Course Leader: Dr Joana Naritomi

Unit Value: Half Unit 


This course is available on the MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Columbia), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Hertie), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and NUS), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Sciences Po), MPA in European Public and Economic Policy, MPA in International Development, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, MPA in Public and Social Policy, MSc in African Development, MSc in Anthropology and Development, MSc in Anthropology and Development Management, MSc in Development Management, MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Environment and Development, MSc in Environmental Economics and Climate Change, MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies, MSc in Political Economy of Late Development and MSc in Political Science and Political Economy. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


DV490 or equivalent background in statistics and economics. 

Please note: An introductory overview of the Economic Development Policy sequence of courses (DV490/DV491/DV492) will be provided in the seminars for DV490 in MT week 1.  All potential students for these courses are encouraged to attend any seminar; see the DV490 Moodle page for information on dates and rooms.

Course content

This course explores key issues in government policies in developing countries. It begins by introducing concepts from public economics and discussing the scope and impacts of government interventions. In the second part, the course focuses on challenges in raising government revenue and delivering public services in the developing world context.  Beyond these topics the course will provide background in relevant analytical tools, and develop skills to interpret empirical evidence.

The course is structured around four main themes:

(1)   The scope for government policies (Market failures, Redistribution, Public Goods, Externalities)

(2)   Economic effects of government interventions (Incidence, Excess Burden)

(3)   Raising government revenue (Taxation, International Aid, Natural Resources)

(4)   Public service delivery (Targeting, Performance incentives, Decentralization)

Seminars consist of student-led participatory in-depth analyses of theory and quantitative empirical research papers which students assess and critique.

Students are strongly encouraged to simultaneously take DV491, as a highly complementary course that will also apply the empirical methods taught in DV490 to topics on microeconomic foundations of economic policy-making, such as human development, institutions and markets, social networks, economic history and cultural economics, and behavioural economics.

    Teacher: Picture of Stephanie LevyPicture of Joana Naritomi