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Economics 113 Final Exam

Identifications: do all; identify and explain their significance in American economic history (1/3 of exam):

  1. The Cold War
  2. Keynesian economics
  3. Social Security
  4. The productivity speedup of the 1990s
  5. The Phillips Curve
  6. Teachers, nurses, waitresses, secretaries…
  7. National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
  8. Henry Ford
  9. Hacienda
  10. GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade)/WTO
  11. Mississippi-Missouri-Ohio River System
  12. Canal Building Boom
  13. Fugitive Slave Law
  14. Sharecropping
  15. OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries)
  16. Chinese exclusion act
  17. The Great Compression (of the income distribution)
  18. Alexander Hamilton
  19. The Stock Market Crash of 1929
  20. Paul Volcker

Short Answers: do 6 of 9 (1/3 or exam):

  1. The past third of a century has seen, first, a significant slowdown in productivity growth (leading to a great deal of worry about whether there are indeed rapidly-approaching “limits to growth”) and then a significant speed-up in growth (leading to a great deal of exuberance, irrational and otherwise, at the end of the 1990s). Briefly discuss the causes of both the productivity slowdown starting in the 1970s and the productivity speedup starting in the 1990s.

  2. Why would an international trade economist like David Ricardo have thought that the United States would and should become a very large almost entirely agrarian civilization--a giant Canada? It was clear by 1900 that David Ricardo was wrong? Why was he wrong?

  3. How was land distributed by the federal government to farmers moving westward in the nineteenth century? What impact did this system of land distribution have on the economy?

  4. Was pre-Civil War American slavery profitable? Was it efficient?

  5. What, in your view, were the most important causes of the Great Depression? Why haven't they--or equally destructive factors and events--been repeated?

  6. Briefly summarize the role played by tariffs and quotas in American economic history.

  7. What was the Marshall Plan? Was it important?

  8. What were the major components of the New Deal? What were the major components of the Great Society?

  9. Why is the United States less of a social democratic country than the countries of northwest Europe? Is this divergence a good thing or a bad thing?


Essays: do one (1/3 of exam):

  1. Sketch the economic role of African-Americans in the United States from colonial times to today. What were the major factors and processes that kept African-Americans relatively poor over the past three centuries? To what extent are these processes still operating today? And, in your view, how much longer is the shadow cast by past discrimination likely to last?

  2. Why are business cycles these days smaller than they were in the late nineteenth century or during the Great Depression?

  3. What reasons are there to think that the role of the federal government will grow further in the next half century? What reasons are there to think that the growth of the federal government in the past 80 years has carried it beyond its sustainable size, and that its size will decline in the next half century?

  4. Outline the economic role played by immigration to America since 1492.

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