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Economic Growth

  • Enseignant(s):
  • Titre en français: Théorie de croissance
  • Cours donné en: anglais
  • Crédits ECTS:
  • Horaire: Semestre de printemps 2009-2010, 4.0h. de cours (moyenne hebdomadaire)
      WARNING :   this is an old version of the syllabus, old versions contain   OBSOLETE   data.
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This 6 credit course presents an introduction to the theory of economic growth and some of its applications. It will introduce a number of models to shed light both on the process of economic growth at the world level and on sources of income and growth differences across countries.

The course has two objectives: the first is to familiarize you with a set of issues and questions that are central to economics; the second is to provide you with a number of workhorse models useful in multiple areas of macroeconomics.


PART 1: Historical Perspective: from Stagnation to Modern Growth: This part will give a brief overview of the stylized facts of economic growth and show the large disparities in income per capita across countries. It will also discuss briefly how the world distribution of income across countries has come to be so unequal after the escape from Malthusian stagnation in the last two centuries. Finally a model of the Malthusian trap is provided.

PART 2: Proximate Causes of Growth This part discusses the main mechanisms of modern growth based on accumulation of factors of production and technological change.

PART 3: Fundamental Causes of Development In this part we will take a step back from the discussion of the models so far and ask about the potential sources of differences in the parameters of the models. We will discuss fundamental reasons for why saving rates, human capital investments and technology may differ across countries. To this purpose we will discuss the role of institutions, culture, geography and luck. Then we will try to understand the process of transition from Malthusian stagnation to modern growth by studying a model of Unified Growth Theory.

PART 4: Topics in Long-run Development  If time permits we will study some of the following topics.

Comparative Development: Inequalities between Countries and Convergence // Structural Transformations and Market Failures in Development // Diffusion of Technology, Barriers to Adoption, Trade and Interdependencies // The Role of Human Capital and Directed Technical Change // Growth and Volatility // Economics of Culture // The Economics of Conflicts


Textbook: Introduction to Modern Economic Growth, by Daron Acemoglu, Princeton University Press, 2009.

My presentation material is downloadable from the HEC website of the course; this material borrows many elements from the courses given by Daron Acemoglu at MIT and Oded Galor at Brown University.


1ère tentative

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The midterm exam will count for 40% of the final grade. The final exam will count for 60% of the final grade.


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The make-up exam stands alone: the results at the midterm and final exams will not be taken into account.

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