Economic Growth and Development

SAM16 Economic Growth and Development

Spring 2019

Autumn 2019
  • Topics

    The first part of the course focuses on strategies to maximize the value of the national stock of human capital. It also presents some facts about differences in current income levels and growth rates and the basic tools of growth theory.

    The second part of the course includes an analysis of economic growth in China and India, and the implication of the strong growth in these two countries for other developing countries as well as for the developed world.

    The third part of the course focuses on institutions as both consequences of poor economic growth, and as a source of poor growth performance. It considers the role of inherited institutions and the failure of formal institutions, in the form of corruption.

    The fourth part of the course considers how we can, and perhaps should, measure economic growth, taking into consideration the environment, health and well-being, as well as GDP.

  • Learning outcome


    - Students will be aware of different metrics of economic growth (such as GDP, TFP, green GDP, Human Development Index, "Happy Planet Index") and understand their pros and cons.

    - Students will understand the different growth strategies pursued by various developing and developed countries.

    - Students will understand the central roles of human capital, natural resources, institutions and international trade in generating economic growth.


    - Students will gain some understanding and practice of how to use the empirical and theoritical tool kit of economists to frame and analyze problems that we see in the world.

    - Students will gain some competence in reading and understanding economic research papers.

    General competence:

    - Students will be able to participate in informed discussions of key challenges in securing economic growth (such as climate change).

  • Teaching

    The format is a class discussion, in which all students are expected to fully participate every week. Students are encouraged to work in small groups to prepare for each class. Each week, every group member should read (at least) one of the items on the reading list and then discuss it with the rest of the group. In this way, all - or most - of the reading materials assigned each week will be covered by every group. The group can use this discussion to prepare their responses to the accompanying assignment questions, which we will discuss in class.

  • Required prerequisites


  • Credit reduction due to overlap

    Overlap with VOA022

  • Requirements for course approval

    Students must participate (i.e. speak) regularly in class in order to be eligible to take the exam.

  • Assessment

    The students are graded based on a 3-hour written school exam. All answers must be written in English.

  • Grading Scale

    Grading scale A - F

  • Computer tools


  • Literature

    First, each week's class discussion will revolve around a Harvard Business School case; the case collection should therefore be purchased by the students, using the link to the course pack on the Harvard Business School Publishing website. Second, the cases will be supplemented each week by a selection of research papers that are downloadable from the web.

    Required readings:

    The collection of Harvard Business School cases; the associated research papers.


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Spring. Offered spring 2019.

Written school exam is offered both semesters (according to Regulations for Full-time Study Programmes at the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH), section 3-1).

Course responsible

Professor Liam Brunt, Department of Economics.