Recent Classes

Econ 895. Spring 2013

Analytic Narratives Spring 2013, 2014

We will explore topics in economic history where a combination of economic theory and historical narrative has been shown to have been useful in generating economic insights.  For example: how can trade take place in the absence of the state or a functioning legal system?   How did states emerge?  How did states acquire fiscal or legal capacity? Did guilds help or harm labor markets?  How and why did serfdom disappear? How do religious or cultural values interact with economic incentives? We will draw on insights from theoretical models, applied empirical papers, and historical case studies.

Econ 612  Topics in Microeconomics Spring 2013, 2014

This is a course in microeconomics for MA students.  Topics will include game theory, industrial organization, externalities, public goods, asymmetric information, the economics of crime, and the economics of religion. 

Econ 350 Economics of Developing Areas.  Spring 2012, Fall 2013

Why are some countries rich while others are poor?  Are poor countries caught in poverty traps?  Why did previous ‘big pushes’ fail to obtain sustained economic growth in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East? How were the East Asian economies able to achieve catch-up growth? What is the relationship between civil war and economic development?   What kinds of policies can alleviate poverty in developing countries?  How effective are RCTs in helping us identify what policies will work?

Econ 365. Topics in Economic History.  Fall 2011 and Spring 2012

This course is an introduction to economic history. We will address the following questions: Why were societies in the past so poor? What factors determined the growth of population? Why did did innovation and technological progress take-off in western Europe but not in East Asia or in the rest of the world? What caused the industrial revolution? What factors account for the rise of the modern state? How did empire and colonialism affect economic growth? Why is north America richer than south America?