Midterm #2 Prompt

Economics 280 Midterm #2 Fall 2017
Due Monday 6 November at Midnight

This midterm covers our class discussion, outside speakers and material since the first midterm:

  • Chapter 7: Population
  • Chapter 8: Education
  • Chapter 9: Health
  • Chapter 16: Agriculture and Development
  • Chapter 17: Agricultural Development: Technology, Policies, and Institutions

Write on 3 of the following questions. You have 30 minutes for each. However, BEFORE you start writing on ANY of the questions, take 5 minutes per question to outline your answers to ALL the questions. (You can take 20 minutes outline all four and then decide which 3 you’ll do for this midterm.)

Whenever appropriate, use JARGON and embed or frame your argument using our MODELS. Of course you need EVIDENCE, which may take the form of examples from the book or other sources. Keep in mind the CONTEXT of your argument, the “so what” aspect of why what you say is important in analyzing the issues of economic development.

Handwriting is fine. In all cases please leave margins to let me add comments.


  1.  Why should we educate rural farmers? Their children, yes, but old(er) folks? Develop your argument in the context of the issues agriculture, health and population.
  2.  Gender matters. Argue how and why development policy needs to be cognizant of that, and what dividends that can offer to the economy as a whole.
  3.  Technology does not consist of blueprints. Instead it is embodied in the “how to” of daily productive activities, from equipment and materials to knowledge. It must therefore be “appropriate” to the constraints and needs of an economy. Indeed, because that’s where the people are, addressing the needs of education, health and agriculture requires undertaking R&D even in rural areas.
  4.  However ugly urban slums may be, the poorest slice of the population in most developing countries lives in rural areas. What is necessary to raise rural incomes? Pick a policy – is it sufficient? Indeed, more generally, is a focus on agriculture sufficient?