Development Economics

6 minute read
Development Economics

Economics is one of the most popular subjects in the commerce stream and arts stream and offers many promising career options to pursue after 12th as well. Among the different branches of economics, development economics is a branch which is rapidly attaining popularity as a subject of higher study. Opting for this emerging specialisation, you can explore a wide range of lucrative job prospects in the public sector while also contributing to research and development in the global economic sector. This blog will provide you with all the information you need regarding development economics as a field of study, the courses offered and the career scope it entails! 

What is Development Economics?

Development economics is a subfield within economics which deals with the improvement of economic, fiscal and social aspects in developing or low-income countries. Apart from focusing on different methods for the promotion of economic growth and development and structural changes, the subject also deals with the improvement of the different conditions including education, health, markets and work in such countries. It explores some of the economic challenges faced by developing countries through the examination of both microeconomic and macroeconomic factors. Development economics can help in the understanding of some of the dominant issues of today’s world, including inequality, poverty, trade and globalisation, along with the reasons for the success and failure of different economies around the world.

What do you Study in Development Economics?

Development economics is the study of how developing countries become more rich. Because countries’ social and political origins differ so greatly, strategies for reforming a developing economy are often unique. Not only that, but each country’s cultural and economic frameworks, such as women’s rights and child labour regulations, differ.

Students and professionals in economics develop theories and methodologies that help practitioners determine practises and policies that may be employed and implemented at the domestic and international policy levels.

Some facets of development economics include determining whether rapid population expansion aids or hinders development, economic structural transformation, and the importance of education and healthcare in development.

International trade, globalisation, sustainable development, the implications of epidemics such as HIV, and the impact of disasters on economic and human development are all included.

Jeffrey Sachs, Hernando de Soto Polar, and Nobel Laureates Simon Kuznets, Amartya Sen, and Joseph Stiglitz are among the most prominent development economists.

Development Economics Courses

Development economics courses are available in different specialisations at the undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral levels, which aim to equip you with all the skills necessary to pursue a successful career as a professional in this field. Although the syllabus of the courses varies according to different universities and levels of study, some of the important topics taught in the course include microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics, political economy, international economics, financial economics, growth and structural change etc. Let’s take a look at some of the different courses you can opt for in this field:

Undergraduate Courses

The undergraduate courses in this subject are generally of a duration between 3-4 years. Here are some of the specialisations that you can choose from:

BSc (Hons) in Development EconomicsBachelor in Economics and DevelopmentBSc in Development and Economics
BA in International Development with EconomicsBA (Hons) in Economics and Development Studies Bachelor in International Economic Development (IED)

Postgraduate Courses

A master’s degree in development economics can vary between 1 to 2 years depending on the institution of study. A range of different specialisations is available for you, which include the following:

MSc in Development Economics and PolicyMSc in Economic DevelopmentMSc in Economic Development and Policy Analysis
MSc in Development EconomicsMSc in International Development with EconomicsMA in Development and International Economics
MSC in Economics and Finance for DevelopmentMSc in Economics for DevelopmentMSc in Local Economic Development

PhD Courses

Many students go on to pursue their research in this subject by opting for a PhD. Here are some of the specialisations you can opt for at the doctoral level in development economics:  

PhD in Dev. EconomicsPhD in International Development
PhD in Dev. Studies with Reference to Emerging EconomiesPhD in Dev. Studies

Eligibility Criteria

Want to pursue a course in development economics? It is essential to be familiar with all the requirements that you need to fulfil for pursuing a course in this subject. Although the eligibility criteria may vary depending on the universities, here are some of the basic criteria that you need to fulfil:

  • You should have completed your 12th board exams in any stream, preferably with mathematics or economics as a subject of study.
  • For pursuing a master’s level course, you need to have a bachelor’s degree in the same or a related field.
  • For admission to a PhD course, you need to have completed your master’s degree in a related field with the required percentage of marks.

Additionally, you also need to fulfil some other essential criteria if you want to pursue your degree from a university abroad. These include:

  • A valid score in any of the accepted English language proficiency tests such as the TOEFL, IELTS or PTE
  • For PhD courses, you would also need to submit your GRE score
  • You will also be required to submit a Statement of Purpose (SOP) and Letters of Recommendation (LOR) as part of your application to a university abroad.

Want to pursue a degree in development economics? Here are some of the most popular universities around the world which offer a degree in the above subject. Let’s take a look:

Career Options

Pursuing a course in development economics opens up an array of different career opportunities for you. Here are some of the different jobs you can opt for:

The Key Takeaway

Development economics studies the structure of domestic and international economies in order to enhance living standards in developing countries. There are numerous development economics theories. While the most common theories include mercantilism, nationalism, linear stages of growth, and structural-change theory, this field of research is still evolving and changing.


Q1. What is an example of development economics?

Ans. The lost tax revenue for the local government will most likely be made up by the creation of new jobs, which increases spending and sales for all other businesses and boosts the overall prosperity of the community.

Q2. What are the 4 stages of economic development?

Ans. An economic cycle is the overall status of the economy as it progresses through four cyclical stages: expansion, peak, contraction, and trough. GDP, interest rates, total employment, and consumer spending can all help indicate where the economy is in its life cycle.

Q3. Who started development economics?

Ans. The origins of modern development economics are frequently linked back to the necessity for, and potential challenges with, the industrialization of Eastern Europe following World War II. Paul Rosenstein-Rodan, Kurt Mandelbaum, Ragnar Nurkse, and Sir Hans Wolfgang Singer are the primary authors.

Q4. What is the role of economics in development?

Ans. More specifically, economics studies the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services, which are both a key driver of development (raising living standards by providing food, shelter, and other basic human needs) and a major cause of current changes in earth systems.

We hope this blog familiarized you with the key aspects of Development Economics and what it entails as an academic field and as a career. Want to pursue one of the above courses at a top global university? Reach out to our experts at Leverage Edu who can help you choose the perfect course and university as per your requirements. Sign up for a free session today!

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