G6303 Graduate Development


Kiki Pop-Eleches

e-mail: cp2124@columbia.edu

Spring 2010


Thursday     2:10-4 pm

Office Hours: Thursday 10-12 (please come, really) or by appointment, please email or stop by 1402C IAB


Course description: This course examines the micro-economic development literature, with an emphasis on empirical applications.


Recommended background readings

Ray [1998] – a great undergraduate level textbook

Deaton [1997] – a must have for those interested in empirical development


Course Requirements and Grading

I expect you to have read the papers we will discuss in class and participate actively in the discussion.


 1. Class presentations: You will be required to make one (or two) presentations to the class of empirical papers that I will assign ($ see below). These presentations will be short (15 -20 minutes) and no more than 7 slides long - 25%

2. Power Point Presentation: One research project outline (7 pages maximum) to be presented in the last day of class - 25%

3. Final exam (closed book, 2 hours) – 25%

4. Class and seminar participation - 25%


You are required to attend four meetings of the Development Seminar (the schedule is posted at httphttp://jagiellonia.econ.columbia.edu/colloquia/development/), which meets on Thursdays, 4:15 – 5:45 in room 1027 International Affairs Building.


Prerequisites: Core knowledge of microeconomic and econometrics at the graduate level




Lecture 1 (January 21)  Introduction

            -     to the course

-          to the field of development

-          to data


Lecture 2 (January 28)   Nutrition



***Subramanian, Shankar and Angus Deaton (1996), "The Demand for Food and Calories," Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 104 (1), pp 133-62.


***Duncan, Thomas et. al (2003), "Iron deficiency and the well-being of
older adults:Early results from a randomized nutrition intervention"


*Strauss (1996) JPE “Does Better Nutrition Raise Farm Productivity?”



*Strauss, John and Duncan Thomas (1995), "Human Resources: Empirical Modeling of Household and Family Decisions." In Behrman, Jere and T.N. Srinivasan, eds., Handbook of Development Economics, Volume 3. Amsterdam: North Holland, pp. 1885-2023.


* Srinivasan, T. N. (1994), "Destitution: A Discourse," Journal of Economic Literature, Vol. 32 (4), pp. 1842-55.


* Dasgupta, Partha and Debraj Ray (1986), "Inequality as a Determinant of Malnutrition and Unemployment: Theory," The Economic Journal, Vol. 96 (384), pp. 1011-1034.



$ Field, Robles and Torero (2007) ”The Cognitive Link Between Geography and Development: Iodine deficiency and schooling attainment in Tanzania




Lecture 3 (February 4) – Health


*** Gertler, Paul, and Jonathan Gruber (2002) "Insuring Consumption Against Illness," American Economic Review, 92 (1): 51-70.



***Miguel, Edward and Michael Kremer (2004, "Worms: Education and Health Externalities in Kenya" ( Econometrica)



***Duflo, Esther (2000), “Child Health and Household Resources in South Africa: Evidence from the Old Age Pension Program”, American Economic Review

(http://econ-www.mit.edu/files/717 )


$ Acemoglu, Daron and Simon Johnson (2007, “Disease and Development: The Effect of Life Expectancy on Economic Growth”, Journal of Political Economy



Lecture 4 (February 11) – Fertility


*** Pritchett, Lant “Desired Fertility and the Impact of Population Policies. Population and Development Review, Vol.20 (no.1), March 1994.



Comments and Replies on the above article (these are short):


***Knowles J.K, J.S Akin, P.K. Guilkey (1994). "The Impact of Population Policies: Comment" in Population Development Review, 20(3), pp.611-615.



***Bongaarts, John (1994). "The Impact of Population Policies: Comment" in Population Development Review, 20(3), pp.616-620.



***Pritchett, Lant H. (1994). "The Impact of Population Policies: Reply" in Population and Development Review, 20(3), pp 621-630.



*** Pop-Eleches, Cristian, “The Supply of Birth Control Methods, Education and Fertility: Evidence from Romania”, Columbia mimeo



* Becker, Gary S. and H. Gregg Lewis. 1973. ”On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children,” Journal of Political Economy, Mar.-Apr., 81:2 (Part II), pp. S279-S288.



$ Miller, Grant (2007) “Contraception as Development? New Evidence from Family Planning in Colombia,”

(http://www.stanford.edu/~ngmiller/family_planning.pdf )




Lecture 5 (February 18) – Family and Children


*** Udry, Christopher (1996), "Gender, Agricultural Production, and the Theory of the Household," Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 104 (5), pp. 1010-1045.


*** Black, Devereux and Salvanes (2005), “The More the Merrier? The
Effect of Family Size and Birth Order on Children’s Education
http://cee.lse.ac.uk/cee%20dps/ceedp50.pdf )


* Garg, Ashish and Jonathan Morduch (1998), "Sibling Rivalry and the Gender Gap: Evidence from Child Health Outcomes in Ghana," Journal of Population Economics, Vol. 11 (4), pp. 471-493.

(http://www.springerlink.com/content/lbermxk1ly7p1cwc/fulltext.pdf )


$ Lin, Ming-Jen, Jin-Tan Liu and Nancy Qian (2008) “More Missing Women, Fewer Dying Girls: The Impact of Abortion on Sex Ratios at Birth and Excess Female Mortality in Taiwan




Lecture 6 (February 25) – Institutions


*** Acemoglu, Daron, Simon Johnson and James A. Robinson (2001) “The Colonial

Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation,” American Economic

Review, volume 91, No. 5, 1369-1401.

(http://econ-www.mit.edu/files/276 )


*** Banerjee, Abhijit and Lakshmi Iyer, (2002), “History, Institutions and Economic

Performance: The Legacy of Colonial Land Tenure Systems in India.” mimeo.

(http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/delivery.cfm/SSRN_ID321721_code020813510.pdf?abstractid=321721 )


* Knack, Steven and Philip Keefer (1995) “Institutions and Economic Performance:

Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Measures,” Economics and Politics, 7, 207-



* Acemoglu, Daron, Simon Johnson and James Robinson (2002): “Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution” Quarterly Journal of Economics, volume 107, pp. 1231-1294.

$ Jones, Benjamin F. and Olken, Benjamin A. (2005): “Do Leaders Matter? National Leadership and Growth Since World War II”, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 120, (http://www.nber.org/~bolken/leaders.pdf )


Lecture 7 (March 4) – Regulation


*** Djankov, R. La Porta, and F. Lopez-de-Silanes and A. Shleifer (2002) ” The Regulation of Entry”, Quarterly Journal of Economics, February, 2002.

(http://www.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/shleifer/files/reg_entry.pdf )


*** Timothy Besley and Robin Burgess (2004),”Can Labor Regulation Hinder Economic Performance? Evidence from India”, Quarterly Journal of Economics



$ Bertrand, Marianne, Djankov Simeon, Hanna, Rema and Mullainathan, Sendhil, (2006) "Does Corruption Produce Unsafe Drivers?"

(http://ipl.econ.duke.edu/bread/papers/working/117.pdf )


Lecture 8 (March 11) – Credit & Savings


*** Burgess, Robin And Rohini Pande(2003), "Do Rural Banks Matter? Evidence from the Indian Social Banking Experiment," mimeo, Yale.

(http://www.princeton.edu/rpds/seminars/pdfs/burgess_rural_banks.pdf )


*** Morduch, Jonathan (1999), "The Microfinance Promise," Journal of Economic Literature, Vol. 37 (4), pp. 1569-1614.

(http://www.nyu.edu/projects/morduch/documents/microfinance/Microfinance_Promise.pdf )


***Aportela, Fernando (1998) 'The effects of financial access on savings by low-income people.' Mimeo, MIT



* Pitt, Mark and Shahidur Khandker (1998), "The Impact of Group-based Credit Programs on Poor Households in Bangladesh: Does the Gender of Participants Matter?" Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 106 (5), pp. 958-996. 


* Ashraf, Nava, Dean Karlan, and Wesley Yin (2006), “Tying Odysseus to the Mast: Evidence from a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines,” Quarterly Journal of Economics

(http://karlan.yale.edu/p/SEED.pdf )


$ Karlan, Dean and J. Zinman (2008) “Expanding Credit Access: Using Randomized Supply Decisions to Estimate the Impacts”, Review of Financial Studies

(http://www.dartmouth.edu/~jzinman/Papers/Karlan&Zinman_ExpandingCreditAccess_oct08.pdf )



No Lecture  (March 18 NO CLASS – SPRING BREAK)



Lecture 9 (March 25)  & Lecture 10 (April 1)    Savings, Risk and Insurance, Consumption Smoothing


***Paxson, Christina (1992), “Using Weather Variability to Estimate the Response of Savings to Transitory Income in Thailand, American Economic Review 82: 15-33.



***Morduch, Jonathan (1995), "Income Smoothing and Consumption Smoothing,Journal of Economic Perspectives 9(3), Summer, pp. 103-114.



***Murdoch, Jonathan, “Risk, Production, and Saving: Theory and Evidence from Indian Households


* Townsend, Robert (1994) “Risk and Insurance in Village India,” Econometrica 62, May, 539-592.


*Ravallion, Martin and Shubham Chaudhuri (1997), “Risk and Insurance in Village India: Comment,” Econometrica 65(1), January: 171-84.


$ Maccini, Sharon & Dean Yang, (2008), "Under the Weather: Health, Schooling, and Economic Consequences of Early-Life Rainfall," American Economic Review



Lecture 11 (April 8) – HIV/AIDS and ORPHANS


 *** Thirumurthy, Harsha, Markus Goldstein and Joshua Graff Zivin, 2008. “The economic impact of AIDS treatment: labor supply in western Kenya” Journal of Human Resources, 43(3): 511-552.


*** Thornton, Rebecca L. 2008. "The Demand for, and Impact of, Learning HIV Status.," American Economic Review,  98 (5):, 1829-63.

(http://www-personal.umich.edu/~rebeccal/Thornton%20HIV%20Testing.pdf )


*Anne Case and Cally Ardington “The impact of parental death on school enrollment and achievement: Longitudinal evidence from South Africa

(http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/demography/v043/43.3case.pdf )


* Evans, Dave and Ted Miguel (2004), “Orphans and Schooling in Africa: A Longitudinal Analysis”

(http://www.econ.berkeley.edu/~emiguel/pdfs/miguel_orphans.pdf  )


*Akresh Richard (2004), “Adjusting Household Structure: School Enrollment Impacts of Child Fostering in Burkina Faso



$ Dupas, Pascaline (2008), "Relative Risks and the Market for Sex: Teenage Pregnancy, HIV, and Partner Selection in Kenya"



Lecture 12 (April 15) – WRAPPING UP

***Banerjee and Duflo, "The Experimental Approach to Development"

***Deaton, Angus "Instruments of development: Randomization in the
tropics, and the search for the elusive keys to economic development"

***Ravallion, Martin "Should the Randomistas Rule?"



Lecture 13 and Lecture 14 (April 22 and April 29) - Student presentations