Economics of Development (ECD)

About Economics of Development

Many developing countries suffer from endemic poverty, slow economic growth, unequal distribution of income and wealth, low levels of agricultural and industrial investment, and ineffective government services. Compounding, and partly giving rise to, these problems are shocks emanating from the world economy.

The Economics of Development (ECD) major provides students with the theoretical knowledge, policy awareness, and analytical techniques to tackle many of the key issues facing their countries in respect of economic development and economic policy analysis. The major integrates macroeconomic issues with the underlying microeconomic processes, emphasizing the importance of, on the one hand, the global economic environment and, on the other hand, domestic institutions, regulatory frameworks and socio-economic groups. It pays particular attention to the impact of international and domestic economic policies on growth, poverty and income distribution in developing countries, and seeks to bring out the fundamental linkages between economic growth and human development.

The approach to teaching in the ECD major has a strong comparative element; both in terms of theoretical perspectives on development problems and policies as well as the experiences of different countries. Global and individual country studies and policy briefs, drawn from an array of research institutions and organisations, are used to help students see how economic analysis can be brought to bear upon key development problems.

After completing this major, students will have a solid knowledge of contemporary academic and policy-making debates in development, including the different economic development perspectives underlying these debates. As a consequence they will be well prepared to better equipped to enter policy dialogues at the national level and at international levels, and engage in related policy research to provide new solutions to existing problems in a changing environment.

See the Academic Calendar for more information about this Major

Target group

The Major is designed to train individuals wishing to pursue a career in the academic world, government administration, development banking, international development agencies and NGOs.


Within the MA programme students have an option to specialize further. Take a look at the current specializations on offer.

Check out our video content about ECD

Economics of Development (ECD) webinar session 2024

In this webinar, ISS staff and students answer questions about the ECD major

Economics of Development

An informational video about the ECD major 

Check out what our students say about the ECD major!

ISS provides not just quality education, but an opportunity to be amidst people having a similar passion of making the world a better place. I believe this combination is rare to find

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