I know, my last blog was posted some time ago, but I got an excuse for the delay. The period after our Christmas holidays has been rather hectic will all the schoolwork due in January. First, we had to hand in our country reports on selected Sub-Saharan Countries (Madagascar & Zambia in my case) for the course Institutions, Growth & Development, with an analysis of their economic development over the last 50 years. All in all it has been a very interesting project and to give you a very brief conclusion; the prospects for the near future look bright for either country. Although, economic development from 1950 till roughly 2000 was characterized by periods of rapid growth, followed by periods of similar decline, the growth performance from about 2002 onwards has been very spectacular. The biggest challenge this time is to achieve sustainable long run growth. In an interactive session we presented our results in a more detailed way, as did our fellow students. It was really interesting to see that each case needs a different approach but overall the prospects look positive. In the meantime, I was supposed to prepare a discussion session with my project group on the economic impact of the introduction of the potato in Europe. This all seems rather trivial, but some researchers have shown that the potato did actually have a very positive impact on urbanisation and total population growth. Without going in too much detail one of the main underlying reasons is the high nutritional value of the potato, which coincided with an increase in demand for nutritious food at the start of the Industrial Revolution. The potato allowed (more) people to live in cities and work in the big factories, which eventually sparked economic growth in Western Europe (and the world).
After all, these very interesting project assignments were obviously concluded by an exam for either course, we wrote them last week’s Wednesday & Friday. After our last exam, it was finally time to relax a bit. We gathered with most students in our Master’s programme to enjoy the afternoon.
At the end of the day I realized that we are already half way our Master’s, time flies. I have two more courses to follow, Multinational Firms and Empirics of Globalisation, before I conclude my studies with my Master’s thesis.