take part in lab sessions to acquire practical econometric skills by making computer exercises.

  • Policy Evaluation: Development and Public Policy
    Period 2

    This course introduces you to contemporary methods of policy evaluation. You will study their applications related to topics such as education, health, nutrition, crime, microfinance, gender and labour issues. You will read and prepare papers in order to explain important aspects of these papers during the weekly meetings.

  • Microeconomics for Development
    Period 2

    In this course you will apply microeconomics to topics in development economics. The aim is not to be complete, but to select a number of 6 well-studied topics, stressing their empirical foundation. You will discuss the concepts, measurement of poverty and the evaluation of policy impact extensively. During the course, we will use empirical evidence.

  • Microeconomics for Development
    Period 2
  • Thesis
    Period 1
    Period 2
    Period 5
    Period 6

    The academic programme culminates in a thesis, which allows you to engage with state-of-the-art data analysis and statistical techniques. The Master’s thesis is the final requirement for your graduation. It is your chance to dive deep into a topic in your field of choice (track) that you are enthusiastic about, and allows you to do an independent research project. A professor of your track will supervise and support you in writing your thesis.

Compulsory course

Honours programme

If you are a student of the Economics MSc and you have a record of academic excellence, a critical mind and an enthusiasm for applied research, then our Economics Honours programme is a great opportunity for you.

Copyright: Nee
This MSc perfectly blends my two passions: economics and policy analysis. It's a challenging programme, that teaches you hard and soft skills. Anouk Roethof Read about Anouk's experiences with this Master's
Copyright: FEB
Some professors had a big influence on my career choices, and I would love to be that person for my students. Menno Pradhan, Professor in Development Economics Read the full interview
Real-life case: how to reduce poverty

Good ideas on how to reduce poverty abound. But do these really address the key problems facing the poor? And is there solid evidence that they have impacted the lives of the poor in the past? In Development Economics we discuss theories and empirical methods that can help to answer such questions. Your input will help shape the debate.

Contemporary issues

Examples of current newspaper headlines and relevant issues that could be discussed in your classroom.

  • What is the effect of microfinance on consumption in rural villages?
  • Economic impacts of illness, coping strategies, health insurance and crowding-out effects: evidence from a financial diary survey in Nigeria.
  • Community driven development, social capital & inequality: assessing the impact of the Indonesian Urban Poverty Project on Social Capital.
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