The subject offers an overview of the field of economic development. The objective of the course is to understand how public economic policy tools can be used to improve economic and social performance and well-being within low-income countries. Economic development is a multidimensional concept, which includes wealth and income, but also health, education, gender equality, the environment, political freedoms, absence of discrimination based on income, ethnicity, religion, political preferences...
In this course we will analyze how to improve the living conditions of the inhabitants of developing countries. Every week we will analyze a particular topic: health, education, etc., and we will comment on recent scientific articles. We will focus on current issues and key areas of debate on public policy.
From a microeconomic perspective, we will try to understand how the inhabitants of developing countries make their decisions, decisions that are often very complex and can have serious consequences. Although many people live on less than $ 1.90 a day, deciding how to spend it, given the constraints they face, is not simple. Why do the poor go less to schools and health services? Why don't they vaccinate their children, don't buy medicine, and buy things like coffee? Do microcredits work? Why do they have more children? How do they act when institutions do not work and property rights are not well defined? Why don't they invest in improving agricultural technology? Why are there fewer women than men in some countries? How will climate change affect them, and what consequences does pollution have in these countries?
We will also analyze questions at a more macroeconomic level: the importance of institutions in developing countries, corruption, does democracy improve growth and well-being in these countries? Should they have more women or individuals from minority groups in parliaments?
The focus of the subject will be fundamentally empirical. We are going to base ourselves on empirical evidence and articles with simple methodology that analyze how to solve all these problems giving credible results.