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Economic Growth and Development




Admissions requirements

Microeconomics, macroeconomics, trade & finance in the global economy or Instructor’s permission


Content: This 300-level course will present students with the basic theories and empirical evidence on economic growth and human 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, the role of institutions, and review empirical evidence from 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

  • Critical assessment of challenges, case studies and policy documents.

  • Applying 200-level methods (e.g., Quantitative Research Methods, Geographic Information Systems, Environmental Modelling, Game Theory and/or Decision Making Processes) to their projects.


  • 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, e.g., 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 in the e-Prospectus.

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)

Please note:

  • In accordance with article 4.8 of the Course and Examination Regulations (OER), within 30 days after the publication of grades, the instructor will provide students the opportunity to inspect their exams/coursework.

  • There is a no re-sit policy at Leiden University College.


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

A changing mix of 20-plus 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