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Economic Growth and Development




Admissions requirements

Microeconomics or Macroeconomics or International Economics.


Content: This 300-level course will present students with the basic theories and empirical evidence on economic growth and national development --- processes that affect each other as they influence our lives on the extensive (quantified growth) and intensive (quality of life) margins, respectively. It will cover conventional economic theories of growth (from Solow to endogenous growth theory), the role of institutions (from culture to governance), and review empirical evidence related to growth and development in nations over the past thousand years.

Themes: Political economy, institutions, trade, inequality, sustainability.

Course objectives


  • Have mastered, presented and written up a growth and/or development case study that explores the drivers, costs, benefits, and barriers to a growth and/or development topic of their choice

  • Have skills in critical assessment of growth and development issues, case studies and policy documents.

  • Have experience in applying 200-level methods to their projects: e.g., Quantitative Research Methods, Geographic Information Systems, Environmental Modelling, Game Theory and/or Decision Making Processes

Have improved their understanding of:

  • The role of individuals, groups and nations in innovation and productivity.

  • The impact of equality, access and opportunity on development.

  • The connections between theories and empirical evidence for growth.

  • Growth/development via, for example, comparative advantage, colonial mercantilism, resource exploitation, and institutional evolution.

  • The connections among growth, human development, sustainability and international relations.


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

The course is taught through two-hour seminars. Students will be expected to participate in both large and small group discussions; present and defend their ideas within an academic setting; and take part in group projects. The instructor will facilitate and ensure the efficient running of the discussion, but students are responsible for its quality.


Class participation: 17.5% (continuous weeks 1-7)
Blog post: 10% (due week 4)
Peer reviews: 2x10% (due week 5)
Individual Presentation: 17.5% (due week 7)
Case study paper: 35% (due reading week)


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

Academic papers.


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact


David Zetland (
Leiden University College, Room 4.37