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Development Economics (MSc Economics)

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The Development Economics track gives you the in-depth knowledge and expertise to help spur growth in developing economies. This track is 1 of 7 tracks you can opt for in our Master's in Economics.

Unravel complex interdependencies

During this track you learn how to formulate your balanced and critical views on matters of developmental policy. Also you unravel 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 track applies a microeconomic approach to the international economy. The track International Economics and Globalisation is its more macro-focused counterpart.

Why choose the Development Economics track?

  1. Beside the 3 general courses of the MSc Economics in your curriculum, you will have 3 courses with focus on a microeconomic approach to the international economy.
  2. This track is a joint cooperation of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the University of Amsterdam. Therefore, you will be lectured by professors from both universities, which stimulates different views and discussions.
  3. After graduation, you have an excellent job prospect at for example NGOs and (inter)national governments.

Track-specific courses

Apart from the 3 general courses of the full programme, you will follow 3 track-specific courses.

  • Policy Evaluation: Development and Public Policy

    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

    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.

  • Experimental Economics

    In this course you will learn the basic methodology of experimental economics: how to design a simple experiment, including writing instructions. You will practice both with laboratory and field experimentation evolving around:

    • industrial organisation;
    • labour economics;
    • behavioural economics;
    • individual and group decision making.
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.

Career prospects

Graduates of the Master's programme in Economics/Development Economics track have excellent job prospects for positions as researchers and experts in:

  • NGO’s;
  • (inter)nationally operating consultancies;
  • (inter)national governments.
Facts & Figures
Mode Full-time
Credits 60 ECTS, 12 months
Language of instruction English
Starts in September
CROHO code 66401