Course Code

ECON 3051

Course Title

Topics in Economic Development

Course Discipline


Units of Credit



ECON 1001 and ECON 1002

Semester of Offering

Semester I, 2012/2013


Dr. Marlene Attzs (

Mrs. Malini Maharaj (

Dr. Kevin Williams (


Course Description

The course introduces the student to some of the main development issues that have contributed to the development paths pursed either collectively or individually by countries of the Caribbean. In this regard the course examines some of the fundamental theories on Caribbean Economic Development such as those as proposed by Sir Arthur Lewis and Lloyd Best.

Current development concerns and issues which are particularly important to Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS), e.g. health, education and natural disasters are also dealt with in this course.  The cross cutting issue of gender as a development issue for Caribbean SIDS will also be given special attention.


This course would be delivered primarily through weekly two (2) hour lecture sessions and accompanied by one (1) hour tutorial sessions. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the reading material and relevant current Caribbean events before lecture sessions to engage in discussions at the beginning of the class. Lecture sessions would therefore involve both these discussions and coverage by the lecturer of the associated literature. Students are also required to prepare tutorial questions for discussion during tutorial sessions. All reading material is made available either through the myelearning course interface, library or online resources.

Assessments are executed primarily through the myelearning interface and involve a combination of online quizzes and/or discussions, group projects and presentations and tutorial participation.


Aim of Course                                                                      

The course seeks to appraise students of some of the more topical issues in Economic Development in the contemporary period. The course examines the meaning of development and the major concerns of development economists over time.


Learning Outcomes

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

  • Define the concept of Economic Development by citing and referencing the relevant literature presented in the course.
  • Identify, explain and distinguish the different concepts of economic development and the conditions under which these concepts are based.
  • Evaluate Development in specific case studies by explaining and analyzing development indicators.
  • Apply and explain theories of Economic Development in relevant case studies.
  • Discuss how Caribbean Economic Development has been explained by the literature and assess how these explanations can be applied in the current context of the Caribbean.
  • Explain contemporary issues affecting economic development, in particular Natural Disasters and Health with particular reference to the Caribbean.



Course Units and Description

Unit Number

Unit Name

Unit Description

Teaching Week



Unit 1

Introduction and course overview


What is Economic Development

This unit begins with an historic review of Economic Development. Alternative definitions of ED are proposed and discussed.





Unit 2


The measurement of Development


This Unit complements Unit 1 in which we sought to define ED.  In this Unit we grapple with measurement concepts essentially Seers' point in "What are we trying to measure"? In other words, what are some of the indicators of Economic Development?  The Unit also looks at the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and how the specific MDG Targets seek to identify indicators to address chronic development challenges.


 1 and 2



Unit 3


Sustainable development


An introduction to the basic theory of Sustainable development will be presented in this unit.   Measurement indicators for sustainable development are also discussed.




Unit 4.1









Unit 4.2






Unit 4.3


Sustainable human development








Governance and Economic Development




Debt and Development


"SHD has as its central focus the notion of social capital which is inherent in the structure of relations between and among actors…"  What is this social capital, how can it help us achieve Sustainable Development?  These are some of the issues to be explored in Unit 4.


What, if any, is the link between good governance and sustainable development?  Can economic growth and economic development be achieved in the absence of good governance?  What is good governance?  Is good governance important to SIDS?  These are some of the questions to be explored in Unit 4.2.

Is debt is “necessary evil” for development?





















Unit 5


Explaining Long Term Economic change


Some of the theories regarding economic growth and economic change, as a precursor to economic development, will be discussed.  An interesting dimension of this is trying to relate these explanations of long term economic change to other theories of economic development.





Unit 6


Caribbean Economic Development



This Unit introduces some of the theories developed to explain Caribbean Economic Development. The work of prominent Caribbean Economists such as Best and Levitt, Lewis and Girvan are elaborated on in this Unit.  The reason for the historical perspective is to understand what was proposed, review what has and has not worked and then glean from these theorists what might be proposed for the way forward.



 7 and 8



Unit 7.1


The role of health in Caribbean development 


This unit will speak to the role of population health in the preservation of human capital and how ill health can impact development prospects. It highlights the current health challenges facing the region and examines proposed interventions to address these issues.





Unit 7.2


Natural Disaster, Climate Change  and Caribbean Economic Development


The challenge of achieving Caribbean Economic Development given the region's vulnerability to climate change impacts and natural hazards will be the focus of this Unit.  The section seeks to review the nexus between climate change adaptation and disaster risk management as possible ways to simultaneously address poverty reduction in the region.





In Class Group Presentation

5% Coursework Assignment



Course overview and Revision Session






Course Delivery

Method of Delivery




You will have one (2) two hour lecture session per week;



Students are required to register for one (1) of the tutorial sessions on myelearning. It is important that students attend the tutorial session for which they have been formally registered for so as to track attendance. The Tutorial sheet would also be available on myelearning.

Students are also strongly encouraged to participate in tutorial sessions and pay special attention to Regulation 19 of the Faculty of Social Science as outlined in Policies to Note below.



Department of Economics Activities

Students are encouraged to participation in the following planned Departmental activities for each Academic year:

  • Attendance at the annual Post National Budget Forum.   Please contact the Department of Economics for the date and time of this event.
  • Attendance at the Conference on the Economy



All students are required to complete the assessments as outlined below. Students are asked to note that to earn a final passing grade in this course; you must pass both the in-course assignment (40%) and the final exam (60%).

Please note the following with respect to course assignments:



Schedule of In-Course Assessment

Assessment Item


Opening date of assignment

Due  date for Assignment

Tutorial Discussion Question



Group Project




In Class Group Presentation




Final Exam


To be announced



Guidelines and Resources for Coursework Assignments will be made available on the myeLearning course site.




1.  Students are asked to note that to earn a final passing grade in this course, you must pass both the in-course assignments (40%) and the final exam (60%). Please note Regulation 11a in this case.

2.        Students who may have requested a transfer of coursework marks from a previous attempt are to be guided by the Faculty's Undergraduate Regulations, particularly Regulation 11, that deals with Coursework matters.

3.  According to Regulation 11 b,

  •    Only a coursework mark of 40% will be transferred within the period outlined i.e. one (1) year limit. A student who meets this requirement must not attempt coursework for the said period, as this approval will become null and void.

In the event that a student requests the transfer of coursework AND attempts any part of the coursework assessments, the request for coursework transfer would be disregarded and the student's most recent coursework attempt would then be considered.

4.  Students are reminded of UWI Examination regulation no. 78 which states, inter alia,

    • 78. (i) Cheating shall constitute a major offence under these regulations.
    • (ii) Cheating is any attempt to benefit one’s self or another by deceit or fraud.
    • (iii) Plagiarism is a form of cheating.
    • (iv) Plagiarism is the unauthorised and/or unacknowledged use of another person’s intellectual efforts and creations howsoever recorded, including whether formally published or in manuscript or in typescript or other printed or  electronically presented form and includes taking passages, ideas or structures from another work or author without proper and unequivocal attribution of such source(s), using the conventions for attributions or citing used in this University.
  • UWI Examination Regulation No. 19Any candidate who has been absent from the University for a prolonged period during the teaching of a particular course for any reason other than illness or whose attendance at prescribed lectures, classes, ... tutorials, ... has been unsatisfactory or who has failed to submit essays or other exercises set by his/her teachers, may be debarred by the relevant Academic Board, on the recommendation of the relevant Faculty Board, from taking any University examinations. The procedures to be used shall be prescribed in Faculty Regulations.” 

In this connection, the Faculty of Social Sciences requires students to attend and participate in at least 75% of tutorials


Reading List

Key readings can be found in the library either on the open shelf or in Closed Reserve. Students are urged to read all suggested material. Useful websites from which additional material may be downloaded are:;;;;; and  Additional references for specific topic areas will also be cited during the semester.

  • Demas, William G.  The Economics of Development in Small Countries: with special reference to the Caribbean.  Kingston, Jamaica: UWI Press:  2009
  • Pantin, Dennis ed.  The Caribbean Economy: A Reader.  Ian Randle Publishers. 2005


Detailed reading list

      1. and 2.  Definitions and Measures of Development

  • Ardnt, H.W. Economic Development: a semantic history, economic development and cultural change.
  • Hunt, Diana.  Economic Theories of Development: an analysis of competing paradigms.  Especially: Chapters 3 & 4.
  • UNDP Human Development Report ( Especially: Overview, Chapters on HD Indicators and Chapter with Tables.
  • Jeni Klugman, Francisco Rodríguez and Hyung-Jin Choi. The HDI 2010: New Controversies, Old CritiquesApril 2011.  Available from:     
  • Seers, Dudley. The Meaning of Development, 1969, International Development Review
  • Seers, Dudley. "What are We Trying to Measure?", 1972, Journal of Development Economics
  • Sen, Amartya. Development: which way now. Development as Freedom.

3. Sustainable Development

  • Indicators of Sustainable Development.
  • Munasinghe, Mohan. The Economist's Approach to Sustainable Development. Finance and Development (30) 4, December 1993.
  • Environmental Economics and Sustainable Development ('esp. part 1, Chapters 1 and 2).  World Bank Environment Paper Number 3, World Bank, 1993.
  • Pantin, Dennis. The Economics of Sustainable Development in Small Island Developing States   (Chapter 1).
  • United Nations.  2006.  The Millennium Development Goals Report.  Available from:
  • Dasgupta, Partha. Nature's role in sustaining economic development. 
  • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. 2010 365, 5-11

4.1 Sustainable Human Development

  • De V1yder, Stefan. 1995. Sustainable Human Development and Macroeconomics: strategic links and implications. A UNDP Discussion Paper.
  • UNDP: Human Development Report (latest).
  • Banuri, T., G. Hyden, C. Juma and M. Rivera. 1994. Sustainable Human Development, From Concept to Operation: A Guide for the Practitioner. UNDP Discussion Paper. NY: UNDP.
  • Sustainable Human Development, Macroeconomics and Gender Sensitivity.
  • Macroeconomic Implications of Strategies promoting Sustainable Human Development.

4.2 Governance and Economic Development

  • Van Seijl-Rozema, Annemarie et al. (2008).  Governance for Sustainable Development : a framework.  Sustainable Development, 16 410-421.
  • Sharma, Shalendra D.  2007.  Democracy, Good governance and Economic Development.  Taiwan Journal of Democracy, Volume 3, No. 1: 29-62.
  • Huther, Jeff and Anwar Shah.  A simple measure of good governance.

4.3 Debt and Development in the Caribbean Context

  • Readings to be provided.

5. Models of Long Term Economic Change

  • Anderson, J.L. Explaining Long-term Economic Change (esp. Chapters 1, 2, 4 and 7).
  • Economist. Development piecemeal. Economist Journal, August 5th 2004.

6.  Explaining Caribbean Economic Development

  • Pantin, Dennis. The Economics of Sustainable Development in Small Caribbean Islands (Chapter 2).
  • Lewis, W.A. Industrialization of the BWI, Caribbean Economic Review 2, 1-61, 1950. .  In “Dennis Pantin, The Caribbean Economy: A Reader.”
  • Best and Levitt.  Model of the Plantation Economy.  .  In “Dennis Pantin, The Caribbean Economy: A Reader.”
  • Girvan, Norman G. Reinterpreting the Caribbean .  In “Dennis Pantin, The Caribbean Economy: A Reader.”
  • World Bank.  2005.  A Time to Choose:  Caribbean Development in the 21st Century.

7. Key Issues in Economic Development

       7.1 Health and Economic Development

  • Over, Mead. 1991. The Health Sector in a Developing Economy. In Economics for  Health Sector Analysis: Concepts and Cases. Washington, D.C.: World Bank. 

(Chapter 1 in particular).

  • *69/Theodore, Karl. 1997. “From Crisis to Confidence – An Economic Perspective on the Health – and – Development Nexus.” Health Economics Unit, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine.
  •  World Bank. 1993. “World Development Report – Investing in Health.”  Washington D.C.:  The World Bank.  Chapters 1.
  • Rivas-Loria P. and Shelton C. (2004) “Analysis of Health Sector Reforms: Regions of the Americas” PAHO, Latin America and the Caribbean Health Sector Reform, No. 12
  • CARICOM Nassau Declaration On Health 2001 : The Health Of The Region Is The Wealth Of The Region

7.2 Climate Change, Natural Disasters and Economic Development

  • Clarke, Caroline and Mohan Munasinghe.  Economic Aspects of Disasters and Sustainable Development: an introduction.
  • Anderson, Mary B.  Vulnerability to Disaster and Sustainable Development.: a general framework for assessing vulnerability
  • Ramussen, Tobias. 2004. Macroeconomic implications of Natural Disasters in the Caribbean. Washington D.C.: International Monetary Fund. Available from:

  • Attzs, Marlene. 2005. When all things are not equal: natural disasters and attainment of the Millennium Development Goals. In Breaking with Business as Usual: Perspectives from Civil Society in the Commonwealth on the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.  London: Commonwealth Foundation.  Available from:
  • Attzs, Marlene. 2008.  Natural Disasters and Remittances:  Exploring the Linkages between Poverty, Gender and Disaster Vulnerability in Caribbean SIDS.  Research Paper No. 2008/X, Published by the United Nations University – World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER).  ISSN 1810-2611, ISBN 978-92-9230-


Department of Economics