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From Poverty to Prosperity: Understanding Economic Development

Learn about the role of government and the key political, social, and economic processes that elevate any society from poverty to prosperity.

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104,355 already enrolled! After a course session ends, it will be archived.
Starts Jul 29
Ends Dec 31
Estimated 6 weeks
2–3 hours per week
Self-paced
Progress at your own speed
Free
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About this course

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How can poor societies become prosperous and overcome obstacles to do so? Professor Sir Paul Collier is one of the world's leading scholars on this question, and in this economics course you will have the opportunity to learn from him directly.

This course will discuss and examine the following topics:

  • The role of government and the key political, social and economic processes that affect development;
  • Why societies need polities that are both centralised and inclusive, and the process by which these polities develop;
  • The social factors that are necessary for development, including the importance of identities, norms, and narratives;
  • The impact of economic processes on development, including discussion about how government policies can either promote or inhibit the exploitation of scale and specialisation;
  • The external conditions for development, including trade flows, capital flows, labour flows and international rules for governance.

Enrol in this course to understand the factors that influence economic development and the different development paths that countries across the world have taken.

At a glance

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English

What you'll learn

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By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Identify internal political, social, and economic factors that influencedevelopment;
  • Understand how external influences can impact the internal political, social, and economic processes;
  • Understand the varied paths of development that different countries have taken;
  • Apply the concepts learned by completing a final assignment that allows learners to practice the analysis of development challenges using the concepts of the course.

Module 1: From Anarchy to a centralised State
Economic development needs polities that are centralised and inclusive. No society starts with such a polity. Starting from anarchy, what determines whether a centralised state emerges?

Module 2: From centralised to Inclusive States

Economic development needs polities that are centralised and inclusive. No society starts with such a polity. What are the factors that develop a centralised state into an inclusive one?

Module 3: Power, Identities and Narratives
Economic development needs an alignment between power and identities. What happens when power and identities are misaligned and how can that misalignment be addressed?

Module 4: Growth through Urbanisation and Industrialisation
Economic development depends upon exploiting scale and specialisation, but poor societies start with neither. How can government policies promote or inhibit the exploitation of scale and specialisation?

Module 5: External Influences: Trade flows, Capital flows, Labour flows, and International Governance Rules
The political, social and economic processes covered in previous modules are fundamentally internal. External influences are peripheral but may still matter, for good or ill.

Module 6: Final Assignment
The details of the final assignment and instructions on how to complete it will be available in this module.

Learner testimonials

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_"Short version: A completely charming, highly informative course for those not terribly familiar with global economics. And, trust me, "charming" is the last word I'd ever expect to use about economics." - Karen Carlson _

About the instructors

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