Macroeconomics of Growth

· Wahlpflicht


  • ECTS: 6
  • Course Language: English
  • Requirements: Macroeconomics I and Mathematics II required, Macroeconomics highly recommended
  • Recommended Semester: 5th Semester
  • Core Elective Area: ECON1 (Macroeconomics)
  • Topics of Interest: Macroeconomics
  • Level of Effort per ECTS (appropriate, high, very high): very high


Brief Summary: 

The course offers an introduction to the many models of economic growth. It looks at a variety of growth models and theories from the standard Solow model to more modern growth models like the Schumpeterian growth model. It covers many different topics like human capital, innovation, climate change, institutions, trade, democracies, competition and many more. The subject is very intense but gives an incredibly extensive overview over the most important subjects in macroeconomics. It introduces you - for a bachelor course - very extensively into how economics models are built and gives you a toolset to start thinking of creating your own.

Challenges / Good to know:

The workload is high as the course requires you to truly understand the underlying mechanisms of the theories thought. The exercise can be challenging and therefore a lot of individual effort is necessary. The goals of the class are different than in some others as here the emphasis really lies on understanding the concepts and much less on reproducing the examples of past exercises or exams. There area a lot of slides and topics to learn for the exam.

Pro / Contra

Lecture (Content, Structure, Learning Material):


  • The lecturer is really great, his insights, motivation and knowledge is very noticable in the lectures.
  • The subjects covered are very interesting and the content given allows you to form strong arguments and gives you a new perspective of thinking about growth and the economy.
  • The slides are very extensive
  • This course is what someone who is into macroeconomics would imagine studying economics would look like


  • The lecture can be very fast and the many important points are gone through quickly
  • The notes done by the lecturer during the lecture can be a bit confusing
  • There is no podcast

Exercise (Relevance to the Lecture / Exam):

Important to note(!): New TA in HS22


  • The exercises are very extensive and give a good overview over how the exam will look


  • The exercises are very difficult and solving them for the first time can be very tough
  • Integrals are a key part of the course which weren’t looked at in detail in the Mathematics 1 or 2
  • The TA sessions were mostly just solving the exercise without a recap or much Q&A

Effort for the exam / Tips

Effort per ECTS: 


Weighting of the Exercises: 

Written exam (70% of final grade), take-home problem sets (25% of final grade), and active class participation (5% of final grade)


  • Exercises
  • Lecture slides
  • There are books recommended, good place to check unclear concepts

Learning Strategy (Time Management):

It is definitely a good start to solve all the exercises. But more than that it is very good to understand the dynamics behind the models. Don’t be surprised when in the exam a completely new production function is used for the model, one that you have never seen before. The exam is also very extensive but don’t panik if you don’t solve it all. In the past the exam had also a part where one would have to write something which is a great place to get points. The rest is mostly solving a model which can be frustrating especially under time pressure. The professor is demanding but also very fair.

Placement in Curriculum

Which subjects build on this course:


Similar courses:

International Trade



This course is one of the best at the University of Zurich. It is very challenging but also gives anyone interested in macroeconomics exactly what they wanted to study. All the most important subjects are covered in depth. It is a course where one learns so much that one only notices it much later. For anyone interested in politics, development, climate change, trade and long-term growth this is a must.


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