Advanced Development Economics - Macro Aspects

Course content

The course covers three broad themes:


Theme 1. Historical development:

Accounting for the vast differences in income and productivity we observe across the globe today requires a solid understanding of the process of economic development in a historical perspective. In this part of the course, we illustrate how history matters to understand economic development, by examining the forces that kept economies in a long period of slow growth during pre-modern and pre-industrial times, and study the broad mechanisms that enabled some economies to exit stagnation and ultimately embark on a path of sustained economic development.


Theme 2. Fundamental determinants of differences in productivity and inequality:

In this part of the course, we ask in more detail how and why history matters for economic development and inequality. We go beyond answers at a proximate level, and study reasons and mechanisms that explain differences in economic performance at a fundamental level. For this, we rely on the most recent research literature on the impact of historical events on comparative development, and the impact of differences in fundamental characteristics of countries and subnational regions. For example, we examine how historical events, certain dimensions of climate and geography, specific features of culture and institutions, and the coevolution and interdependence between these different types of fundamental determinants of long-term development, can explain why some economies have been able to build larger stocks of human and physical capital, innovate and adopt new technologies faster, and maintain a trajectory of sustained development more effectively than others. We apply this type of analysis also to illuminate on the reasons behind different types of inequality.


Theme 3. Policy debates:

By the end of the course, we explore recent policy debates related to the main topics of the course. Examples of these debates are the effectiveness of development policy tools such as foreign aid, the role of the state to promote economic development; and the causes, consequences, and policy demands to address different types of inequality.


MSc programme in Economics – elective course


The PhD Programme in Economics at the Department of Economics:

  • The course is an elective course with research module. In order to register for the research module and to be able to write the research assignment, the PhD students must contact the study administration AND the lecturer.
Learning outcome

After completing the course the student is expected to be able to:



  • Describe the global pattern of economic development, from a historical and a modern perspective.
  • Account for theoretical models and arguments related to the historical process of development, and the empirical evidence accompanying them.
  • Identify and account for specific causes of inequality and differences in the development path that different economies have followed, and relate them to fundamental reasons.



  • Provide the basic economic intuition behind central mechanisms in theoretical models explaining inequality and differences in economic performance from a macro perspective.
  • Assess the capacity of theoretical models and arguments to generate empirically testable predictions, and evaluate the extent to which empirical evidence supports theoretical predictions.
  • Present a comprehensive overview of the recent research literature relevant to understand the process of economic development in a historical and comparative perspective.



  • Appreciate some of the key debates in development economics, understand how they relate to contemporary policy issues, and discuss the effectiveness of policies aimed at reducing inequality, and promoting economic growth and development.
  • Apply expertise as economists to understand and assess quantitative analyses carried out in the context of less developed regions.
  • Work effectively as a trained economist analyzing problems of both developed and less developed countries as a researcher in an academic institution, an international organization, a private business environment, a non­governmental organization, or a governmental institution.


Lectures and exercises, in which students will work individually and in groups, analysing specific topics covered in the course and engaging in discussion.

Discussion forums, group work, lectures and feedback can be include or be conducted through online and blended learning methods

Restrictions due to pandemic crisis:
The teaching in this course may be changed to either fully or partly online due to a pandemic crisis like COVID-19.
Further information and in case of changes: Please read the study messages in KUnet or the announcements in the virtual course room on Absalon (for enrolled students).

The course uses book chapters, recent journal articles, and recent working papers.

It is strongly recommended that participants have followed the courses "Development Economics", "Macroeconomics I" (regarding long-run macro) and "Econometrics I" (regarding simple regression analysis and instrumental variables) from the Bachelor of Economics, University of Copenhagen or siminlar courses.

Students will benefit from having followed courses in "Economic History" at the Bachelor of Economics, University of Copenhagen, "Economic Growth" and "Applied Econometric Policy Evaluation" at the Bachelor and Master of Economics, University of Copenhagen or similar courses.

3 hours lectures a week from week 36 to 50 (except week 42).

The overall schema for elective courses can be seen at KUnet:
MSc in Economics => "Courses and teaching" => "Planning and overview" => "Your timetable"

Timetable and venue:
To see the time and location of lectures please press the link under "Timetable"/​"Se skema" at the right side of this page (E means Autumn).

You can find the similar information partly in English at
-Select Department: “2200-Økonomisk Institut” (and wait for respond)
-Select Module:: “2200-E22; [Name of course]”
-Select Report Type: “List – Weekdays”
-Select Period: “Efterår/Autumn”
Press: “ View Timetable”

Please be aware:
- The schedule of the lectures can change without the participants´ acceptance. If this happens, you can see the new schedule in your personal timetable at KUnet, in the app myUCPH and through the links in the right side of this course description and the link above.
- It is the students´s own responsibility continuously throughout the study to stay informed about their study, their teaching, their schedule, their exams etc. through the curriculum of the study programme, the study pages at KUnet, student messages, the course description, the Digital Exam portal, Absalon, the personal schema at KUnet and myUCPH app etc.



The lecturer gives collective oral feedback at the questions and comments the students make in the lectures and exercises.


Office hours: Students will have the possibility to engage individually or in group with the teacher during weekly office hours.


7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, 12 hours
Type of assessment details
Individual take-home exam. The students are not allowed to communicate about the given problem-set or collaborate on the assignment with anyone. If done so, it will be regarded as cheating.
The exam assignment is given in English and must be answered in English.

All aids allowed for the written exam.

Information about allowed aids for the re-examination. Please go to the section "Re-exam".

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
at the written exam.
For further information about allowed aids for the re-examination, please go to the section "Re-exam".
Criteria for exam assessment

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


In order to obtain the top grade "12", 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 and can make use of the knowledge, skills and competencies listed in the learning outcomes.


In order to obtain the grade “02”, the student must in a satisfactory way be able to demonstrate a minimal acceptable level of the knowledge, skills and competencies listed in the learning outcomes.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 152
  • Exam
  • 12
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 semester

- Go to 'Signup' for information about registration and enrollment.

Information about admission and tuition fee:  Master and Exchange Programme, credit students and guest students (Open University)

and venue:
- For teaching: Go to 'Remarks'.
- For exam and re-sits: Go to 'Exam'.
Department of Economics, Study Council
Contracting department
  • Department of Economics
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator
  • Pablo Selaya   (12-7768697376357a6c73688068476c6a767535727c356b72)

See 'Course Coordinators'.

Please read "Remarks" regarding the schedule of the teaching.

Saved on the 18-07-2022

Are you BA- or KA-student?

Are you bachelor- or kandidat-student, then find the course in the course catalog for students:

Courseinformation of students