Course Syllabus

12 sessions


Nguyễn Trọng Hoài
Ph.D., University of Colombo, Sri-Lanka
Võ Tất Thắng
Ph.D, Australian National University, Australia
Phạm Hoàng Văn
Ph.D, Cornell University, New York, United States
Hinh Dinh


1A Hoang Dieu, Ward 10, Phu Nhuan, HCMC   View map


Economics , MAE

We survey topics in Development Economics. The course will focus on a balance of theory and empirics through academic papers that introduce students to current research methodologies.

Session 1: Institutions

Session 2: Entrepreneurship Development

Session 3: Agriculture and rural development

Session 4: Health

Session 5: Growth Theory

Session 6: Debate for Development and Growth

Session 7: Trade and Development

Session 8: Foreign Direct Investment

Session 9: Income Distribution, Trade, and Globalization

Session 10: Markets for Factor Inputs Group 5’s Paper Presentation.

Session 11: Investment, Time, and Capital Markets Group 6’s Paper Presentation.

Session 12: Revision

Final grade assessment will be based on the following allocation:

  • Group Assignment:       50%
  • Final Exam:                   50%

The Group Assignment is a replication exercise. Students should divide into 6 or 7 groups each with 6-8 students. We cover 9 broad topics in this Development Economics course. Each group will be assigned a topic and will choose a paper from which to replicate some of the tables in the paper. The replication can be done with the same exact data as the original paper or with a different dataset (for example: different year, different country, etc.)

Session 1

  • Andrei Schleifer and Robert Vishny (1993) “Corruption,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 108, No. 3, pp. 599-617.
  • Paolo Mauro (1995) “Corruption and Growth,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 110, No. 3, pp. 681-712.
  • Daron Acemoglu, Simon Johnson and James A. Robinson (2001) “The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation,” Vol. 91, 5, pp. 1369-1401.

Session 2

  • Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo (2011), Poor Economics, A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty, Public Affairs. Chapter 7: “The Men from Kabul and the Eunuchs of India: The (Not So) Simple Economics of Lending to the Poor”
  • Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo (2011), Poor Economics, A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty, Public Affairs. Chapter 9: “Reluctant Entrepreneurs”
  • Mendez-Picazo, M-T., M-A Galindo-Martin, D. Ribeiro-Soriano (2012), “Governance, Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth”, Entrepreneurship & Regional Development 24: no. 9-10: 865-877
  • Naude, W. (2010), “Entrepreneurship, Developing Countries, and Development Economics: New approaches and insights”, Small Business Economics 34: 1-12.
  • Global Entrepreneurship Monitor: Vietnam Report 2014, VCCI.
  • Raven, Peter, and Quan Le (2015) “Teaching Business Skills to Women: Impact of Business Training on Women’s Microenterprise Owners in Vietnam”, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, 21(4): 622-641.
  • Le, Quan, and Peter Raven (2016) “The Influence of Entrepreneurial Behaviors on the Performance and Outlook of Female Entrepreneurs in Vietnam”, Working Paper.

Session 3

  • TS Chs. 9. (E-learning)
  • Eswaran, M & Kotwal, A 2006, ‘The role of agriculture in development’, Understanding poverty, pp. 111-23.
  • Gilligan, DO & Hoddinott, J 2007, ‘Is there persistence in the impact of emergency food aid? Evidence on consumption, food security, and assets in rural Ethiopia’, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, vol. 89, no. 2, pp. 225-42.

Session 4

  • TS Chs. 8. (E-learning)
  • Miguel, E. and M.Kremer (2004). Worms: Identifying Impacts on Education and Health in the Presence of Treatment Externalities. Econometrica 72 (1):159-217.
  • Cutler D., A.Deaton and A.Lleras-Muney (2006). The Determinants of Mortality. Journal of Economic Perspectives 20(3), pp. 97-120.
  • Strauss, J. and D.Thomas (1998). Health, Nutrition, and Economic Development. Journal of Economic Literature 36(2):766-817.

Session 5

  • Perkins, Dwight, Steven Radelet and David Lindauer, Economics of Development (Sixth Edition), New York, 2006: chapters 3 and 4. (E-learning)
  • Easterly, William, “The Ghost of Financing Gap: How the Harrod-Domar Model Still Haunts Development Economics,” Journal of Development Economics, 60 (2), December, 1999, 423-438.
  • Lucas, Robert E, Jr., “Trade and the Diffusion of the Industrial Revolution,” American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, 2009, 1/1, 1-25.
  • Mankiw, N. G., D. Romer, and D. Weil. “A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth.”Quarterly Journal of Economics107 (1992): 401-437. (E-learning)
  • Riedel, James, et. al., How China Grows: Investment, Finance, and Reform (Princeton University Press, 2007), Chapter 2. (E-learning)
  • Young, Alwyn, “The Tyranny of Numbers: Confronting the Statistical Realities of the East Asian Growth Experience,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, Volume 110 (3), August 1995, 641-680.

Session 6

  • Diamond, Jared, Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, 1999 (E-learning)
  • Acemoglu, Daron and James Robinson, “Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty, 2012. (E-learning)
  • Acemoglu, Daron, Simon Johnson and James Robinson, “Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 117, no. 4 (November 2002) 1231-1294. (E-learning)
  • Jeffery D. The End of Poverty: Sachs, Economic Possibilities for our Time. 2008 (E-learning)

Session 7

  • Todaro Smith Ch.12 (Background) (E-learning)
  • Rudi Dornbusch, Stanley Fischer, and Paul Samuelson (1977), “Comparative Advantage, Trade, and Payments in a Ricardian Model with a Continuum of Goods,” American Economic Review, Vol. 67, No. 5, pp. 823-839. (Theory)
  • Wan Y.H. Jr. (2004). Economic Development in a Globalized Environment, Springer, 2004, Ch.1. (Theory)
  • Jeffrey A. Frankel and David Romer. (1999). “Does Trade Cause Growth?” American Economic Review, Vol. 89, No. 3, pp. 379-399. (Tools: IV Regression, Openness Index; Data: Cross Country Aggregate)
  • Ricardo Hausmann, Jason Hwang, and Dani Rodrik. (2007). “What you Export Matters,” Journal of Economic Growth, vol.12, pp.1-25. (Tools: Complexity Index; Data: UN Comtrade Bilateral Trade by commodity)
  • Mary Amiti and Jozef Konings (2007) “Trade Liberalization, Intermediate Inputs and Productivity: Evidence from Indonesia,” American Economic Review, Vol. 97, No. 5, pp. 1611-1638. (Tools:  Olley Pakes Regression; Data: Enterprise Data)
  • Arnaud Costinot, Jonathan Vogel, and Su Wang (2013) “An Elementary Theory of Global Supply Chains,” Review of Economic Studies, Vol. 80, pp. 109–144. (Advanced Theory)

Session 8

  • Brian Aitken and Ann Harrison. (1999). “Do Domestic Firms Benefit from Direct Foreign Investment? Evidence from Venezuela,” American Economic Review, 89(3), 605-618. (Tools: FDI Exposure Measures, Fixed Effects; Data: Enterprise Data)
  • Beata Javorcik. (2004). “Does Foreign Direct Investment Increase the Productivity of Domestic Firms? In Search of Spillovers Through Backward Linkages,” American Economic Review, 94(3), 605-627. (Tools: Forward/Backward Linkage Indices, Olley Pakes Regression; Data: Enterprise Data)
  • Steven Poelhekke and Frederick van der Ploeg (2013) “Do Natural Resources Attract Nonresource FDI?” Review of Economics and Statistics, vol. 95, no. 3, pp. 1046–1065.

Session 9

  • Todaro Smith Ch.5, pages 204-210, 219-228 (measures of inequality) (E-learning)
  • Alberto Alesina Dani Rodrik (1994) Distributive Politics and Economic Growth, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Volume 109, Issue 2, Pages 465-490. (Cross Country Regression).
  • Bruno Martorano, Donghyun Park, and Marco Sanfilippo (2017) “Catching-up, structural transformation, and inequality: industry-level evidence from Asia, Industrial and Corporate Change, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp. 555–570.
  • Torsten Persson and Guido Tabellini (1994) “Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?” American Economic Review, Vol. 84, No. 3, pp. 600-621 (Theory, Cross Country Regression).
  • Krugman and Obstfeld, International Economics, 6th ed., “Ch.3: Specific Factors and Income Distribution,” pages 38-60. (Theory)
  • Dani Rodrik (1997) Has Globalization Gone Too Far, “Chapter 2:  Consequences of Trade for Labor Markets and the Employment Relationship,” Petersen Institute for International Economics. (
  • “The U.S. Current Account Deficit” (2017) Harvard Business School Case No. 706002. 


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