Growth Economics: 2019-2020


Paulo Brito: pbrito at iseg dot ulisboa dot pt


Schedule: 19.2.2020 - 20.5.2020, wednesdays 20h-23h
Room: 116 (F1)
Office hours: 26.2.2020 - 20.5.2020, wednesdays 11-12h (upon confirmation)
Assessment: written exam (100%)


This is a course on economic growth theory, with a view on their relationship with the relevant stylised facts on growth. Our main goal is to enable students to be acquainted with the main facts, theories, and problems. Ideally, upon successful completion of the course, the students should be able to understand the relevant literature and to have a knowledgeable reading of the facts.


  1. Introduction: growth facts and theories
  2. Growth in pre-industrial economies and the Malthusian model
  3. Exogenous growth theory and capital accumulation
  4. Production functions and growth. Growth accoiunting
    1. Add-hoc models: the Solow model
    2. Intertemporal optimizing model: the Ramsey model
  5. Endogenous growth theory
    1. One-sector models: the AK and the Romer models
    2. Two-sector models: human capital and growth
    3. Technology and growth:
      1. expansion of varieties,
      2. creative destruction,
      3. directed technical change,
      4. barriers to entry,
  6. Growth and the government
  7. Growth and the environment
  8. Distribution and growth


topic slide

1Introduction Introduction
2 The Malthusian model, Malthusian growth theory
3a The Solow model, Solow model
3b The Ramsey model, Ramsey model
4a The AK and the Romer models AK model , Romer externality growth model
4b The Uzawa-Lucas model Uzawa-Lucas growth model
4ci Expansion of varieties RD varieties model
4 cii Expansion of quality: Schumpeterian modelsRD Schumpeterian model
4 ciiiDirected technical change RD directed technical change model
5 Growth, taxes, and government debt Growth and government debt
6 Growth and the environment. Growth and the environment


, , , ,

[Acemoglu(2009)]   Daron Acemoglu. Introduction to Modern Economic Growth. Princeton University Press, 2009.

[Aghion and Durlauf(2005)]   Philippe Aghion and Steven N. Durlauf, editors. Handbook of Economic Growth,, volume 1A & 1B. Elsevier, 2005.

[Aghion and Howitt(2009)]   Philippe Aghion and Peter Howitt. The Economics of Growth. MIT Press, 2009.

[Barro and Sala-i-Martin(2004)]   Robert J. Barro and Xavier Sala-i-Martin. Economic Growth. MIT Press, 2nd edition, 2004.

[Galor(2011)]   Oded Galor. Unified Growth Theory. Princeton University Press, 2011.

Course material

Course notes

Course notes 2018

Problem sets

Problem sets: problem set 1: Malthus and Solow | Problem set 2: Ramsey | Problem set 3: AK and Romer models | Problem set 4: RD, government debt and environment

Some solutions: Problem set 1 to 3


Past exams: EN 2017-18 | ER 2017-18 | EN 2016-17 | ER 2016-17

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Last change: April 29, 2020