RHI-10806 Economics and Governance in Historical Perspective


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work8
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. MA de Haas
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. RA Groeneveld
dr. R Ihle
dr. MA de Haas
dr. D Gallardo Albarran
Examiner(s)prof. dr. EHP Frankema

Language of instruction:



This introductory course for the program Economics and Governance introduces students to the interplay of market forces and government policies in processes of economic growth and the distribution of wealth and income. The course consists of three parts. First, students are introduced to the topic of economic inequality in a global and long-run perspective. Through course materials, lectures and assignments, students are provided with tools to measure and explain income and wealth inequality within and between countries. The second part of the course focuses on market failure and the opportunities for government intervention in the economy. Students discuss concrete economic policy proposals and instruments in the field of the environment, nutrition and agriculture. The relationship between national, European and global governance will be analysed in more detail. The third part of the course is an introduction into information literacy. Students learn how to use the Wageningen digital environment, the Wageningen library, the proper application of academic referencing systems and the use of MS Excel for quantitative data collection and analysis.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- outline the key dimensions and drivers of economic inequality within and between countries, in a global and long-run perspective;
- appreciate the benefits and limitations of measuring economic outcomes such as national income or inequality;
- name and critically reflect upon economic governance instruments in the field of the environment, nutrition and agriculture;
- use the theoretical insights and empirical examples provided in the course materials, lectures and assignments to reflect on the interplay between market forces and government policies;
- use the Wageningen digital environment, including the collection of literature for course assignments;
- know and apply the rules for proper scientific referencing;
- have a basic understanding of the functionalities of MS Excel for quantitative data collection and analysis.


- lectures;
- literature study and tutorials;
- it is expected that students will prepare the relevant literature for the lectures and that they participate actively in the discussions;
- students also have to write and present a (group) paper.


The learning objectives are assessed in two parts:
- First, students will write and present a paper in which they demonstrate their ability to report on a basic scientific investigation.
- Second, students will conduct a written exam (essay questions) based on the lectures and mandatory literature. The final grade consists of 50% for the paper (including the paper presentation) and 50% for the concluding exam.
Students will have to obtain a minimum of 5.5. for both parts in order to pass.


Milanovic, B. (2018). Global inequality: a new approach for the age of globalization. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Literature for papers.
A course guide can be found on the Brightspace of this course.

Compulsory for: BEBEconomics and GovernanceBSc1AF