Economic Growth and Development ECON4046

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: Adam Smith Business School
  • Credits: 15
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

Why do some countries grow rich while others remain poor? This course provides an introduction to theoretical and empirical research on economic growth and development. The course attempts to show the relevance of a coherent analytical framework in understanding the process of economic growth, with an emphasis on modern methods of data analysis.


10 x 2-hour lectures

Additional 1 hour revision lecture out with normal teaching hours

Requirements of Entry

Entry to an Honours programme in Economics or a minimum grade C3 (average) in Economics 2A and 2B for students taking an Honours programme in another subject.


ILO (covered)

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The main aims of this course are to:

1. Provide an analysis on the proximate and underlying determinants of economic growth; 

2. Evaluate growth and development strategies based on economic theories and evidence;

3. Analyse the role of underlying factors such as geography, institutions, and culture, in economic growth and development;

4. Demonstrate the relevance of a coherent analytical framework in understanding economic growth and development, with a focus on modern methods of data analysis.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course, students are expected to:

1. Display a working knowledge of the concepts used in development economics; 

2. Achieve an understanding of growth disparities among countries in the world;

3. Acquire the economic knowledge on alternative theories and models which seek to explain economic growth and development; 

4. Understand the link between social and economic development;

5. Argue logically from the basis of general theoretical principles and relate these principles to empirical findings.


These objectives are interdependent. Throughout the course a high premium will be placed on a critical approach to the models considered and on understanding their empirical basis. Students should aim to apply knowledge gained in one aspect of the course to other parts of it. Questions and discussion are strongly encouraged during the lectures.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.