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One out of five people on Earth lives on less than $1 USD per day, while half the world lives on less than $2 USD per day. This course explores the causes and correlates of global poverty, and investigates the policies used to address it. The approach of the course is microeconomic, meaning that we focus on individual and household behaviours, as well as market failures which lead to sub-optimal choices by these individuals. We will learn about measurement of poverty and inequality, the role of health and education in poverty, problems in credit, savings, and insurance markets, the causes and effects of migration, environmental degradation, and child labor. By the end of this course, students will be able to design innovative ways to assess whether a proposed development intervention is likely to successfully improve the welfare of its target population. This course will not cover macroeconomic topics, such as institutions, geography, growth, trade, or liberalization in any depth. This is not because these are not important topics, but rather because there are other courses in the School which are entirely dedicated to them. For students interested in those topics the following courses are recommended: ECON3110 (Development Economics), ECON3109 (Economic Growth, Technology, and Structural Change), ECON3116 (International Trade), and ECON3104 (International Macroeconomics).

Study Level


Offering Terms

Term 3



Indicative contact hours


Course Outline

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Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

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