SOAS University of London

Department of Economics

Comparative Growth: Theoretical Approaches

Module Code:
153401010
Credits:
15
FHEQ Level:
4
Year of study:
Year 1
Taught in:
Term 1

This module provides an introduction to key theoretical foundations in development economics, by focusing on patterns of growth and development in the Global South. The aim is to familiarise students with key facts, concepts and factors underpinning growth and development and to develop the analytical ability of students to engage with real-world growth and development questions.  We emphasize the application of theory to real economic problems in regions and countries in the Global South in a comparative perspective.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

  • Understand a range of basic economic and developmental theories on growth;
  • Have a good grasp of some of the factors which determine the pace and nature of economic growth;
  • Know and understand the record of a range of developing countries in the industrialisation and post-1950 period;
  • Apply their developed skills in writing article reviews and essays, and have gained experience of giving a seminar presentation.

Scope and syllabus

1. A Brief History of Global Growth: Convergence or Divergence?
2. Are Growth and Development the Same Thing?
3. How to Measure Growth? The Good and the Bad of GDP
4. How to Measure Development? From Income Distribution to the UN Development Goals
5. Hands-on Session: Reading & Writing Development Blogs
6. The Role of Agriculture and Labour
7. The Role of Capital Accumulation 
8. The Role of Human Capital
9. The Role of the State
10. Recap & Hands-on Session: How to Do an Academic Presentation

Timetable

Assessment weighting: Article review quiz 30%, Coursework 50% (1 blog entry of 600 words) Presentation 20% (no alternative assessment).

Suggested reading

  • Cypher, J. M., & Dietz, J. L. (2009). The process of economic development (3rd ed.). London ; New York: Routledge.
  • Nayyar, D. (2013). Catch Up: Developing Countries in the World Economy, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Nissanke, M. and Ocampo, J. A. (eds.) (2019). The Palgrave Handbook of Development Economics, London: Palgrave MacMillan.
  • Thirlwall, A. and Pacheco-Lopez, P. (2017) Economics of Development, tenth edition, Palgrave Macmillan.

Disclaimer

Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules