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Unit outline_

ECOS3002: Development Economics

Semester 2, 2023 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit examines the economic transformation of less-developed countries from microeconomic and macroeconomic perspectives. It covers applied topics such as education, health, nutrition, demographics, labour, agriculture and the private sector, focusing on how policies attempt to overcome market and institutional failures that are particularly acute in the developing world. Focus is given to applying theoretical and empirical tools necessary to conceptualise, analyse and interpret various issues in economic development. Applied examples from developing countries are used throughout the unit.

Unit details and rules

Academic unit Economics
Credit points 6
ECOS2001 or ECOS2901 or ECOS2002 or ECOS2902
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Russell Toth,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Supervised exam
Final exam
Short-answer and short essay questions
40% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO1 LO3 LO4
Small test Written assignment
Short-answer and short essay questions
30% Multiple weeks
Closing date: 30 Oct 2023
30 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Assignment group assignment Written assessment
Long answer/essay, online submission, mult. steps, due dates. See Canvas.
30% Week 12
Due date: 27 Oct 2023 at 17:00
1000 words per student
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO1 LO3 LO4
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

Four 30-minute in-class tests will be offered in different weeks of the semester, at the start of class. Students' scores will be based on the best 3 of 4 results, so each in-class test is worth 10% of the final mark.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a High Distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a Distinction a very high standard, a Credit a good standard, and a Pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.


For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Lecture 1 Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 02 Lecture 2 Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Tutorial for lecture 1 Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 03 Lecture 3 Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Tutorial for lecture 2 Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 04 Lecture 4 Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Tutorial for lecture 3 Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 05 Lecture 5 Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Tutorial for lecture 4 Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 06 Lecture 6 Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Tutorial for lecture 5 Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 07 Lecture 7 Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Tutorial for lecture 6 Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 08 Lecture 8 Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Tutorial for lecture 7 Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 09 Tutorial for lecture 8 Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 10 Lecture 9 Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Tutorial catch-up / review Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 11 Lecture 10 Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Tutorial for lecture 9 Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 12 Lecture 11 Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Tutorial for lecture 10 Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 13 Lecture 12 Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Tutorial for lecture 11 Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: According to Faculty Board Resolutions, students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are expected to attend 90% of their classes. If you attend less than 50% of classes, regardless of the reasons, you may be referred to the Examiner’s Board. The Examiner’s Board will decide whether you should pass or fail the unit of study if your attendance falls below this threshold.
  • Lecture recording: Most lectures (in recording-equipped venues) will be recorded and may be made available to students on the LMS. However, you should not rely on lecture recording to substitute your classroom learning experience.
  • Preparation: Students should commit to spend approximately three hours’ preparation time (reading, studying, homework, essays, etc.) for every hour of scheduled instruction.
  • In-class tests will only be offered once, in-class. Any missed tests will receive a score of 0. Final score for in-class tests (out of 30) will be based on the top 3 of 4 results.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

Required textbook:

de Janvry, Alain, and Elisabeth Sadoulet. 2021. Development Economics: Theory and Practice, 2nd edition. Routledge.

See associated content on textbook website:

For all other readings, see the weekly modules on the ECOS3002 Canvas site.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Understand the key microeconomic issues relating to economic development and poverty reduction.
  • LO2. Analyse the process of economic development by utilising simple, theoretical, micro models of the key economic issues.
  • LO3. Explore the relevant empirical tools in development microeconomics.
  • LO4. Formulate, evaluate and communicate about development policies and interventions.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

Changes have been made since this unit was last offered, primarily in response to other factors.

We will use Canvas, Canvas messaging, and Ed extensively. Please setup Canvas messaging to forward to your USyd student email, and plan to regularly check the course Canvas and Ed sites.

Possible lecture topics include Impact Evaluation, History of Development Economics, Poverty & Inequality Measurement, Farm Households & Market Failures, Agriculture for Development, Population & Development, Labour & Migration, Financial Services for the Poor, Social Program & Targeting, Political Economy & Institutions, Human Capital (Education & Health), Sustainable Development & the Environment, and Development Aid & its Effectiveness.

Replacement exams for the Final Exam may be conducted through an oral exam that is designed to test the same content, and the same level, as the Main exam.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.