Master’s programme in Economic Growth, Population and Development

MSc major Economic History | MSc major Economic Demography | MSc major Economic Development | 2 years | 120 credits

Course content

The programme is organised into three different tracks. When applying for the programme, you also select which track you are specialising in. The different tracks share courses to some extent.

The courses outlined below are track-specific and mandatory. You are also required to choose optional courses offered by the Department of Economic History, regardless of your chosen track. In addition, there may be courses offered by other departments that are possible to include in the chosen track.

Economic History (track 1)

The Global Economy and Long-term Economic Growth (7.5 ECTS)

This course studies historical processes of growth, convergence and divergence in the global economy over the past millennium. Two different approaches are applied. One considers theories of economic growth, about how production is generated by capital and labour and the level of technology. The other takes the perspective of the international economy and studies international trade, migration, and movements of capital.

Research Design (7.5 ECTS)

The course presents the student with research methods used within the social sciences in general, and within economic history specifically. The course will carefully deal with the importance of source criticism to any well-planned research. It will then, through a detailed examination of various quantitative and qualitative methods, discuss the validity of these methods to various research questions and data. The overarching goal of the course is to provide students with the tools necessary to prepare a well-structured research assignment.

Population and Living Standards (7.5 ECTS)

This course deals with the interplay between population and living standards in a long-term perspective. It focuses on three broader themes. In the first, different models of the pre-industrial economic demographic system are studied, and the legacy of these models (e.g. Malthusianism) and their relevance today is assessed. Different demographic indicators of living standards, such as life expectancy, infant mortality and demographic responses to economic fluctuations, are discussed and compared with other well-being indicators in an assessment of the long-term global development of standard of living. The second theme deals with the importance of population dynamics, especially fluctuations in fertility, and thus cohort size, on living standards in industrial society. The third theme focuses on the role of families and households in providing welfare and security of its members. Both the development over time and global comparisons are central in this theme.

Advanced Analysis of Economic Change (7.5 ECTS)

This course analyses the major debates in development economics from a long-term perspective. Questions central to the course are: ‘can we determine historical roots of why some countries are rich and others poor, and if so, how do we approach this?’; ‘what is the role of the different factors of production in long run economic development?’; and ‘what role do critical historical junctures play in long run development?’. During the course, students will learn about the different methods used in modern research through an in-depth study of the literature and hands-on econometric exercises. Explorative methodologies versus hypothesis testing are discussed. Exercises are performed with the help of econometric software, whereby students are trained in the use of statistical tools but also in understanding and interpreting quantitative results in an historical context.

Econometrics I (7.5 ECTS)

This course provides the student with a fundamental understanding of the theoretical and methodological problems associated with quantitative approaches to economic history. The first part consists of basic theory and methods relating to multivariate linear regression, limited dependent variable regression and time series analysis. It also considers how to apply these methods through examples of how such methods are used in economic history. This part also introduces computer software (e.g. Stata) for quantitative analysis. In the second part of the course, students analyse a quantitative problem using actual data from economic history, and report results in individual papers.

Econometrics II (7.5 ECTS)

This course provides the student with more advanced theory and methods relating to causal approaches surpassing the multivariate linear regression, limited dependent variable regression and time series analysis covered by Econometrics I. It also considers how to apply these methods through examples of how such methods are used in economic history. It discusses issues like selection bias, the bad control problem, and unobserved heterogeneity and the pitfalls associated with them as well as the possibilities to deal with these issues. This part advances the knowledge of empirical analysis making use of computer software (e.g. Stata). In the second part of the course, students independently analyse a more advanced quantitative problem using actual data from economic history, and report results in individual papers, showing awareness of the pros and cons of various causal approaches in econometrics.

The course is mandatory for year 1 for students who have previously studied econometrics at a level corresponding to Econometrics I.

Institutions, Economic Growth and Equity (7.5 ECTS)

This course studies the relations between institutions, modern economic growth and equality. Problems in the world of today are taken as a point of departure for an historical analysis that covers countries and regions in different parts of the world. Four themes are focussed. One is about the emergence of institutions such as property rights and markets, and their role for economic growth. The second is about the importance of the distribution of resources for institutional development. The third is about the importance of the growth of knowledge and education for the creation of equality of opportunity. The fourth is about the emergence of the modern welfare state as well as current challenges to its future.

Tutorials: Advanced Topics in Economic History

During the second year, the department offer a selection of courses on a tutorial basis or in seminar form. They all discuss research-related problems within their respective fields and involve students in the seminar discussions, based on readings from international research. It is mandatory to take two of these courses during the second year. The specific courses offered may vary from year to year, examples are given below:

  • Financial History (7.5 ECTS)
  • History of Economic Ideas (7.5 ECTS)
  • Inequality and Growth (7.5 ECTS)
  • Historical Economic Geography (7.5 ECTS)
  • Labour Markets and Industrial Relations (7.5 ECTS)

Growth Over Time and Space (7.5 ECTS)

Innovation and technical change is central to long term economic growth but it is treated very differently in economic theories. In a comparative manner this course presents technical change within major theoretical approaches: neoclassical growth models, endogenous growth models and evolutionary structural models. Particular attention is given to an economic historical model combined with a spatial theoretical framework of regional trajectories of growth. The model is based upon complementarities around innovations forming development blocks that are driving processes of structural change. Thus, the interplay between innovations, economic transformation and economic growth is studied with an emphasis on major carrier branches both historically and in contemporary times. Innovations are analysed in relation to variations over time in, e.g., relative prices, entrepreneurial activity, investments, labour demand and employment. It is shown how this, at an aggregate level, shows up in phases of spatial convergence and divergence, respectively.

Causes of Demographic Change (7.5 ECTS)

The course gives an introduction to demographic data, measurement and description of demographic phenomena. The course consists of two parts:

Demographic methods. Basic demographic measures and concepts are discussed, such as rates, the lexis diagram, life tables, fertility, nuptiality, mortality and migration measures.

Theories and evidence on global demographic change in an historical perspective. The long term demographic development in the world is discussed and related to different theoretical explanations.

Development of Emerging Economies (7.5 ECTS)

This course examines growth dynamics of the developing world during the last decades, explored in a comparative and historical perspective. The question of why some developing economies have been able to set in motion catching-up processes, while others remain stagnant, will be discussed aided by historical-theoretical perspectives with the main focus on countries in Pacific Asia, Africa South of the Sahara and Latin America. It will be theoretically and empirically assessed to what extent the growth of the so-called global South might be sustained. The course is divided into two parts.

The first puts heavy emphasis on readings and lectures on analytical perspectives of development and catching up from the viewpoint of classical, although current, questions such as: the role of agricultural transformation, growth-inequality, market integration, possibilities for and experiences of industrial policy, technology transfer, social capabilities, market-state relationship, governance and domestic resource mobilization, poverty/human development.

The second part of the course is more student-driven and is devoted to seminar assignments where highly topical themes are discussed on the basis of available empirical data. Examples of questions to be addressed might be: south-to-south investments flows, the impact of China, the extent to which growth is commodity-driven, issues of improving competitiveness and productivity, forces behind poverty reduction.

China and the Asia Pacific (7.5 ECTS)

This course explores and explains the processes of rapid industrialisation and socio-economic modernisation in China and the Asia Pacific drawing on a historically-comparative institutional approach. Fundamental factors and forces behind the economic transformation are analysed against the background of leading theories of economic development and social change. The course is divided into two parts. The first part uses institutional theory to analyse the emergence of the so-called East Asian model and its relevance for China. The institutional underpinnings of China's transformation to a market economy are analysed in comparison with previous and contemporary development experiences in the Asia Pacific, from Japan to the ASEAN countries. Themes dealt with include agricultural modernisation and industrial policy, and concepts such as developmental state, export-led growth, and growth with equity, are applied and critically analysed. The second part deals with current trends and forces of globalisation in the Asia Pacific region and China's role as a leading regional economy. Trade policies, the impact of foreign investments and patterns of regional integration are explored and analysed.

Economics of Innovation (7.5 ECTS)

This course covers several areas of innovation economics, such as their characteristics, their driving forces of innovation and how innovation affects economic growth. It covers several sub-themes, such as:

Market structures and innovation – describes how competitive structures and imperfect competition may induce innovation in different industries.

Institutions and innovation – drawing on the systems of innovation literature, this theme addresses how the institutional framework affects innovation.

Innovation, Energy and Sustainability (7.5 ECTS)

Climate change has, more than anything else, imposed innovative challenges for present human energy systems. This course begins with an overview of global energy systems based on oil, carbon, nuclear and hydropower as well as supplementary systems. Three areas are given particular emphasis: firstly, energy end use efficiency, its historical development and future prospects; secondly, renewable energy and the ongoing change at its technological frontier; thirdly, transport, their different systems, use of energy and impact on the environment as well as ongoing technological change. Both positive and normative aspects of the interplay between economic growth and energy are treated. Among the first aspects is the so called decoupling of energy and GDP, for example, whether the third industrial revolution implies a reduction of energy use. Normative aspects consider institutional and political factors which determine incentives for innovation.

Human Capital in a Historical Perspective (7.5 ECTS)

Human capital is often considered as an important determinant to economic growth and a strategic factor with respect to productivity. It is also assumed to affect peoples' lives in many other ways, from personal well-being to promotion of social equality. In this course, the theoretical foundations as well as empirical evidence are reviewed and critically examined. Human capital is, moreover, discussed in relation to related concepts in economic growth theory such as research and development, social capital and social capability. A vital issue is that of causality: does human capital cause economic growth or is it an effect of it? This and many other problems are analysed from a historical point of view, considering human capital formation as well as the role of human capital in modernisation, in particular in the first, second, and third industrial revolution.

Consequences of Demographic Change (7.5 ECTS)

The course examines the impact of demographic change on the social and economic fabric of society, with a focus on issues of importance to today's policymakers. The impact of population aging will be examined in detail, as will the possible benefits / pitfalls of migration as a potential solution to population aging. The course will also examine the impacts of demographic change on individuals through a discussion of the effects of cohort size on economic outcomes. The changing prospects for women in today's economy will also be analyzed within the framework of changing family structures. Governmental transfers dependent upon age structure, such as pension systems, will be studied, as will other aspects of intergenerational transfers.

Econometrics II (7.5 ECTS)

This course provides the student with more advanced theory and methods relating to causal approaches surpassing the multivariate linear regression, limited dependent variable regression and time series analysis covered by Econometrics I. It also considers how to apply these methods through examples of how such methods are used in economic history. It discusses issues like selection bias, the bad control problem, and unobserved heterogeneity and the pitfalls associated with them as well as the possibilities to deal with these issues. This part advances the knowledge of empirical analysis making use of computer software (e.g. Stata). In the second part of the course, students independently analyse a more advanced quantitative problem using actual data from economic history, and report results in individual papers, showing awareness of the pros and cons of various causal approaches in econometrics.

Internship (7.5 ECTS)

Through an internship in an organization the course aims at giving the students a working experience relevant for his/her master’s studies. The course is independent from the university’s teaching and the student is expected to independently find and apply for the internship. The length of the internship should correspond to at least two months full-time work. The provider of the internship could be of different kind but could normally be in the categories government agency, intergovernmental or supranational organization, non-governmental organization, or a private firm. The organization and the work assignments for the internship must be approved by the Department of Economic History.

Semester 2 (spring), year 1, period 4: Paper and/or degree project (15 ECTS)

Semester 2 (spring), year 2, period 4: Degree project (15 ECTS)

Economic Demography (track 2)

Causes of Demographic Change (7.5 ECTS)

The course gives an introduction to demographic data, measurement and description of demographic phenomena. The course consists of two parts:

Demographic methods. Basic demographic measures and concepts are discussed, such as rates, the lexis diagram, life tables, fertility, nuptiality, mortality and migration measures.

Theories and evidence on global demographic change in an historical perspective. The long-term demographic development in the world is discussed and related to different theoretical explanations.

Econometrics II (7.5 ECTS)

This course provides the student with more advanced theory and methods relating to causal approaches surpassing the multivariate linear regression, limited dependent variable regression and time series analysis covered by Econometrics I. It also considers how to apply these methods through examples of how such methods are used in economic history. It discusses issues like selection bias, the bad control problem, and unobserved heterogeneity and the pitfalls associated with them as well as the possibilities to deal with these issues. This part advances the knowledge of empirical analysis making use of computer software (e.g. Stata). In the second part of the course, students independently analyse a more advanced quantitative problem using actual data from economic history, and report results in individual papers, showing awareness of the pros and cons of various causal approaches in econometrics.

The course is mandatory year 1 for students who have previously studied econometrics at a level corresponding to Econometrics I.

Research Design (7.5 ECTS)

The course presents the student with research methods used within the social sciences in general, and within economic history specifically. The course will carefully deal with the importance of source criticism to any well-planned research. It will then, through a detailed examination of various quantitative and qualitative methods, discuss the validity of these methods to various research questions and data. The overarching goal of the course is to provide students with the tools necessary to prepare a well-structured research assignment.

Consequences of Demographic Change (7.5 ECTS)

The course examines the impact of demographic change on the social and economic fabric of society, with a focus on issues of importance to today's policymakers. The impact of population aging will be examined in detail, as will the possible benefits / pitfalls of migration as a potential solution to population aging. The course will also examine the impacts of demographic change on individuals, through a discussion of the effects of cohort size on economic outcomes. The changing prospects for women in today's economy will also be analyzed within the framework of changing family structures. Governmental transfers dependent upon age structure, such as pension systems, will be studied, as will other aspects of intergenerational transfers.

Tutorials: Advanced Topics in Economic Demography

Five different courses are offered on a rotating basis: Health and Mortality, Population Aging,Marriage and Fertility, Immigration and Integration and Historical Demography. They are offered on a tutorial basis or in seminar form. They all discuss research related problems within their respective fields and involve students in seminar discussions, based on readings from international research. It is mandatory to take two of these courses during the second year.

  • Health and Mortality (7.5 ECTS)
  • Population Aging (7.5 ECTS)
  • Marriage and Fertility (7.5 ECTS)
  • Immigration and Integration (7.5 ECTS)
  • Historical Demography (7.5 ECTS)
  • Data Management (7,5 ECTS)

Population and Living Standards (7.5 ECTS)

This course deals with the interplay between population and living standards in a long-term perspective. It focuses on three broader themes. In the first, different models of the preindustrial economic demographic system are studied, and the legacy of these models (e.g. Malthusianism) and their relevance today is assessed. Different demographic indicators of living standards, such as life expectancy, infant mortality and demographic responses to economic fluctuations, are discussed and compared with other well-being indicators in an assessment of the long-term global development of standard of living. The second theme deals with the importance of population dynamics, especially fluctuations in fertility, and thus cohort size, on living standards in industrial society. The third theme focuses on the role of families and households in providing welfare and security of its members. Both the development over time and global comparisons are central in this theme.

Human Capital in a Historical Perspective (7.5 ECTS)

Human capital is, in short, the stock of skills that a country’s population or labor force possesses. It is an important determinant to economic growth and a strategic factor with respect to productivity. It also affects individuals’ lives in many ways through the promotion of personal well-being and economic equality. This course explores a range of topics relating to human capital formation by using historical, comparative, and current policy perspectives. Theory, methodological approaches, and empirical evidence on a range of topics are reviewed. Topics include the role of education in economic growth and distribution, the role of education and training for wage growth and career, and group differences in labor market outcomes, health and well-being. Lectures, seminars, and exams deal with human capital formation, the role of human capital during the first, second, and third industrial revolutions, and with the relation between human capital and income inequality across time and space.

Institutions, Economic Growth and Equity (ECTS)

This course studies the relations between institutions, modern economic growth, and equality. Problems in the world of today are taken as a point of departure for an historical analysis that covers countries and regions in different parts of the world. Four themes are focussed. One is about the emergence of institutions such as property rights and markets, and their role for economic growth. The second is about the importance of the distribution of resources for institutional development. The third is about the importance of the growth of knowledge and education for the creation of equality of opportunity. The fourth is about the emergence of the modern welfare state as well as current challenges to its future.

The Global Economy and Long-term Economic Growth (7.5 ECTS)

This course studies historical processes of growth, convergence and divergence in the global economy over the past two centuries. Two different approaches are applied. One takes the perspective of the international economic exchange and studies international trade, cross-border migration, and movements of capital and technology. The other considers theories of economic growth, about how production is generated by capital and labour and the level of technology.

Advanced Analysis of Economic Change (7.5 ECTS)

This course analyses the major debates in development economics from a long-term perspective. Questions central to the course are: ‘can we determine historical roots of why some countries are rich and others poor, and if so, how do we approach this?’; ‘what is the role of the different factors of production in long run economic development?’; and ‘what role do critical historical junctures play in long run development?’. During the course, students will learn about the different methods used in modern research through an in depth study of the literature and hands on econometric exercises. Explorative methodologies versus hypothesis testing are discussed. Exercises are performed with the help of econometric software whereby students are trained in the use of statistical tools but also in understanding and interpreting quantitative results in an historical context.

Internship (7.5 ECTS)

Through an internship in an organization the course aims at giving the students a working experience relevant for his/her master’s studies. The course is independent from the university’s teaching and the student is expected to independently find and apply for the internship. The length of the internship should correspond to at least two months full-time work. The provider of the internship could be of different kind but could normally be in the categories government agency, intergovernmental or supranational organization, non-governmental organization, or a private firm. The organization and the work assignments for the internship must be approved by the Department of Economic History.

Advanced Econometrics (7.5 ECTS)

This course gives the basis that is needed to enable students to empirically analyse economic data without making unrealistic assumptions. Modern econometric techniques are treated, and at the same time considerable emphasis is placed on fundamental econometric thinking. Theoretical studies are interwoven with practical applications in the form of computer exercises, which are carried out using econometric software.

Applied Microeconometrics (7.5 ECTS) Year One, autumn semester, period 2

This course covers modern econometric tools and empirical strategies used by economists and demographers for the analysis of cross-sectional and panel micro-data. The course teaches the econometric theory behind these techniques but also requires reading of high-quality empirical articles and applications of the taught methods using real data sets. Topics covered in the course includes (1) the randomized experiment as a golden standard and the analysis of social experiments, (2) fixed-effects methods, such as difference-in-differences techniques applied to panel data, but also applied to other data structures such as family-level data, (3) instrumental variables estimation, (4) regression discontinuity design, (5) matching estimators, such as propensity scores and kernelmatching and (6) limited dependent variables.

Advanced Health Economics (7.5 ECTS)

The course provides an overview of a number of core areas in health economics, with a focus on research issues, methods, results and unresolved issues. These areas usually include individual health related behaviour, the physician-patient relationship, health insurance, competition in the hospital industry, innovation and diffusion of medical technology, equity in theory and practice, health care systems, gender issues, the causes and effects of demographic change and the situation in developing countries.

Advanced Labour Economics (7.5 ECTS)

The course covers recent advances in Labour Economics, with an emphasis on empirical applications. The course starts by discussing theories of labour supply and demand, and proceeds covering economic research analyzing human capital accumulation (with a particular focus on education), wage inequality and discrimination. Topics covered include the effect of migration on labour market outcomes, the influence of parental and social background, and the effectiveness of unemployment and labour market programs. The aim of this course is not only to provide a comprehensive discussion of the status of research in the field of Labour Economics, but also to endow students with the analytic tools necessary to both i) independently analyze and evaluate existing research, and ii) produce knowledge in the form of written essays.

Advanced Development Economics (7.5 ECTS)

This course aims at deepening the student’s theoretical and methodological knowledge of development economics. The point of departure is that economies are low-income because of a lack of economic growth. This in turn depends on low integration in the global economy, low investment and a lack of efficient institutions. Particular interest is placed on issues of growth, inequality and poverty and on strategies to increase growth and reduce poverty. As problems of income distribution and gender inequality are pronounced in developing economies, gender issues will be embedded in the thematic discussions. A particular focus will be on the use of micro-level data in cross-gender comparisons.

Advanced Public Economics (7.5 ECTS)

The course provides an advanced discussion of theoretical and empirical research in public economics. It focuses on the relationship between the government and the market and arguments for and against government involvement. The course covers a wide range of critical decisions policy makers face regarding both the expenditure side and the financing of the public sector, as well as the implications of these on individuals’ and firms’ behaviour and the overall economy.Topics covered include the provison of public goods, externalities, income distribution, social and public choice, fiscal federalism, optimal taxation theory, and tax incidence. Special attention is given to globalisation and demographic issues as well as institutional economics.

A number of courses of relevance for economic demography are given at the Department of Statistics. Currently they include Multivariate Analysis, Data Mining and Visualization, Functional Data Analysis, and Business Analytics.

Semester 2 (spring), year 1, period 4: Paper and/or degree project (15 ECTS)

Semester 2 (spring), year 2, period 4: Degree project (15 ECTS)

Economic Development (track 3)

Development of Emerging Economies (7.5 ECTS)

This course examines growth dynamics of the developing world during the last decades, explored in a comparative and historical perspective. The question of why some developing economies have been able to set in motion catching-up processes, while others remain stagnant, will be discussed aided by historical-theoretical perspectives with the main focus on countries in Pacific Asia, Africa South of the Sahara and Latin America. It will be theoretically and empirically assessed to what extent the growth of the so-called global South might be sustained.

The course is divided into two parts. The first puts heavy emphasis on readings and lectures on analytical perspectives of development and catching up from the viewpoint of classical, although current, questions such as: the role of agricultural transformation, growth-inequality, market integration, possibilities for and experiences of industrial policy, technology transfer, social capabilities, market-state relationship, governance and domestic resource mobilization, poverty/human development.

The second part of the course is more student-driven and is devoted to seminar assignments where highly topical themes are discussed on the basis of available empirical data. Examples of questions to be addressed might be: south-to-south investments flows, the impact of China, the extent to which growth is commodity-driven, issues of improving competitiveness and productivity, forces behind poverty reduction.

Research design (7.5 ECTS)

The course presents the student with research methods used within the social sciences in general, and within economic history specifically. The course will carefully deal with the importance of source criticism to any well-planned research. It will then, through a detailed examination of various quantitative and qualitative methods, discuss the validity of these methods to various research questions and data. The overarching goal of the course is to provide students with the tools necessary to prepare a well-structured research assignment.

China and the Asia Pacific (7.5 ECTS)

This course explores and explains the processes of rapid industrialisation and socio-economic modernisation in China and the Asia Pacific drawing on a historically -comparative institutional approach. Fundamental factors and forces behind the economic transformation are analysed against the background of leading theories of economic development and social change. The course is divided into two parts. The first part uses institutional theory to analyse the emergence of the so called East Asian model and its relevance for China. The institutional underpinnings of China's transformation to market economy are analysed in comparison with previous and contemporary development experiences in the Asia Pacific, from Japan to the ASEAN countries. Themes dealt with include agricultural modernisation and industrial policy and concepts such as developmental state, export-led growth, and growth with equity are applied and critically analysed. The second part deals with current trends and forces of globalisation in the Asia Pacific region and China's role as a leading regional economy. Trade policies, the impact of foreign investments and patterns of regional integration are explored and analysed.

Institutions, Economic Growth and Equity (7.5 ECTS)

This course studies the relations between institutions, modern economic growth, and equality. Problems in the world of today are taken as a point of departure for an historical analysis that covers countries and regions in different parts of the world. Four themes are focussed. One is about the emergence of institutions such as property rights and markets, and their role for economic growth. The second is about the importance of the distribution of resources for institutional development. The third is about the importance of the growth of knowledge and education for the creation of equality of opportunity. The fourth is about the emergence of the modern welfare state as well as current challenges to its future.

Econometrics I (7.5 ECTS)

This course provides the student with a fundamental understanding of the theoretical and methodological problems associated with quantitative approaches to economic history. The first part consists of basic theory and methods relating to multivariate linear regression, limited dependent variable regression and time series analysis. It also considers how to apply these methods through examples of how such methods are used in economic history. This part also introduces computer software (e.g. Stata) for quantitative analysis. In the second part of the course, students analyse a quantitative problem using actual data from economic history, and report results in individual papers.

Econometrics II (7.5 ECTS)

This course provides the student with more advanced theory and methods relating to causal approaches surpassing the multivariate linear regression, limited dependent variable regression and time series analysis covered by Econometrics I. It also considers how to apply these methods through examples of how such methods are used in economic history. It discusses issues like selection bias, the bad control problem, and unobserved heterogeneity and the pitfalls associated with them as well as the possibilities to deal with these issues. This part advances the knowledge of empirical analysis making use of computer software (e.g. Stata). In the second part of the course, students independently analyse a more advanced quantitative problem using actual data from economic history, and report results in individual papers, showing awareness of the pros and cons of various causal approaches in econometrics.

The course is mandatory year 1 for students who have previously studied econometrics at a level corresponding to Econometrics I.

Tutorials: Advanced Topics in Economic Development

During the second year, the department offer a selection of courses on a tutorial basis or in seminar form. They all discuss research related problems within their respective fields and involve students in the seminar discussions, based on readings from international research. It is mandatory to take two of these courses during the second year. The specific courses offered may vary from year to year, examples are given below:

  • Poverty and Inequality Analysis: Data Management and Statistical Techniques
  • Agricultural Transformation in the Development Process
  • Explaining Growth and Inequality – Theory and its Application in Comparative Perspective
  • The Rise of the Rest: Africa and Latin America under Transformation
  • Development Aid in Historical Perspectives: Theory, Practice and Impact
  • The Periphery and Waves of Globalization
  • The State in Development

The Global Economy and Long-term Economic Growth (7.5 ECTS)

This course studies historical processes of growth, convergence and divergence in the global economy over the past millennium. Two different approaches are applied. One considers theories of economic growth, about how production is generated by capital and labour and the level of technology. The other takes the perspective of the international economy and studies international trade, migration, and movements of capital.

Econometrics II (7.5 ECTS)

This course provides the student with more advanced theory and methods relating to causal approaches surpassing the multivariate linear regression, limited dependent variable regression and time series analysis covered by Econometrics I. It also considers how to apply these methods through examples of how such methods are used in economic history. It discusses issues like selection bias, the bad control problem, and unobserved heterogeneity and the pitfalls associated with them as well as the possibilities to deal with these issues. This part advances the knowledge of empirical analysis making use of computer software (e.g. Stata). In the second part of the course, students independently analyse a more advanced quantitative problem using actual data from economic history, and report results in individual papers, showing awareness of the pros and cons of various causal approaches in econometrics.

Advanced Analysis of Economic Change (7.5 ECTS)

This course analyses the major debates in development economics from a long-term perspective. Questions central to the course are: ‘can we determine historical roots of why some countries are rich and others poor, and if so, how do we approach this?’; ‘what is the role of the different factors of production in long run economic development?’; and ‘what role do critical historical junctures play in long run development?’. During the course, students will learn about the different methods used in modern research through an in depth study of the literature and hands on econometric exercises. Explorative methodologies versus hypothesis testing are discussed. Exercises are performed with the help of econometric software whereby students are trained in the use of statistical tools but also in understanding and interpreting quantitative results in an historical context.

Growth Over Time and Space (7.5 ECTS)

Innovation and technical change is central to long-term economic growth but it is treated very differently in economic theories. In a comparative manner this course presents technical change within major theoretical approaches: neoclassical growth models, endogenous growth models and evolutionary structural models. Particular attention is given to an economic historical model combined with a spatial theoretical framework of regional trajectories of growth. The model is based upon complementarities around innovations forming development blocks that are driving processes of structural change. Thus, the interplay between innovations, economic transformation and economic growth is studied with an emphasis on major carrier branches both historically and in contemporary times. Innovations are analysed in relation to variations over time in, e.g., relative prices, entrepreneurial activity, investments, labour demand and employment. It is shown how this, at an aggregate level, shows up in phases of spatial convergence and divergence, respectively.

Population and Living Standards (7,5 ECTS)

This course deals with the interplay between population and living standards in a long-term perspective. It focuses on three broader themes. In the first, different models of the pre-industrial economic demographic system are studied, and the legacy of these models (e.g. Malthusianism) and their relevance today is assessed. Different demographic indicators of living standards, such as life expectancy, infant mortality and demographic responses to economic fluctuations, are discussed and compared with other well-being indicators in an assessment of the long-term global development of standard of living. The second theme deals with the importance of population dynamics, especially fluctuations in fertility, and thus cohort size, on living standards in industrial society. The third theme focuses on the role of families and households in providing welfare and security of its members. Both the development over time and global comparisons are central in this theme.

Human Capital in a Historical Perspective (7.5 ECTS)

Human capital is often considered as an important determinant to economic growth and a strategic factor with respect to productivity. It is also assumed to affect peoples' lives in many other ways, from personal well-being to promotion of social equality. In this course, the theoretical foundations as well as empirical evidence are reviewed and critically examined. Human capital is, moreover, discussed in relation to related concepts in economic growth theory such as research and development, social capital and social capability. A vital issue is that of causality: Does human capital cause economic growth or is it an effect of it? This and many other problems are analysed from a historical point of view, considering human capital formation as well as the role of human capital in modernisation, in particular in the first, second, and third industrial revolution.

Economics of Innovation (7.5 ECTS)

This course covers several areas of innovation economics, such as their characteristics, their driving forces of innovation and how innovation affects economic growth. It covers several sub-themes, such as:

Market structures and innovation – describes how competitive structures and imperfect competition may induce innovation in different industries.

Institutions and innovation – drawing on the systems of innovation literature, this theme addresses how the institutional framework affects innovation.

Innovation, Energy and Sustainability (7.5 ECTS)

Climate change has, more than anything else, imposed innovative challenges for present human energy systems. This course begins with an overview of global energy systems based on oil, carbon, nuclear and hydro-power as well as supplementary systems. Three areas are given particular emphasis: firstly, energy end use efficiency, its historical development and future prospects; secondly, renewable energy and the on-going change at its technological frontier; thirdly, transports, their different systems, use of energy and impact on the environment as well as on-going technological change. Both positive and normative aspects of the interplay between economic growth and energy are treated. Among the first aspects is the so called decoupling of energy and GDP, for example whether the third industrial revolution implies a reduction of energy use. Normative aspects consider institutional and political factors, which determine incentives for innovation.

Internship (7.5 ECTS)

Through an internship in an organization the course aims at giving the students a working experience relevant for his/her master’s studies. The course is independent from the university’s teaching and the student is expected to independently find and apply for the internship. The length of the internship should correspond to at least two months full-time work. The provider of the internship could be of different kind but could normally be in the categories government agency, intergovernmental or supranational organization, non-governmental organization, or a private firm. The organization and the work assignments for the internship must be approved by the Department of Economic History.

Semester 2 (spring), year 1, period 4: Paper and/or degree project (15 ECTS)

Semester 2 (spring), year 2, period 4: Degree project (15 ECTS)

This is a preliminary course list, and is intended as guidance only. The course list may be subject to change.