Development economics courses focus on the different factors that lead to an economy's growth and expansion. Degree programs in the discipline feature courses in micro- and macroeconomic theories, the influence of global markets, regression analysis, rural development, and monetary policy. Courses may also focus on the development of economies in certain global regions or individual countries. Disparities between socioeconomic groups are explored in some types of economic development courses.
Some universities offer development economics courses as a part of an overall degree program. The majority of these programs are at the graduate level and lead to a master's or doctorate degree. Students take a combination of core and elective courses in economic topics that focus on explaining how populations develop a working economy and how societies work to improve living conditions for the common citizen. The core courses in development economics explore the foundations of economic theory, such as supply and demand.
Mathematical and statistical analysis are an important component of development economics courses. These types of classes examine how regression analysis and quantitative models can be used to shape monetary policy and make decisions related to expansion projects. Mathematical models can also be used to predict how various factors, such as an increase in the costs of raw goods, will result in certain types of economic activities or consequences.
One of the primary types of development economics courses is the examination of low-income countries or rural nations that attempt to become industrialized. Changes in core economic systems and policy, such as a move from socialism to capitalism, may also be explored in these classes. Some courses may concentrate on a single country that has completed structural changes in the past, such as Japan. Other classes might examine several economies in a certain region of the globe that is experiencing rapid growth and development.
A few of these regions have traditionally been considered "third-world" countries, having rudimentary economic systems. Development economics courses attempt to explain why economic structures are changing in these nations, and what processes are driving the changes. Gaps between socioeconomic groups in specific countries and global regions are also explored in these classes, by explaining and testing the macro- and micro-level economic forces that contribute to poverty. Governmental and institutional policies are often considered major sources of influence, as correlations between fiscal policy and access to employment and educational resources become factors in the average citizen's status.