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Growth, Inequality and Poverty


Credits: 4 ECTS

Second semester

Elective Courses




This course is largely about income in three guises: growth (changes in average income per head in countries); inequality (the dispersion of income between and within countries); and poverty (insufficient income). For sure, income is not all that there is, but it is a fundamental component of human development. The ranking of countries according to the UN Human Development Index is broadly in line with that based on income per capita; and the developed economies are also at the top of achievements in human development, while the low-income countries in most cases show a poor record. Moreover, disparities in life expectancy across countries and within countries tend also to be correlated with income gaps. Therefore, focusing on economic growth – or the lack of it – and the disparities in income between countries and within countries is well justified if one wants to understand the potential for countries and individuals to improve their living standards. The course introduces the participants into key debates and issues in the field of international development. Whilst discussing the empirical evidence, particular attention will be given to the Global South.


The final grade will be a weighted average of the assessment of: a team presentation of a case study (50% of the total grade); and a briefing paper of a maximum length of 2,000 words (excluding references) on a given question/debate (50%).

Competences, learning outcomes and teaching activities (PDF)