Cancelled Seminar: Long-Run Economic Growth - canceled

Course content

This seminar focuses on long-run economic growth theory and empirics. The course focus on core economic questions such as:
What is the basic driver of economic growth in the long run?
Does demography matter for growth?
How do growth dynamics differ in the long and the short run?
Furthermore, the course provide an introduction to the exciting new research area in the field of economic growth that is related to human biology and population genetics. A main purpose is therefore to understand long-run economic and cultural processes in light of fundamental biocultural forces. Key topics for this literature include the origins of human capital formation, the demographic transition, and the transition from millennials of stagnation to the era of sustained economic growth.


MSc programme in Economics

The seminar is primarily for students at the MSc of Economics

Learning outcome

After completing the seminar the student is expected to be able to fulfill the learning outcome specified in the Curriculum and to be able to:

• Understand central theories, findings, and questions, including those at the research frontier. Examples of topics:
- The role of human capital and demography for economic growth.
- The role of genetics in comparative economic development.
- The role of natural selection as a driver of human capital formation and economic growth
- The economics of cultural transmission

• Pose a focused empirical or theoretical research question and write a   short research paper on the topic.

• Discuss a fellow participants' paper as an opponent.

At the seminar the student is trained independently to
- identify and clarify a problem,
- seek and select relevant literatur,
- write a academic paper,
- present and discuss own paper with the other students at the seminar.

Mandatory activities in the seminar:
- Kick-off meeting
- Finding literatur and defining the project
- Writing process of the seminar paper
- Presentation of own project and paper
- Giving constructive feedback to another student´s paper
- Actively participating in discussions at the presentations and other meetings.

The aim of the presentations is, that you use the presentation as an opportunity to practice oral skills and to receive feedback at the paper. The presentations are not a part of the exam and will not be assessed.

The seminar project paper must be uploaded in Absalon before the presentations, as the opponents and the other seminar participants have to read and comment on the paper. It is important that you upload a paper that is so finalized as possible due to the fact that the value of feedback and comments at the presentation is strongly associated with the skill level of the seminar paper.
The teacher defines what materials may be used for the presentations.

After the presentations, you can with a few corrections improve the seminar paper by including the feedback and comments emerged during the presentations. It is NOT intended that you rewrite or begin the writing of the seminar paper after the presentation has taken place.

In case of a pandemic like Corona the teaching in this seminar may be changed to be taught either fully or partly online. For further information, see the course room on Absalon.

A short collection of papers that can be used as starting points are given here:
• Oded Galor. Unified Growth Theory. Princeton University Press, 2011.
• Quamrul Ashraf, Oded Galor & Marc Klemp. The Evolutionary Origins of the Wealth of Nations, Handbook of Historical Economics (forthcoming).
• Eren Arbatlı, Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor. Diversity and Conflict. Econometrica, 88(2), 727–797, 2020.
• Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor. The 'Out of Africa' Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Economic Development. American Economic Review, 103(1), 1–46, 2013.
• Oded Galor & Omer Moav. Natural Selection And The Origin Of Economic Growth. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 117(4), 1133–1191, 2002.
• Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg. How Deep Are the Roots of Economic Development? Journal of Economic Literature, 51(2), 325–69, 2013.
• Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier. The Economics of Cultural Transmission and Socialization. NBER Working Papers 16512, 2010.


The seminar only relies on the mandatory classes in the Bachelor of Economics at the Department of Economics, Copenhagen University. A solid understanding of econometrics and long-run macroeconomics is an advantage.

BSc in Economics or similar


Spring 2021:
• Kick-Off meeting: Tuesday 9 February, 2021, at 12.15-13.00.
• Extra meeting: Tuesday 16 February, 2021, 10.15 am-12.00 pm.
• Presentations: D. 18.0-19 May, 2021, at 10.15 am-15 pm

General information:
It is strongly recommended that you think about and search for a topic before the semester begins, as there is only a few weeks from the kick-off meeting to the submission of the project description/agreement paper.

There is no weekly teaching/lecturing and the student cannot expect guidance from the teacher. If the teacher gives a few introduction lectures or gives the opportunity for guidance, this as well as other expectations are clarified at the kickoff meeting.

All information regarding the seminar is communicated through Absalon including venue. So it is very important that you by yourself logon to Absalon and read the information already when you are registered at the seminar.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination
A seminar paper in English that meets the formal requirements for written papers stated in the curriculum and at KUNet for seminars.
All aids allowed

for the seminar paper.

The teacher defines the aids that must be used for the presentations.


Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

Students are assessed on the extent to which they master the learning outcome for the seminar and can make use of the knowledge, skills and competencies listed in the learning outcomes in the Curriculum of the Master programme.


To receive the top grade, the student must with no or only a few minor weaknesses be able to demonstrate an excellent performance displaying a high level of command of all aspects of the relevant material.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Project work
  • 186
  • Seminar
  • 20
  • English
  • 206