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Intermediate Development Economics

There are enormous differences across countries in income and poverty, as well as in health, education, nutritional standards and other factors related to the quality of life. The main objective of this course is to go through research that seeks to understand those differences and identifies remedies to improve the living conditions for the poor.

The course first provides a macro-economic perspective, which discusses what we know (and do not know) about the relation between growth and poverty reduction. Some of the questions addressed are: What might drive economic growth? Are there reasons to believe that average income levels will converge across the world? Does growth reduce poverty? 
The second part of the course will then present a microeconomic perspective on the lives of the poor. First, we will talk about different reasons why ‘poverty traps’ might emerge - situations where poor individuals stay poor because they are poor. We will then talk about the role of credit and insurance markets for the economic lives of the poor. The course will devote separate lectures to the role of education and market integration as well as the role of agriculture for economic development. In doing so, we will discuss simple formal economic theories as well as evidence using a wide range of empirical methods.

  • Course structure

    This is a 7.5 credit course. One week of full-time studies equals 1.5 credits.

    Course material will be available through the learning platform Athena during the course.

    Teaching format

    Instruction is given in the form of lectures. The language of instruction is English.


    The course is examined on the basis of a written exam and an oral presentation. 


    Examiners and course directors:

    Konrad Burchardi and Johannes Haushofer

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Meet us

    Meet our teachers

    ”You learn to think like an Economist”

    Anna Seim is a researcher and teacher at the Department of Economics. She thinks that studying economics provides a general education that is useful in many different contexts.

    Anna Seim at Frescati. Photo: Tanja Appelberg

    Anna Seim is a researcher and teacher at the Department of Economics


    What is Economics?

    –    Economics is about understanding the economy of society at large and concepts such as unemployment, inflation, growth but also why firms and households act the way they do and how they respond to economic policy.

    –  The economy is a very complex system, and to understand it economists use simplified mathematical and statistical models and focus on what we believe is key to a certain question. Economics is therefore often perceived as technical, and it is to some extent, at least when you study at higher levels, but the use of models is also what enables us to address certain questions in a scientific way, instead of just guessing.   

    Why study Economics at Stockholm University?

    –    You learn to think like an Economist and obtain a general education in economics that is useful regardless of your future plans.

    –    I would say that the physical proximity to the Swedish central bank and other government agencies is unique to Stockholm and enables us to regularly organise guest lectures by, say, deputy governors of the Riksbank and former minsters of finance. We are also a highly international department and the opportunity to participate in visitors’ programmes, both as students and as researchers, implies that we are all part of a vivid and inspiring environment. 

    What type of job do students of economics typically obtain?

    –   Many of our former students start working at, for instance, government agencies, ministries, the Central bank and  the Competition Authority while others become employed in the private sector and start working at firms, banks or other financial institutions. There is a wide range of professions that you can pursue after studying economics. 

  • Contact