Development Economics


About The Field

The field of development economics is intended to ground students in a variety of analytical perspectives on the development process. The required core course, Development Economics, concentrates on central themes including global poverty, growth, and the role of policies towards agriculture and trade. Other courses in the field complement this broad perspective, addressing such issues as nutrition and rural development, microeconomic poverty interventions, international finance, and political economy.


Below is a representative portrait of curricular requirements for this Field of Study. Core requirements are subject to periodic updates and modifications; current Fletcher students should refer to the Registrar's Field of Study Guide for definitive requirements in a given academic year.

Core Requirements for the Field

Important to Note

  • Total credits needed: 4.5. If one of the following applies, total credits needed is 4.0: 1) You pass the E210m Equivalency Exam OR 2) You offer E213 in place of E210m and E211. If you pass the E201 Equivalency Exam, you are still required to complete the field with 4.5 credits.

    Special Note About the three Economics Fields of Study

  • All three Economics fields of study, 1) International Trade and Commercial Policies, 2) International Monetary Theory and Policy, and 3) Development Economics, have a select group of Core required courses, which include E201, as well as a Field Specific Core required course, and one Elective course. Together, they constitute a minimum package of economics knowledge allowing Fletcher students to use economic tools to reason analytically in their chosen domain.
  • If you pass the E201 Introduction to Economic Theory Equivalency Exam, while you do not need to enroll in E201, you are still obliged to complete the 4.5 credits required for all three Economics fields of study (unless you've met one of the above criteria for the extra 0.5 credit exemption).
  • In the case of the International Trade and Commercial Policies field, as well as the Development Economics field, if you pass the E210m Equivalency Exam, or if you complete the E210m module plus take another 1/2 credit module from the field's list of Electives to match-up in order to complete one-course credit, you may complete either of these fields of study with 4 credits.
  • Some students seek to offer both of their fields of study in Economics, which requires the following:

    - Completion of the course E213: Econometrics, and

    - A minimum of seven Economic course credits that are more advanced than E201.

    Note: Since some of the Core required courses are the same among the different Economics fields of study, students pursuing both their fields of study in Economics are required to take more elective courses in one or both of their selected Economic fields of study.

  • Required Courses

    Introduction to Economic Theory

    Quantitative Methods




    (in lieu of Quantitative Methods and Microeconomics)

    Field-Specific Course Requirements
    Examples of Elective Courses

    We encourage you to visit our course listings to get a better understanding of Fletcher, our curriculum, and our students.

    Current Students & Alumni

    Graduates of The Fletcher School's field of development economic studies are in great demand by employers in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. These are a sample of Fletcher current students and alums:

    Amanda Judge Fletcher
    Faith Biegon, The Fletcher School
    Joshua Haynes Fletcher
    Amanda Judge
    MALD 09
    Faire Collection,

       Read Amanda's story

    Faith Biegon
    MALD 18
    Development Economics, International Political Economy

       Read Faith's story

    Joshua Haynes
    MIB 10
    U.S. Agency for International Development, Senior Development Technologist + Media Advisor

       Read Joshua's story

    Outside the Classroom

    • Smallholder Agricultural Finance: The Next Frontier of Financial Inclusion
    • A Radical Proposal for a Basic Income Guarantee
    • The Inclusive City: 2nd Annual Fletcher-MasterCard Inclusion Forum
    • GDAE Open House
    • IBGC Speaker Series - Challenges to Unlocking Asia's Potential
    • In Their Own Hands: How Savings Groups are Revolutionizing Development
    • Perspectives in International Development: What role religion plays when associated with NGO development
    • Inclusive Growth: Ensuring Prosperity Reaches Africa’s Bottom of the Pyramid
    • Transforming Smallholder Farming in Africa
    • Careers in M&E
    • Careers in M&E: Gender, Equity & Evaluation


      • The Faire Collection - Otavalo, Ecuador
      • Accion - Bangalore, India
      • USAID - Washington, DC
      • PCI Parivartan - New Delhi, India
      • Catholic Relief Services - Washington, DC
      • The World Bank - Washington, DC
      • Development Innovations - Phnom Penh, Cambodia
      • UNDP - Amman, Jordan
      • Center for Microfinance Research - Chennai, India
      • Save the Children - Gao, Mali
      • eHomemakers - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
      • Institute of Financial Management and Research - Chennai, India
      • "Food Security, Monoculture, and the Black Box: Impact and Causal Mechanisms of the Land Husbandry, Water Harvesting, and Hillside Irrigation Program in Rwanda"
      • "The New Frontier of development: how securitization and risk spreading in the microfinance industry can benefit development and the private sector"
      • "Progress, Opportunity, Prosperity? A Case Study of the Digitization of a Conditional Cash Transfer Program in Mexico"
      • "Where Peace Begins: The Role of Local People and Communities in Transforming Economies of War"
      • "Collaborative Value Sharing Between Profit and Non-profit Partners in Emerging Markets: The Case of GrameenPhone in Bangladesh"
      • "Additionality of the Clean Development Mechanism: Insights from Central American Case Studies"
      • "The Political Potential of Israel-GCC Business Relations"
      • "Maintaining Socially-Inclusive Economic Growth By Enabling Opportunity: Achieving Sustainable Development in Vietnam"
      • Distributional and Welfare Effects of Including Corn into NAFTA and the Social, Economic, Political and International Repercussions for Mexico"
      • Africana Club
      • Fletcher Net Impact
      • Global Health Group
      • Global Women
      • International Development Group
      • International Migration Group
      • Latin America Group
      • Praxis: The Fletcher Journal of Human Security
      • South Asia Society
      • Urbanism Society

      A Fletcher education is highly customizable, and each student may decide on a different academic trajectory to suit his or her own professional and academic goals. To get a better sense of how these individual curricular decisions can play out, we asked recent students in their final semester to talk about their goals, their classes, and the decisions made during their Fletcher career. Meet Hannah:


      Pre-Fletcher Experience
      • Several years designing, managing and evaluating international development programs
      • Experienced in business and program strategy
      • Gender integration specialist

      Fields of Study

      Development Economics
      International Business

      Capstone Topic

      Diffusion of Innovations at the Base of the Pyramid: The Case of Mobile Money in Kenya and India

      Post-Fletcher Professional Goals

      I’m interested in working with companies that are developing new products and services that can help improve the lives of the poor in developing countries.

      Read about Hannah's curricular path>

      Learn From The Experts: Fletcher Faculty

      Steven A. Block, Professor of International Economics at The Fletcher School"In my class on food policy and agricultural development, I try to demonstrate the value of applied economic theory as a tool to understand the complex and emotionally vexing issue of world hunger."

      Steven Block, Academic Dean, Professor of International Economics, Director of the Program on International Development

      Other faculty with expertise in the field:

      Jenny Aker Michael Klein Carolyn Gideon Carsten Kowalczyk
      Jenny Aker Michael Klein Carolyn Gideon Carsten Kowalczyk
      Kim Wilson Julie Schaffner Shinsuke Tanaka
      Kim Wilson Julie Schaffner Shinsuke Tanaka