ECON4350 – Growth and Investment

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

The objective of this course is to make the students familiar with various growth models developed in different historical contexts, what they can explain and what policy implications can be made. Another objective is to learn more about growth at a disaggregated level, with emphasis on structural changes both within sectors and in sectoral composition.
The course is organised along the following route:

  • First we distinguish various growth models according to what assumptions are used to model the production side of the economy. Such a starting point will enable the students to see how the approach adopted by the classical economists is being modified when going to Keynesian-inspired growth models, to neoclassical growth models, to putty-clay or vintage models, and at last to “endogenous” growth models. We will then be able to see similarities and differences between the various models
  • Secondly we will consider growth at a more disaggregated level than what is usually done in standard aggregated growth models. There are important structural changes that are taking place over time during a growth process. These structural changes take place both between sectors, as labour and investment will be redirected from primary, to secondary and tertiary sectors over time, and within industries as well when old firms equipped with an old-fashioned technology exit, while new firms investing in modern technology enter.
  • While most problems above are descriptive, there is a normative aspect related to optimal economic growth. In order to evaluate various growth paths a welfare criterion is required – which involve intergenerational value judgements. Such criteria can be used to evaluate various growth paths and policy measures. Also optimal investment behaviour and the nature of technical progress will be analysed.

Learning outcome

You should know

  • the history of economic growth models, what they explain, their relationships and what are the policy implications of the models
  • the steady-state nature or long-run equilibrium properties of the various models,
  • the driving forces of structural changes in an economy over time

You should be able to

  • handle technically the various growth models and also make use of the theories to explain, say, why some countries lag behind others, why some countries prosper while others show very little progress
  • point at policy instruments that may produce either permanent growth or only temporary growth

You should

  • be able to read and understand project reports and journal articles that make use of the concepts and methods that are introduced in the course
  • be able to make use of the course content in your own academic work, for example in analyses that are part of the master’s thesis


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

The subject is open for both Norwegian and international applicants.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Bachelor's degree in Economics, or equivalent

Recommended previous knowledge

Basic knowledge of theories of economic growth, in particular the Solow model (e.g. ECON2915 – Economic Growth (discontinued) ).

Good background in mathematics and econometrics. A recommended minimum is ECON3120 – Mathematics 2: Calculus and Linear Algebra / ECON4120 – Mathematics 2: Calculus and Linear Algebra and ECON3150 – Introductory Econometrics / ECON4150 – Introductory Econometrics, or equivalent knowledge.

We will make use of some mathematical techniques beyond this requirement, but an introduction to these techniques will be given during the course (more thorougly covered in ECON4140 – Mathematics 3: Differential Equations, Static and Dynamic Optimization / ECON4145.


Lectures and seminars: 2 hours per week throughout the semester.
Seminars: 2 hours per week through parts of the semester.


A 3-hour written exam at the end of the semester.

Examination support material

Students may use dictionaries at this exam. Dictionaries must be handed in before the examination. Please read regulations for dictionaries permitted at the examination.

Language of examination

The problem set will be given in English and Norwegian. Answers can be given in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or in English. See § 5.4 in Regulations governing studies and examinations at the University of Oslo.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

The Department of Economics has passed following resolution for ECON-courses: It will no longer be possible for candidates to register for an exam in a lower level course after having passed exams in intermediate and advanced level courses in the same subject area (also where there are no pre-requisites that apply to the intermediate course). Further information can be found here.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Autumn 2011


Autumn 2011

Teaching language