Current teaching

Main course: Intermediate Development Economics, at the advanced undergraduate level within the ERASMUS program at the Stockholm University (40-50 students, half of whom are non-Swedes).

General course information: a summary of the lectures and a reading list are to be found at

A summary of the Contents of Lectures, a Literature List and the following ten Lectures can be downloaded here.


Lecture 1

Lecture 2

Lecture 3

Lecture 4

Lecture 5

Lecture 6

Lecture 7

Lecture 8

Lecture 9

Lecture 10

Summary of lectures

Exam questions - examples


Course description

It is well known that there are enormous differences across (and within) countries, not only in terms of economic wellbeing, but also regarding health, education and nutrition standards. The main objective of this course is to provide different explanations why this is the case and what economists see as the chief remedies for reducing poverty in all forms.

The central questions raised are to what extent, and under what circumstances, economic growth reduces poverty, and whether economic growth is necessary and/or sufficient for poverty alleviation. Is it the case that poverty can be seriously reduced through other means, such as redistribution of private income and wealth, and/or reallocation of government expenditures? Or should other objectives than poverty reduction be the prime objective for development? If so, which ones?

The main theories - old and new - of what determines growth are presented and contrasted to the nowadays rich empirical evidence on growth determinants. A key question is whether there are "built-in" mechanisms in the growth process that lead to a widening gap between rich and poor countries (divergence), or whether growth in initially poor countries tend to be higher, ensuring convergence in living standards in the long term.

The different theories of how growth and income distribution within countries are inter-related (both ways) are brought to the empirical data. A related question is whether human capital in the form of better knowledge (education), health and nutrition standards are fostering growth - on top of being an outcome of growth. The different mechanisms through which population growth affects economic growth - and vice versa - are examined theoretically as well as empirically.

A further question explored is whether rapid economic growth and poverty alleviation in the now poor countries are compatible with a non-deteriorating environment and without depleting the resource base. How international trade, investment and globalisation of markets affect the poorest countries is also brought up, theoretically as well as empirically. Finally, the question whether the main constraints on development are economical or political is explored.

Contents of 10 lectures:

1. Introduction to Development Economics: Normative vs Positive Issues and Stylised Facts

2. Early Structural Models and Emerging Growth Theory

3. Neoclassical and New Growth Models

4. Empirical Evidence on Growth Determinants: Methods and Findings

5. Growth and Income Distribution: The Simultaneous Relationship - Theory and Evidence

6. Growth, Poverty, Health and Nutrition: The Simultaneous Relationship - Theory and Evidence

7. Economic Growth and Population Growth: The Simultaneous Relationship - Theory and Evidence

8. Growth and Environmental Degradation and Natural Resource Depletion - Theory and Evidence

9. Trade, Globalisation and Economic Development

10.The Political Economy of Development

Main texts
: a dozen journal articles.