This course explores the foundations of policy making in developing countries.
The goal is to spell out various policy options and to quantify the trade-offs between them. We will study the different facets of human development: education, health, gender, the family, land relations, risk, informal and formal norms and institutions. This is an empirical class. For each topic, we will study several concrete examples chosen from around the world. While studying each of these topics, we will ask: What determines the decisions of poor households in developing countries? What constraints are they subject to? Is there a scope for policy (by government, international organizations, or non-governmental organizations (NGOs))? What policies have been tried out? Have they been successful?
- Introduction: the vicious circle of poverty Unlimited
- Nutrition and productivity: interrelationships Unlimited
- Education Unlimited
- Health: a case study from Rajasthan Unlimited
- (Courtesy of Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo. Used with permission.) Unlimited
- Gender discrimination Unlimited
- Bargaining within families Unlimited
- Land Unlimited
- Savings Unlimited
- Credit markets Unlimited
- Formal and informal institutions Unlimited
- Limits to social policy: corruption Unlimited
About the instructor