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MA in Development Studies - Economics of Development

Tackling key issues of economic development and economic policy analysis

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.

We integrate 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.

We pay 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, human development and natural resource management.

Double Degree with universities in Indonesia, Vietnam and Suriname

The ECD Major is also offered as part of a Double Degree programme with the University of Indonesia, where the first year of studies is at the University of Economics in Indonesia.

Some of the ISS MA in Development Studies courses are offered as part of collaborative MAs in Vietnam (with the University of Economics, Ho Chi Minh City, and the National University, Hanoi) and Suriname (the Lim A Po Institute).

Research-led teaching

We teach what we do and our research interests shape the teaching programme. Supervisors have a history of actively integrating PhD and excellent MA students into research projects and staff is substantially involved in the national research school CERES and in supervision at ISS and other universities.

We take pride in the fact that major contributions to our research projects have been (co-) authored with current and former PhD and MA students.

Teaching innovation

The Development Economics research group is committed to providing innovative teaching and has invested significantly in the development of online course material that is integrated into the curriculum, new courses and new modes of examination.

We have developed two Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC) in the recent past:

Introduction to Economic Theories

This freely available course on pluralist economics from a global perspective covers all key micro and macro topics from four theoretical perspectives: social economics, institutional economics, Post Keynesian economics and neoclassical economics. It is part of the foundation courses in the MA in Development Studies at ISS.

Local Economic Development

This course looks at processes by which local governments, businesses, and civil society groups get together to raise income sustainably and improve their lives in a well-defined area. It’s about creating jobs, securing livelihoods, improving infrastructure and managing local resources.

It explores the where, who and how of economic development, asking questions such as:

  • Why does economic development take place in some areas of the world and not in others?
  • Why doesn’t it happen in your place?
  • What prevents people from having the lives they want to live right there? Could your region make more of the opportunities of globalization and new technologies?
  • Did the promises of decentralization in your country fail to deliver better public services and more responsive governments?