ECON3036 – Economic Development

2022 – Session 1, In person-scheduled-weekday, North Ryde

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit Convener
Lisa Magnani
Room 416, 4th Floor MQBS building
Monday, 1-3pm
Credit points Credit points
Prerequisites Prerequisites
130cp at 1000 level or above including ((ECON110 or ECON111 or ECON1020) and 20cp at 2000 level or above)
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description

This unit provides an introduction to the theory and practice of development economics. It develops a critical understanding of the problems facing underdeveloped and developing countries. It provides an in-depth analysis of the different explanations and measures that may be taken to foster economic development. An integral component of the unit is discussion of the most recent research by economists who work in the field, testing and devising cheap and feasible policy solutions to improve outcomes for the global poor. The unit investigates and evaluates the effectiveness of existing policy measures. Students will develop skills in writing and oral communication.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: Identify and describe theories of economic development.
  • ULO2: Analyse and explain how economic agents, including the poor, make economic decisions and the consequences of those decisions.
  • ULO3: Critically evaluate theory and policy designed to improve the well-being of the poor.

General Assessment Information

Late submissions of assessments

Unless a Special Consideration request has been submitted and approved, no extensions will be granted. There will be a deduction of 10% of the total available assessment-task marks made from the total awarded mark for each 24-hour period or part thereof that the submission is late. Late submissions will only be accepted up to 96 hours after the due date and time.

No late submissions will be accepted for timed assessments – e.g., quizzes, online tests.

Table 1: Penalty calculation based on submission time

Submission time after the due date (including weekends)

Penalty (% of available assessment task mark)

Example: for a non-timed assessment task marked out of 30

<24 hours


10% x 30 marks = 3-mark deduction

24-48 hours


20% x 30 marks = 6-mark deduction

48-72 hours


30% x 30 marks = 9-mark deduction

72 – 96 hours


40% x 30 marks = 12-mark deduction

>96 hours


Assignment won’t be accepted


Special Consideration

To request an extension on the due date/time for a timed or non-timed assessment task, you must submit a Special Consideration application. An application for Special Consideration does not guarantee approval.

The approved extension date for a student becomes the new due date for that student. The late submission penalties above then apply as of the new due date.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Mid-session online test 25% No Week 7, Monday April 4 2022
Presentation of group work 25% No Week 3-12 (presentation and submission)
Final Paper 50% No By Monday May 30th, Week 13 2022

Mid-session online test

Assessment Type 1: Quiz/Test
Indicative Time on Task 2: 15 hours
Due: Week 7, Monday April 4 2022
Weighting: 25%


A 60-minute online open book Mid-Session Test will include 4 questions, where students will answer 2 out of 4 questions of their choice. This is a set of short essay questions.


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Identify and describe theories of economic development.
  • Analyse and explain how economic agents, including the poor, make economic decisions and the consequences of those decisions.

Presentation of group work

Assessment Type 1: Presentation
Indicative Time on Task 2: 20 hours
Due: Week 3-12 (presentation and submission)
Weighting: 25%


Teams of 4 individuals on weekly topics. Individual assessments will reflect within-team divisions of labour as follows: 1. Research background with 3-4 references, 2. Motivations of relevance of his/her point about solving well defined policy issues in the context of development, 3. Clarity of presentation, 4. Adequacy of response to the questions, (4 members in each team). Depending on enrolment, these group works will deliver presentations during lecture/tutorial time (2 hours block) over the course of the session. This assessment will involve submission of max 5 ppt slides per team.


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Analyse and explain how economic agents, including the poor, make economic decisions and the consequences of those decisions.
  • Critically evaluate theory and policy designed to improve the well-being of the poor.

Final Paper

Assessment Type 1: Essay
Indicative Time on Task 2: 25 hours
Due: By Monday May 30th, Week 13 2022
Weighting: 50%


Written individual analysis on topics TBD and TBC after discussion with Unit Covenor, max 1500 words.


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Analyse and explain how economic agents, including the poor, make economic decisions and the consequences of those decisions.
  • Critically evaluate theory and policy designed to improve the well-being of the poor.

1 If you need help with your assignment, please contact:

  • the academic teaching staff in your unit for guidance in understanding or completing this type of assessment
  • the Writing Centre for academic skills support.

2 Indicative time-on-task is an estimate of the time required for completion of the assessment task and is subject to individual variation

Delivery and Resources

Welcome to ECON3036! Together we will address some of the most interesting and challenging questions concerning economic development and its impact on societies. 

In preparation for our in-class discussions, you will be asked to read the items from the weekly reading list regularly so you get the most out of our in-class discussions. Some of the chosen readings are from Nobel Prize in Economics recipients, such as Amartya Sen (on the concept and measurement of development), Esther Duflo (on the role of gender in development policy), Paul Romer (on the role of technological change), Elinor Ostrom (on how to enforce community-based social norms for the common good), Douglass North (on the role of institutions for development).  

Our weekly meetings involve 1 hour recorded material and 2 hours face-to-face meetings. In each week, students will be asked to engage with about 1-hour recorded material before coming to each weekly meetings. The recorded material aims to expose students to the main ideas we will discuss together during our face-to-face meetings. By listening to this recorded material each week, students will be better prepared to participate in class discussion. Learning is more fun if it involves exchanging ideas, so please come to class with some preparation. 

In our first meeting we will discuss how best to organise the delivery of the second assessment task, which involves team work. We will form teams of 4-5 individuals and members of each team will discuss how they can individually contribute to the presentations on weekly topics.  

Please be reminded that lecture notes and lecture recordings are good summaries of the weekly readings, but I hope you will do your independing readings as well. 

Finally, although this unit does not have a prescribed text, you can consult there are excellent development economics textbooks you can consult to support your learning. Feel free to ask for advise if you need. 

Again, welcome to ECON3036!

Note: the intended delivery mode may need to change after the start of the session due to the evolving covid situation and students need to ensure they keep up with iLearn Announcements made during the session accordingly.

Unit Schedule

This unit is organised in four parts, which will be covered in 13 weeks. 

Part I:

Understanding Economic Development and its goals

Week 1

Monday February 21st 2022

The concept of development and its goals

Week 2

Monday February 28th 2022

Growth, income distribution and poverty

Week 3

Monday March 7th 2022

Economic development in theory

Week 4

Monday March 14th 2022

Growth, population, and the environment


Part II:

Labour Markets in Low- and Middle-Income Countries


Week 5

Monday March 21st 2022

Labour markets in low- and middle-income countries: current issues

Week 6

Monday March 28th 2022

Dualistic labour markets

Week 7

Monday April 4th 2022

Labour migration


Week 7: Mid-Session Exam


Test will focus on Weeks 1-5 material



Part III:

Development and Inclusion in global modes of production


Week 8

Monday April 25th 2022,

Technology change and diffusion in low- and middle-income countries

Week 9

Monday May 2nd 2022

Effects of trade and technology transfer: labour demand, wages, inequality, and employment

Week 10

Monday May 9th 2022

Compressed development, outsourcing and effects on developing economies


Part IV

Understanding the role of Institutions for development


Week 11

Monday May 16th 2022

Women and the household in the context of development

Week 12

Monday May 23rd 2022

Labour standards and institutions for development

Week 13

Monday May 30th 2022

Policies for development

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At Macquarie, we believe academic integrity – honesty, respect, trust, responsibility, fairness and courage – is at the core of learning, teaching and research. We recognise that meeting the expectations required to complete your assessments can be challenging. So, we offer you a range of resources and services to help you reach your potential, including free online writing and maths support, academic skills development and wellbeing consultations.

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