Economics 3150 (266): Topics in US Economic History (for undergraduates)

This course examines selected topics in the economic development of the U.S. economy. The goals are to review some major themes in U.S. economic history, to study professional research papers to learn how economists develop and interpret historical evidence, and to give students hands-on experience analyzing historical data.Major themes include: migration flows to and within the US; slavery and African-American economic progress since emancipation; transportation and industrialization; the Great Depression; and long-run changes in education, income, and urbanization. We spend a week on each major topic. Typically, I will provide a “big picture” lecture that emphasizes background on Tuesday, and we will discuss research papers in depth on Thursday. Because this is an upper-level economics course, I assume students are familiar with intermediate theory and with basic principles of statistics and regression analysis.

Economics 9140 (371): Introduction to Economic History (for PhD students)

This course explores a variety of topics in economic history. The lectures develop a long-run perspective on the trends and determinants of national income growth and international inequality, demographic change, industrialization, international trade, capital and labor mobility, and technological change. The course highlights the useful interaction of economic theory, empirical evidence, and historical context. In the space of one semester it is impossible to cover the entire spectrum of economic history. Instead, this introductory course examines some of the major themes in economic history and gives graduate students an early opportunity to undertake independent research projects. The course materials draw heavily, though certainly not exclusively, on the economic histories of Europe and the North America. I strongly encourage students to pursue research topics on other parts of the world.

Economics 9440 (366a): Microeconomic Topics in Economic History (for PhD students)

The goal of the course is to introduce graduate students to new research on central themes in economic history, especially research that is essentially “micro” in the nature (i.e., studying person-, firm-, or local-level units of observation). This course is part of the required preparation for students completing a special field in economic history, but many of the topics and methods are of broad interest to economists as evidenced by the numerous articles that are drawn from the American Economic Review, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Political Economy, and AEJ’s in addition to those from the Journal of Economic History and Explorations in Economic History.


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