310140 :Innovation and Development

General info

Instruction language English
Type of Instruction 2 hours lecture, 1 hour tutorial (Lecture schedule)
Type of exams assignments (20%), policy case study (20%) and written exam (60%) (Examination schedule)
Course load:6 ECTS credits
Registration:via Blackboard
Blackboard InfoLink to Blackboard (When you see 'Guest are not allowed in this course', please login at Blackboard itself)


dr.ir. J.J. Voeten


The aim of the course 'Innovation and Development' is to provide students with an understanding of how innovation in the private sector in developing countries could play an essential role in economic growth and development. After the course, students will be able to distinguished various dimensions of innovation relevant for development and associated innovation systems and institutional theories. The course also reviews knowledge and skills for identifying context-specific innovation types and processes, and institutional conditions for developing policy options. The course mainly uses qualitative research approaches and policy materials as cases and papers from Tilburg University's current research projects in Africa and Asia. Since the course mostly takes a qualitative approach in discussing and analysing theory and related emprirical material, students should not expect mathatical models or econometrics. 


The course starts with an introduction of the concept 'Development' and it implications in African and Asian countries, followed by the underpinnings of innovation theory, viewed as an economic phenomenon. Concepts such as growth, (total factor) productivity and competitiveness will be discussed in the context of small and medium sized enterprises in developing countries.

Subsequently, the course focuses on a deeper understanding of innovation in developing countries and how it could contribute to economic growth, sustainable development and poverty reduction. In this debate, terms such as inclusive innovation, social and environmental impacts of innovation, distribution of innovation benefits are critical.

The last section of the course involves the broader institutional and policy context for promoting innovation, which discusses innovations systems, evolutionary economics and institutional economics and learning theories. For exploring research implication for innovation policy, the course involves theoretical and policy insights and qualitative research methods from a 4-years DFID research project entitles 'Innovation and Growth;, currently implemented in 10 African and Asian countries.  See: https://www.tilburguniversity.edu/dfid-innovation-and-growth/


Former name of this course: 'Finance and Development'

Compulsory Reading

  1. A selection of reading materials are provided via Blackboard.

Required Prerequisites

Students should be familiar with the basic concepts of Development Economics

Compulsory for

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