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Faculty of Business, Economics and Informatics

Development, Innovation and Emerging Markets


Economic development and emerging markets transform the world at a high pace. It has brought about a vast reduction in global poverty, while at the same time, it is raising severe concerns about non-renewable resources and the environmental sustainability.

This requires rethinking fundamental policies for emerging markets, such as those that can direct the process of innovation in a more eco-friendly direction. Beyond the reality of emerging economies, many developing countries continue to struggle with extreme poverty, social, ethnic and politic conflicts, and major difficulties in reaching stable institutional arrangements.

To address the new questions arising in this area of research, both theoretical and empirical methods are important. In addition, an interdisciplinary approach merging insights and methodologies from economics, history and political science is useful. The policy results have a high relevance well beyond academia, and are of interest to the business sector, policy makers and international organizations.

Research Projects

Exemplary project: The Effect of Economic Reform and Industrial Policy in a Panel of Chinese Cities (S. Alder, L. Shao, F. Zilibotti)

In China, Special Economic Zones (SEZ) are specifically designed areas for inward investment, quick production cycles and innovation transfer. They are a building block of the development strategy pursued by the Chinese government. We analyzed if cities in which SEZ were located had a permanent higher gross domestic product (GDP) growth than cities in the rest of the country. With an empirical test on different Chinese cities we showed that active policies of the government, which were introduced in the SEZ and later extended to the whole economy, brought growth to the GDP – something which is important for a country like China at an early stage of development. However, we found out, that in the long run, the GDP growth of the cities, with an inherent SEZ is not automatically higher than in the rest of the country.

Selected research projects and centers

Connections to courses

Students interested in economics of development and economic growth will find this topic to be the right focus of their studies. There are excellent employment opportunities with organizations specialized in development co-operation, international organizations (World Bank, IMF, UNCTAD, OECD) and central banking. The private (financial) sector has also a high demand of knowledge about emerging markets, especially China. Contents of Development, Innovation and Emerging Markets are taught on Bachelor’s and Master’s level in the Economics core elective area 1 and on Doctoral level. The following list provides examples of courses particularly related to our topic.

List of courses

More detailed information on each module can be found by copying the 8-digit code into the search field of the University’s course catalogue.

Course catalogue

Bachelor's level

Behavioral Macroeconomics BOEC0262
Economics and Politics of Innovation BOEC0028
Economic Growth BOEC0304
International Economics BOEC0107

Master's level

International Macroeconomics MOEC0048 
Distribution and Growth MOEC0307
Growth, Technical Change and Institution MOEC0361

Doctoral level

Growth, Technical Change and Institution DOEC0389

Faculty members involved

The following Faculty members research and/or teach in Development, Innovation and Emerging Markets.

Department of Economics (IVW)

Prof. Dr. Lorenzo Casaburi
Prof. Dr. David Dorn
Prof. Dr. David Hémous
Prof. Dr. Mathias Hoffmann
Prof. Dr. Ralph Ossa
Prof. Dr. Dina Pomeranz
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Woitek
Prof. Dr. Josef Zweimüller
Prof. Dr. David Yanagizawa-Drott(main contact for topic)