Economic Growth (F)

Course content

The course introduces topics in the field of economic growth with particular relevance to the growth process in the industrialized part of the world. In particular, we study theories of economic growth where knowledge accumulation drives technological change, as determined by factor accumulation as well as through research and development. We also discuss the role played by technology transfer; the importance of misallocation in development as well as of economic geography. Measurement issues concerning economic growth will also be discussed. 

Empirical evidence will be discussed in an effort to gauge the practical importance of various theories. Moreover, we review current debates in the area of economic growth where we apply various frameworks that are introduced in the course. For example: is a growth slowdown on the horizon? What is the cause of the transatlantic productivity divergence? 

There will be an emphasis on formal models; understanding them, being able to evaluate them from both a theoretical and empirical perspective, and to use them to analyse specific questions.


MSc programme in Economics – elective course
The course is part of the Financial line at the MSc programme in Economics,   symbolized by ‘F’.

Learning outcome

By the end of the course the student should be able to:


• Have a broad appreciation of important papers in the literature relevant to economic growth in industrialized economies.

• Apply his/her knowledge of econometrics to articles that conduct quantitative analysis with bearing on growth within and across industrialized economies.


• Understand theoretical models and arguments in the area, as well as be able to provide intuition for central mechanisms and assess the model’s empirical predictions.

• Appreciate some of the key debates among economists and how they relate to contemporary policy issues


• Have the background training needed to function as a trained economist working on the problems of less developed countries in an international organization, business environment, government or non-governmental organization

Lectures and exercise classes.

The course uses selected chapters from Barro, R og X. Sala-i-Martin (2004). “Economic Growth” (2nd ed), MIT press as well as journal articles, handbook chapters etc.

Working knowledge of growth models at a level corresponding to Barro, R og X. Sala-i-Martin (2004). “Economic Growth” (2nd ed), MIT press, Ch. 1-3, which is covered in Macroeconomics II and Macroeconomics III at the department. Knowledge of basic econometrics such a cross-section and panel data analysis.

Useful reading before the course is taken includes the mentioned book by Barro and Sala-i-Martin Ch. 1-3.

3 hours lectures a week from week 6 to 20 (except holidays).

Timetable and venue:
The schedule for the semester spring 2018 will be available no later than 7th of November 2017

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 3 hours under invigilation
at the computers of the University. The exam assignment is given in English and must be answered in English.
Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
if chosen by the Head of Studies.
Criteria for exam assessment

Students are assessed on the extent to which they master the learning outcome for the course.

To receive the top grade, the student must be able to demonstrate in an excellent manner that he or she has acquired and can make use of the knowledge, skills and competencies listed in the learning outcomes.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Class Exercises
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 147
  • Exam
  • 3
  • English
  • 206