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Economics of Less Developed Countries

Building on the classic models of economic development covered in the first module, module 2 uses contemporary models of economic development to investigate why some countries are rich and others are poor. The inherent challenges of development policymaking will be considered, before the success and failure of trade, finance and aid policies in less developed countries is examined. The central role of macro and micro institutions in economic development is then considered in detail. The module concludes with a discussion of the key challenge of environmental sustainability.

Economics of Policy Issues

This module will analyze the relationship between institutions and policy outcomes. In particular, it will focus on voting behaviour and the impact of forms of government and electoral rules on redistribution and government expenditure. A focus on social justice and entitlements such as health care and old age pensions will then be complemented by analysis of alternative levels of taxation. The module concludes with a more philosophical discussion on the overall need for government in society.


The modern practice of business, economics, and the social sciences requires at least a minimum knowledge of certain statistical tools. The academic literature in finance and economics has become highly mathematical over the past decades. But also business people, economic advisors, policy makers, journalists, etc., even if they do not actively use statistics (although many of them do), are confronted with analyses that use the language of statistics. In the study of statistics we ask the following question: how can we summarize data in a consistent way, so as to draw conclusions from them that can be used in decision-making. Many statistical methods use a particular field of mathematics called Probability Theory, which will be studied in some detail. In addition, statistics uses the same form of logical rigor as mathematics.

MSc in Economic Policy Studies

The MSc in Economic Policy Studies (EPS) is a two-year part time programme, organised by the Department of Economics at Trinity College, Dublin. It is designed to provide graduates with the skills to apply economic perspectives, approaches and related skills to the study of policy issues.

The aim of the programme is to provide participants with a greater understanding of the policy process and the ability to engage confidently in evidence based economic policy making. It enables graduates to contribute effectively to the processes of economic policy formulation, change and implementation, using various concepts and methods in social science analyses. Policy making in any field requires a wide range of skills and analytical approaches; while this programme focuses on economic policy and on the economic analysis of other policies, the political economy context, both domestically and internationally, is also explored.

The 2012/2014 programme specialises in two aspects of economic policy-making, project analysis and appraisal and competition/regulation evaluation. Arising from this, each student will write a substantial evidence based dissertation related to one of these areas. From September 2014 an additional specialised module will be offered, Money and Banking. There is an intake of students every second year – the next student intake will be for the academic year commencing September 2014. The application system will open in November 2013. The brochure for the programme can be found at this link: MSc EPS Brochure 2014-2016 and the departmental homepage with a link to the application system can be found here.