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MA Economics / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

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Course unit details:
Poverty, Inequality and Government Policy in Less Developed Countries

Unit code ECON60212
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Economics
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


The aim of this course is to explore rigorously the meaning and measurement of poverty and inequality and the multi-dimensional indices of well-being. The focus would be on understanding how the different indices of poverty and inequality are constructed and their implication on policy. We will also investigate the broad impact of distribution on development.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course students should be able to:

  1. construct and calibrate the different measures of poverty and inequality;
  2. have a deep understanding of how distribution impacts development ; and

have a broad appreciation of the policies related to poverty and inequality


Topic 1: The Meaning and Measurement of Inequality

Topic 2: Distribution and Development

Topic 3: The Meaning and Measurement of Poverty

Topic 4: Poverty and Development

Topic 5: Multidimensional Approaches to Wellbeing and Deprivation


Teaching and learning methods

Lectures and Tutorials

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 85%
Written assignment (inc essay) 15%

Recommended reading

Main Reference:

Sen, A.K. (with James Foster) (1998) On Economic Inequality, Oxford University Press, Oxford. Available as an

electronic copy from the library website.

Foster (1985) Inequality Measurement in Peyton Young (Ed.) Fair Allocation, AMS Vol 33.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Tutorials 5
Independent study hours
Independent study 125

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Indranil Dutta Unit coordinator

Additional notes

There are no formal pre-requisites for this course.  However, students are advised that a good background in economics is assumed.

Lecturer: Dr Indranil Dutta

Lecture - Friday 1-3pm,
Tutorial - Wednesday 1-2pm

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