AØKA08087U Advanced Development Economics - Macro Aspects

Volume 2018/2019

MSc programme in Economics – elective course


The PhD Programme in Economics at the Department of Economics  - elective course with resarch module (PhD students must contact the study administration and the lecturer in order to write the research assignment)


The course covers three broad themes:


Theme 1. Historical development

Accounting for the vast differences in income and productivity we observe across countries today requires a solid understanding of the process of economic development in a historical perspective. Therefore, in this part of the course we show that history matters for development, will examine the main characteristics of pre-modern and pre-industrial economies, the forces that have kept some of them in a long period of stagnation, and the mechanisms that allowed others to embark on a path of sustained development.


Theme 2. Fundamental determinants of differences in economic performance

In this part of the course we ask exactly why history matters for economic development. We will go beyond explanations at a proximate level, to study reasons and precise mechanisms that explain differences in economic performace at a deeper level. For this, we will rely on an extensive and active area of research on the impact of historical events and the impact of differences in fundamental characteristics across countries and regions. For example, we will ask whether specific dimensions of climate and geoography, certain cultural characteristics, the type of institutions, or the interdependence and coevolution between these different types of fundamental determinants, can explain why some countries have been able to accumulate human and physical capital more effectively, to innovate and adopt new technologies faster, or to embark on a path of sustained development earlier than others.


Theme 3. Policy debates

By the end of the course we will explore recent and relevant policy debates about the main topic of the course. Examples of these debates are the effectiveness of development policy tools such as foreign aid, the role for industrial policies and active state intervention in the process of economic development, and the causes and consequences of different types of inequality.



Learning Outcome

After completing the course, the student should be able to:


  • Describe the global pattern of economic development, from a historical and a modern perspective.
  • Understand theoretical models and arguments related to the historical process of development, and the empirical evidence accompanying them.
  • Have a comprehensive overview of the research literature relevant to the process of development in less advanced economies.



  • Identify and explain the causes of differences in the development path that different countries have followed, and relate them to fundamental drivers of economic development.
  • Provide the basic economic intuition behind central mechanisms in theoretical models.
  • Assess the capacity of theoretical models and arguments to generate testable predictions, and evaluate the correspondence between theoretical predictions and empirical evidence.



  • Appreciate some of the key debates in development economics, understand how they relate to contemporary policy issues, and discuss about the effectiveness of policies aimed to promote growth and economic development.
  • Apply our expertise as economists to understand and assess quantitative analyses carried out in the context of less developed regions.
  • Work effectively as a trained economist analyzing problems of less developed countries as a researcher in an academic institution, or in an international organization, business environment, non-governmental organization, or governmental institution.


The course uses book chapters, recent journal articles, and recent working papers.

BSc in Economics or similar
Development economics; long-run macro from Macroeconomics I; and simple regression analysis and instrumental variables from Econometrics I, are requisites.

Students will benefit from having taken Economic History, Economic Growth, and Applied Econometric Policy Evaluation – but these courses are not requisites.
Lectures. Four of these will include exercises, in which students will work individually and in groups, analysing specific topics and engaging in discussion.
2 hours lectures 1 to 2 times a week from week 36 to 50 (except week 42).

The overall schema for the Master can be seen at https:/​/​intranet.ku.dk/​economics_ma/​courses/​CourseCatalogue-E18/​Courseschema/​Pages/​default.aspx

Timetable and venue:
To see the time and location of lectures please press the link under "Se skema" (See schedule) at the right side of this page. E means Autumn.

You can find the similar information partly in English at
-Select Department: “2200-Økonomisk Institut” (and wait for respond)
-Select Module:: “2200-E18; [Name of course]””
-Select Report Type: “List – Weekdays”
-Select Period: “Efterår/Autumn – Weeks 31-5”
Press: “ View Timetable”
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 3
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 161
  • Total
  • 206
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 3 hours under invigilation
at the computers of Copenhagen University.
The exam assignment is given in English and must be answered in English.
Exam registration requirements



Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Exam period

The exam takes place at the exam venues of the university:

19 December 2018

The exact time and room of the exam will be informed in the Self-Service at KUnet


Exam information:

For enrolled students more information about examination, rules, exam schedule etc. is available at the intranet for Master students (UK) and Master students (DK).



The reexam takes place at the exam venues of the university:

20 22 February 2019

The exact time and room of the exam will be informed in the Self-Service at KUnet


Reexam information:

If only a few students have registered for the written re-exam, the reexam might change to an oral exam including the date, time and place for the exam, which will be informed by the Examination Office.

More information is available at  Master students (UK)and Master students (DK).  

Criteria for exam assesment

Students are assessed on the extent to which they master the learning outcome for the course.

To receive the top grade, the student must with no or only a few minor weaknesses be able to demonstrate an excellent performance displaying a high level of command of all aspects of the relevant material and can make use of the knowledge, skills and competencies listed in the learning outcomes.