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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

LUBS2040 Theories of Growth, Value and Distribution

10 creditsClass Size: 286

Module manager: Karsten Kohler

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Pre-requisite qualifications

LUBS1951 Economic Theory and Applications
LUBS1952 Economic Theory and Applications for Finance

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The module ‘Theories of Growth, Value and Distribution’ aims to give students grounding in comparative approaches to theories of economic growth, value creation, and income distribution. It focuses on the origins and the differing objectives of the Classical Political Economy, the Marginalist or Neoclassical Economics, and the Keynesian Macroeconomics, respectively. The module is concerned not only with formal theory and methodological differences between authors and schools, but also with the questions relating to the role of politics, power, and ideology, within economic thinking. While focusing on paradigmatic shifts in the history of economic thought, the module allows students to engage critically with dominant ideas in economics. It sheds light on both the conflictual nature of the economic science and its controversial epistemological status. It unveils the twofold relationship between economic ideas and vested interests belonging to particular individuals and social classes. In seminars, a debate format is used to allow students to identify strengths and weaknesses of each individual theory or school of thought.


The aim of this module is to give students grounding in comparative approaches to theories of growth, value and distribution, the differing objectives of the major schools of thought, and their origins in the history of economic thought.

Learning outcomes
Upon completion of this module students will be able to:
- Assess major development in the history of ideas in economic analysis and the contributions of major figures in the history of economic thought
- Explain differences in the major comparative approaches to theories of growth, value and distribution
- Recognise the importance of competing paradigms and explain differences in formal theory and methodology and their relevance to past and present debates around issues of economic importance
- Recognise analogies between the great classical economic problems and current worries about globalisation, population pressures and economic crises
- Draw relevant inferences when considering modern policy responses and suggestions

Skills outcomes
On completion of this module students will be able to:
- Think critically and analytically, and to communicate succinctly
- Recognise the sensitivities of the sometimes hidden presence of ethical assumptions

Subject specific
- Identify hidden premises vis-à-vis politics and ideology


Indicative content:
The content areas taught in this module concern the meaning and method of economics:
The main alternative schools of thought in economic analysis
The major themes developed in these different schools of thought
The history of economic thought

This includes a general introduction to the comparison of alternative approaches to growth, value and distribution; an assessment of the ‘classics’ (Adam Smith on factories, markets, productive and unproductive labour; Thomas Malthus on population, fertility, productivity, and welfare; David Ricardo on the labour theory of value and the theory of land rent; Karl Marx on profit, exploitation, crisis) and a comparison with the first great contributors to neoclassical economics and the ‘marginal revolution’ (with examples including Jevons, Walras and Marshall); and an assessment throughout of the ideology and politics informing the evolution of economic analysis, and the relevance of this today.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours85.00
Total Contact hours15.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

This could include a variety of activities, such as reading, watching videos, question practice and exam preparation.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Your teaching methods could include a variety of delivery models, such as face-to-face teaching, live webinars, discussion boards and other interactive activities. There will be opportunities for formative feedback throughout the module.

Methods of assessment

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 00 mins100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)100.00

The resit for this module will be 100% by 2 hour examination.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 16/05/2022


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