Cours 2023-2024

Population, Environment and Governance [ECONM821]

  • 4 crédits
  • 30h
  • 1er quadrimestre
Langue d'enseignement: Anglais / English

Acquis d'apprentissage

The course has three main objectives. The first is to introduce students to the critical analysis of several key research methods widely used in development economics (micro-theoretical modeling, natural/randomized experiments, economic history methods). The second is to apply these analytical skills to some key topics in development related to population issues, environmental problems, and governance of environmental resources. The third is to develop the students’ skills of writing policy papers (i.e. non-technical arguments on an economic policy issue related to the theme of the course).


The first meeting is devoted to constructing jointly the list of topics to be studied in the course, as well as to the critical discussion of micro-theoretical modeling in development economics. On the basis of the list/structure of topics, the instructor will provide the articles that will be presented and discussed during the course (to be posted on the website of the course).

By the second meeting, the students form small groups and decide on the papers that they will present in the three presentation sessions.

A key element of the course is helping students to improve their skills of writing short policy papers (in clear, concise non-fiction English) – a skill considered as crucial in the future career of an MA graduate, but – unfortunately – under-developed during the university education. For this purpose, the next meeting is a 3-hour writing session, during which students draft (individually) a short policy paper on a given topic. Later, these essays will be analyzed and commented by the instructor. Then, the students will have the opportunity to re-write their papers, taking into account the comments/suggestions received.

The third and the fourth meetings are devoted to the critical discussion of natural/randomized experiments in development economics, and of research methods used in economic history and their importance for development economics.

Three meetings are devoted to student presentation of research papers on the topics agreed on the first day.

The rest of the course is devoted to the comments/suggestions for improvement of policy papers written by students, to discussions of some main rules of writing style in economics and to exercises aimed at improving the style.

Méthodes d'enseignement

Formal lectures on research methods in development economics, student presentations and joint discussions, and writing sessions of policy papers.

Mode d'évaluation

Final grade is based on the three presentations (20% each), the two policy papers – revised version of the paper developed during the course and the final exam (15% each), and participation in the discussions during/following the presentations (10%).

Sources, références et supports éventuels

The reading list will be constructed after the discussion at the first meeting, and made available by the second meeting.

Langue d'enseignement

Anglais / English

Lieu de l'activité


Faculté organisatrice

Faculté des sciences économiques, sociales et de gestion
Rue de Bruxelles, 61
5000 NAMUR


Etudes de 2ème cycle