Growth Economics: 2020-2021


Paulo Brito: pbrito at iseg dot ulisboa dot pt


Schedule: 17.2.2021 - 12.5.2020 (no Easter break), wednesdays 20h-23h
Room: online
Assessment: written exam


This is a course on economic growth theory, with a view on their relationship with the most important 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
  2. A toolkit for economic growth theory
  3. The Malthusian model: modelling pre-industrial economies
  4. Exogenous growth theory and capital accumulation
    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. automation
  6. Growth and the government
  7. Growth and the environment


Topic Slide Problem set

1 Introduction Introduction
2 Toolkit for economic growth theory Toolkit
3 Malthusian models Malthusian growth theory problem set 1: Malthus, problem set 1: solutions
4.1Exogenous growth: add hoc Solow growth theory problem set 2: Solow, problem set 2: solutions
4.2Exogenous growth: optimal growth, Ramsey model problem set 3: Ramsey, problem set 3: solutions
5.1 The AK and the Romer models AK model , Romer externality growth model problem set 4: AK and Romer
5.2 The Uzawa-Lucas model Uzawa-Lucas growth model problem set 5: Uzawa-Lucas
5.3.0R&D an growth Introduction
5.3.1Expansion of varieties R&D and expansion of varieties model problem set 6
5.3.2Expansion of quality: Schumpeterian modelsRD Schumpeterian model problem set 7
5.3.3Directed technical change RD directed technical change model
5.3.4Automation Robots and growth problem set 8
 6 Growth, taxes, and government debt Growth and government debt problem set 9
7 Growth and the environment. Growth and the environment problem set 10


[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.

[Crafts and Woltjer(2020)]   Nicholas Crafts and Pieter Woltjer. Growth accounting in Economic History: findings, lessons and new directions. Journal of Economic Surveys, n/a(n/a), 2020. doi: 10.1111/joes.12348. URL

[Gallardo-Albarrán and Inklaar(2020)]   Daniel Gallardo-Albarrán and Robert Inklaar. The role of capital and productivity in accounting for the incme differences since 1913. Journal of Economic Surveys, 2020.

[Hanushek and Woessmann(2015)]   Eric A. Hanushek and Ludger Woessmann. The Knowledge Capital of Nations. CESifo Book Series. MIT Press, 2015.

[Vollrath(2020)]   Dietrich Vollrath. Fully Grown. Chicago University Press, Chicago, 2020.

Course notes

Course notes 2018


Past exams: EN 2019-20 part 1| EN 2019-20 part 2| ER 2019-20 part 1| ER 2019-20 part 2| EN 2017-18 | ER 2017-18 |

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Last change: May 5, 2021