Economic Growth and Development

SAM16 Economic Growth and Development

Autumn 2024

  • Topics

    We examine the strategies that different countries have used to maximize their advantages - and minimize their disadvantages - in order to generate economic growth and development. We use economic tools (theoretical and empirical) to structure our analysis.

    Much of the first part of the course focuses on strategies to maximize the value of the national stock of human capital, taking the Philippines, Iceland and Singapore as case studies.

    The second part of the course examines economic growth in China, India and Japan, particularly looking at the timing and nature of their economic acceleration and the challenges that they face in maintaining their high performance.

    The third part of the course focuses on institutions as both consequences of economic growth, and as a source of growth performance. It considers the role of inherited institutions - as in the cases of South Africa and Saudi Arabia - 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


    Upon completion of the course, students will

    • have knowledge of different metrics of economic growth (such as GDP, TFP, green GDP, Human Development Index, "Happy Planet Index") and understand their pros and cons.
    • have knowledge of the different growth strategies pursued by various developing and developed countries.
    • have knowledge of roles of human capital, natural resources, technology, capital and institutions in generating economic growth.


    Upon completion of the course, students will

    • be able to use the empirical and theoretical tool kit of economists to frame and analyze problems that we see in the world.
    • be able to critically analyze economic research papers on economic growth and development.

    General competence

    Upon completion of the course, students will

    • be able to participate in informed discussions of key challenges in securing economic growth, such as climate change, adapting to resource constraints, improving human capital and technology.

  • Teaching

    The course is structured around the analysis of Harvard Business School cases. We collaborate to work up an analysis in real time in the classroom. Students work in small groups to prepare each case in advance. Each week, every group member should read the case and (at least) one of the items on the accompanying reading list, and then discuss them with the rest of their work 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 discuss in class. There is an emphasis on independent study in this course. Students should expect to read extensively, and discuss vigiorously with their team mates, before we work out solutions in class.

  • Required prerequisites


  • Credit reduction due to overlap

    Overlap with VOA022

  • Compulsory Activity

    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 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 available via Leganto.

    Required readings:

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

  • Permitted Support Material

    One bilingual dictionary (Category I)

    in accordance with Supplementary provisions to the Regulations for Full-time Study Programmes at the Norwegian School of Economics Ch.4 Permitted support material


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Spring. Will not be offered spring 2024.

Course responsible

Professor Liam Brunt, Department of Economics.