Spring 2022 - ECON 455W D100

Seminar in Economic Development (3)

Class Number: 6553

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Fr 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    WMC 2533, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 21, 2022
    8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
    WMC 3253, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    ECON 333 with a minimum grade of C-.



Topics in economic development. Students with credit for ECON 455 may not take this course for further credit. Writing/Quantitative.


This seminar-format course introduces students to current topics and economic theories in development economics. The issues to be addressed include: major economic forces that drive development and growth, the structural features of labor, capital and land markets in developing economies; market imperfections and the sources of good economic policies and institutions. The course will focus on microeconomic foundations but without ignoring the macroeconomic “big picture” and will combine economic theory with basic data analysis. The main goal is gain better understanding of how the development process works, what factors matter for whether some countries are poor while others are rich, and whether policy can make a difference.



  • Memos on Discussion Papers (6) 15%
  • Paper Summary and In-Class Presentation 15%
  • Class Participation and In-Class Short Written Quiz 15%
  • Term Paper 25%
  • Final Exam 30%


This is a writing-intensive class. Several types of written assignments account for the majority of the final grade. The first written assignment type is a “memo”, which is a very brief (half a page maximum) written comment on a specific point, idea or argument from an assigned weekly discussion paper. These memos will be graded on a rough scale (e.g. “ok”, “not ok”). Second, each student must prepare a 20-25 minute summary of an article from the reading list which he/she will present in front of the class. Finally, the course requires an original term paper to be submitted at the end of the course. The final grade will be determined based on all written assignments, the term paper and a final exam. Interim and final feedback will be provided on all written work.





Ray, D. (1998), Development Economics, Princeton University Press, NJ, USA

Some policy-related and empirical topics that we will discuss are also covered on a very accessible level in:

Easterly, W., 2001, The Elusive Quest for Growth, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA

There is also a list of required and optional readings (academic papers) available electronically from the SFU library. Each week a “discussion paper” will be assigned to be analyzed and debated in class.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

Please note that, as per Policy T20.01, the course requirements (and grading scheme) outlined here are subject to change up until the end of the first week of classes.

Final exam schedules will be released during the second month of classes. If your course has a final exam, please ensure that you are available during the entire final exam period until you receive confirmation of your exam dates. 

Students requiring accommodations as a result of a disability must contact the Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL) at 778-782-3112 or caladmin@sfu.ca.


Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.