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Master’s in Innovation and Global Sustainable Development

MSc with a major in Innovation and Global Sustainable Development | 2 years | 120 credits

Course content

All courses encompass 7.5 ECTS credits each. You normally study two courses in parallel.

Mandatory courses

Innovation and technical change is central to long-term economic growth but it is treated very differently in economic theories. In a comparative manner this course presents technical change within major theoretical approaches: neoclassical growth models, endogenous growth models and evolutionary structural models.

Particular attention is given to an economic historical model combined with a spatial theoretical framework of regional trajectories of growth. Thus, the interplay between innovations, economic transformation and economic growth is studied with an emphasis on major carrier branches both historically and in contemporary times.

Furthermore, factors governing the diffusion of innovations - including the interplay between economic and institutional change - are studied. In this context the economics of spatial clustering and localised externalities is central. A related aspect is how clusters and regions contribute to the characteristics of national technological shifts and economic growth.

Course code: EKHM63 | Download curriculum

This course provides the student with a fundamental understanding of the theoretical and methodological problems associated with quantitative approaches to economic history.

The first part of the course consists of theory and methods relating to multivariate linear regression, limited dependent variable regression and basics of time series analysis. It also considers how to apply these methods, with examples of how such methods are used in economic demography and economic history. This part also introduces computer software (STATA or comparable) for quantitative analysis.

In the second part of the course, students analyze a quantitative problem using actual data from economic demography or economic history, and report results in individual papers.

Course code: EKHM62 | Download curriculum

The general issue of the course concerns what distinguish scientific research and writing from journalism or everyday reporting. The course presents students with examples of how researchers engage in influential academic debates, within the social sciences in general and economic history and innovation studies specifically. The students are trained in identifying research aims, testable hypotheses, and research questions that are relevant in relation to existing research. They are also trained in understanding the role and use of theory in conceptualizing and problematizing fundamentals when designing and conducting research. Transparency and the possibility for readers to repeat the analysis is further emphasized.

The course will present a variety of potential sources and data collection techniques as well as carefully deal with the importance of source criticism. Teachers will guide students in discussions on different methodological approaches and potential methods, including their suitability in relation to research questions and data.

Course code: EKHM73 | Download curriculum

This course covers several areas of innovation economics, such as their characteristics, their driving forces of innovation and how innovation affects economic growth and development. Some of the specific topics covered in the course are the following:

  1. Market structures and innovation. This part of the course describes how competitive structures and imperfect competition may induce innovation in different industries.
  2. Diffusion. This theme discusses the implications of why innovation spreads and how it spreads into the economic environment form different perspectives. Concepts discussed include adoption, imitation and spillovers. We consider the relatively new field of network economics as well.
  3. The role of innovation in economic growth. In this theme we will examine the role of innovation in economic growth through processes related to radical innovations, general purpose technologies, competence blocks and development blocks.
  4. Institutions and innovation. Drawing on the systems of innovation literature, this theme addresses how the institutional framework affects innovation. Some of these aspects are related to national innovation systems (NIS), a concept for comparative analysis of innovative performance. Innovation processes and interdependencies within a more local or regional context are further analysed focusing on regional innovation systems (RIS).

This course serves as an introduction to some of the themes that will be discussed in the advanced course on Innovation for Sustainable Development.

Course code: EKHM71 | Download curriculum

Modern economic growth has been sustained over two centuries but will it remain sustainable? Environmental problems, in particular climate change, may cause backlash with severe consequences for human civilization.

With the widening of modern economic growth to low-income countries, such as China and India, this dismal outlook seems substantiated. However, according to one theory, transformations of industrial economies to service economies reduce the exploitation of natural resources and environmental damage. Other theories have confidence in technological change that, for example, will develop renewable and sustainable energy sources.

This course puts these and related theories into the perspective of the long-term global evidence. Particular emphasis is laid on the present state of the art as regards the economics of energy technology as well as the institutional incentives and constraints for innovation in this field. Specific attention is paid to global linkages as we explored energy embodied in European and global trade using specific decomposition techniques which will be explained in class.

Course code: EKHXXX

This course examines growth dynamics of the developing world during the last decades, explored in a comparative and historical perspective. The question of why some developing economies have been able to set in motion catching-up processes, while others remain stagnant, will be discussed aided by historical-theoretical perspectives with the main focus on countries in Pacific Asia, Africa South of the Sahara and Latin America. It will be theoretically and empirically assessed to what extent the growth of the so-called global South might be sustained.

The course is divided into two parts. The first puts heavy emphasis on readings and lectures on analytical perspectives of development and catching up from the viewpoint of classical, although current, questions such as: the role of agricultural transformation, growth-inequality, market integration, possibilities for and experiences of industrial policy, technology transfer, social capabilities, market-state relationship, governance and domestic resource mobilization, poverty/human development. The second part of the course is more student-driven and is devoted to seminar assignments where highly topical themes are discussed on the basis of available empirical data.

This course is compulsory only for students staying in Lund for the third semester.

Course code: EKHM61 | Download curriculum

This is a highly multidisciplinary course based on economics of innovation, sustainability studies and development studies. This is an advanced course which builds on notions introduced in the “Economics of Innovation” and the “Energy transitions, Innovation and Trade” courses. The students will be introduced to the hard and soft notions of sustainability and discuss how economic growth relates to socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable development and the role of innovations in achieving sustainable development.

Topics covered throughout the course include inclusive, social and sustainable innovations and innovation systems. Theoretical insights will be complemented with practical cases of innovations for sustainable development around the world. Examples of the socalled Nordic model will be combined with cases of innovation from developed and developing countries.

This course is compulsory only for students staying in Lund for the third semester. 

Course code: EKHM75 | Download curriculum

Elective courses

Below are listed those elective that primarily can be included in the degree from this programme. The timing of the elective courses differs somewhat from year to year and the details are laid out at the introductory week of the programme. Some of the courses may, due to timing, be less compatible with the programme schedule. However, solutions can be found and you are therefore recommended to discuss the choice of elective courses with the programme director.

This course studies the relations between institutions, modern economic growth, and equality. Problems in the world of today are taken as a point of departure for a historical analysis that covers countries and regions in different parts of the world. Four themes are focused. One is about the emergence of institutions such as property rights and markets, and their role for economic growth. The second is about the importance of the distribution of resources for institutional development. The third is about the importance of the growth of knowledge and education for the creation of equality of opportunity. The fourth is about the emergence of the modern welfare state as well as current challenges to its future.

The course is usually given during period 3 and is recommended for first or second-year students of this Master’s programme.

Course code: EKHM84 | Download curriculum

This course explores and explains the processes of rapid industrialisation and socio-economic modernisation in China and the Asia Pacific drawing on a historically-comparative institutional approach. Fundamental factors and forces behind the economic transformation are analysed against the background of leading theories of economic development and social change.

The course is divided into two parts. The first part uses institutional theory to analyse the emergence of the so called East Asian model and its relevance for China. The institutional underpinnings of China’s transformation to market economy are analysed in comparison with previous and contemporary development experiences in the Asia Pacific, from Japan to the ASEAN countries. Themes dealt with include agricultural modernisation and industrial policy and concepts such as developmental state, export-led growth, and growth with equity are applied and critically analysed.

The second part deals with current trends and forces of globalisation in the Asia Pacific region and China’s role as a leading regional economy. Trade policies, the impact of foreign investments and patterns of regional integration are explored and analysed. This course is taught during period 2 and it is recommended for first or second year students of this Master’s programme.

Course code: EKHM70 | Download curriculum

This is a seminar-based course offered only to a limited number of second year students enrolled in the Master’s programme in Innovation and Global Sustainable Development.

The course provides a basic understanding of how different innovation strategies are formed for firms to compete globally. It will concentrate primarily on outlining the changing patterns of global organisation of innovation, global resourcing for innovation, and global creation and dissemination of knowledge. It will introduce theories and tools for students to acquire understanding of globalisation of innovation and to develop firm’s global innovation strategy.

The course is organized around seven topical sessions. For each topical session the students will have compulsory readings that will be discussed in class. Additionally, the students will be required to prepare a practical case. This advanced topic seminar is usually offered in period 3.

Course code: EKHXXX

This course in anchored in economic history and studies historical processes of growth, convergence and divergence in the global economy over the past two centuries. Two different approaches are applied. One considers theories of economic growth, about how production is generated by capital and labour and the level of technology. The other takes the perspective of the international economy and studies international trade, migration, and movements of capital. This course is normally taught in period 1.

Course code: EKHM64 | Download curriculum

This course deals with the interplay between population and living standards in a long-term perspective. It focuses on three broader themes.

In the first, different models of the preindustrial economic demographic system are studied, and the legacy of these models (e.g. Malthusianism) and their relevance today is assessed. Different demographic indicators of living standards, such as life expectancy, infant mortality and demographic responses to economic fluctuations, are discussed and compared with other well-being indicators in an assessment of the long-term global development of standard of living.

The second theme deals with the importance of population dynamics, especially fluctuations in fertility, and thus cohort size, on living standards in industrial society.

The third theme focuses on the role of families and households in providing welfare and security of its members. Both the development over time and global comparisons are central in this theme.

The course is taught during period 2.

Course code: EKHM72 | Download curriculum

The course gives an introduction to basic concepts within time series analysis. The univariate analysis of time series in this course is based upon ARMA/ARIMA models. Multivariate time series analysis is based on VAR models. Non-stationary time series are analysed using unit root tests, co-integration methods and VEC models. Students have the choice of specialising in the analysis of volatility models or non-stationary panel data models. Theoretical studies are interwoven with practical applications in financial economics and macroeconomics. This course is normally taught in period 3 and requires Econometrics.

Course code: EKHM85 | Download curriculum

An internship could be accounted for course credits if the student presents a report about the activity and discusses its relevance for the aims of the programme. It is independent from the university’s teaching and normally the student should independently find and apply for the internship. The length of the internship should correspond to at least two months full-time work. The provider of the internship could be of different kind but could normally be in the categories government agency, intergovernmental or supranational organization, non-governmental organization, or a private firm.

Internship are available to students enrolled on the second year of the Master’s programme and is possible during summer and the third semester.

Course code: EKHT16 | Download curriculum

Optional courses provided by the Department of Human Geography

This advanced level course in economic geography focuses on some of the most important socio-economic challenges that today’s cities, regions and nations face. How does globalisation affect lives and livelihoods in particular places? Why do some regions continue to grow and prosper, whereas other regions struggle with industrial restructuring? What are the drivers of such changes and how can firms and regions cope with them?

These themes are analysed from different theoretical perspectives to examine the underlying forces that shape the trajectories and transformations of economic spaces.

This course is normally taught in period 2 and is available to second year students.

Course code: SGEM21 | Download curriculum

The course provides an introduction to the rapidly growing field of GIS for students interested in applying GIS in their research or work. The course is interdisciplinary in scope and appropriate for students from a diversity of backgrounds. This would include students from the social sciences, the humanities, economics, sustainability and development studies as well as students from a range of other disciplinary and professional backgrounds.

The course introduces students to some key conceptual debates and developments in GIS, and it provides an introduction to the most important theories and practises of GIS. During the course, the students will learn about the potential applications of GIS within various fields of study.

This course is usually taught in March-April (overlaps Period 3 and 4) and is available to second year students.

Course code: SGER50 | Download curriculum

This course focuses on some of the most important socio-economic challenges that urban and regional planning has to meet, and how these are addressed and dealt with in different planning contexts.

With the background in contemporary economic geography theory, these challenges are analysed, aiming at a deeper understanding of the underlying economic forces that impact the scope and directions in urban and regional planning.

Meetings with practitioners in the field of planning, through visits, guest seminars and excursions, are important elements to relate theory and practices.

This course is usually taught in period 3 and is available to second year students.

Course code: SGEM23 | Download curriculum

Degree Project

During the final part of the spring semester students carry out an independent research task and writes a paper in the field of Innovation and Global Sustainable Development, within the framework of the course requirements.

This is a preliminary course list, and is intended as guidance only. The course list may be subject to change.