A good general reference for the theory underlying this course, and the level at which it will be pitched, is Bardhan and Udry (1999). The focus of the course will be on how to go from rigorous micro theory to the appropriate empirical test, as illustrated by a selection of classic papers in the field, as well as several more recent papers that are worth looking at. A solid knowledge of micro theory at the level of Varian (1992), and microeconometrics at the level of Wooldridge (2002), will make your life easier.