BSc Economics / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Topics in Inequality & Poverty

Course unit fact file
Unit code ECON30041
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This course is a 20 credit optional unit at the third year level covering various topics on inequality and poverty and their impact on the economy. By design this course is meant to give a 'grand tour' of the different perspectives through which the interlinkages between income distribution and the economy can be viewed.

The course starts from the basics of how to measure and interpret the levels of inequality and poverty in the economy and covers both analytically and empirically various facets of how inequality and poverty impact the economy and are in turn impacted by it. The course ends with critically examining the mainstream approaches to evaluating welfare and deprivation and discusses possible alternative ideas.


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Introductory Statistics for Economists SOST10062 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Advanced Statistics ECON10072A Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Principles of Microeconomic Theory 1: Consumers, Welfare, Production and Costs ECON10171 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Macroeconomic Analysis 1 ECON10181 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Microeconomics 1 ECON10221 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Macroeconomics 1 ECON10241 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Macroeconomics 1 ECON10252 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Microeconomics 1 ECON10331 Pre-Requisite Compulsory

(ECON10171 OR ECON10221 OR ECON10331) AND (ECON10181 OR ECON10241 OR ECON10252) and (SOST10062 or ECON10072)


The unit aims to provide:

  • A broad understanding of the theories underlying the dynamics of inequality and poverty;
  • A systematic exposition of the different measures of poverty and inequality; and (ii) critically examine the existing evidence on inequality and poverty, and the role of government policy in it.

Learning outcomes

Student should be able to

  1. Develop a critical understanding of the dynamics of poverty and inequality
  2. Use different indices of poverty and inequality and recognise the implications of the measures, and
  3. Follow and comprehend the broad debates on poverty and inequality.


Teaching and learning methods

Synchronous activities (such as Lectures or Review and Q&A sessions, and tutorials), and guided self-study


Assessment methods

Mid-Term Test (through the Blackboard page) 15%

Final Exam 85%

FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT: MCQ's ((through the Blackboard page)

Recommended reading

Bourguignon, F. (2015)  Globalisation of Inequality, Princeton University Press.

Deaton, A. (2013) The Great Escape: Health Wealth and the Origins of Inequality, Princeton University Press


Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Caitlin Brown Unit coordinator

Additional notes

For every 10 course unit credits we expect students to work for around 100 hours. This time generally includes any contact times (online or face to face, recorded and live), but also independent study, work for coursework, and group work. This amount is only a guidance and individual study time will vary

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