Monday DeLong Smackdown Watch: Cosma Shalizi Has Serious Doubts About My Claim That We at Berkeley "Broadly, Manage to Accomplish This"
No sooner do I manage to get my act together to deal with the shortage of high-quality DeLong Smackdowns by starting a close reading of David Graeber's Debt but Cosma Shalizi manages to show up with a high-quality DeLong smackdown. So the reading of the first text page of Graeber's chapter 11--which is, I think, thorough in chapter 11, if not chapter 7--and the first five historical errors he commits must wait until next week.
The eminent Cosma Shalizi writes:
...and it seems like it's entirely possible to get through it with nothing but the core econ courses, finance and econometrics. Of course the mere course titles don't give a lot of insight into their content--maybe UGBA 180 "Real Estate and Urban Land Economics" incorporates all the history and moral philosophy one could hope for (no sarcasm intended!)--there'd certainly be scope for it. But how well do you know what your students are actually being taught? How well do you know what they are learning?
I should add that until last month I was one of the undergrad advisers here at CMU for the joint major in economics & statistics http://coursecatalog.web.cmu.edu/dietrichcollegeofhumanitiesandsocialsciences/departmentofstatistics/#b.s.ineconomicsandstatistics. Quite frankly this didn't even try to inculcate history and moral philosophy: mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
They would say that when you teach real estate and land economics well--especially in a business school--which we do--there is a huge amount of the political and sociological depth it simply has to be included if students are going to understand anything at all.
But I should say that I am clearly, I think, grading us on a curve: We do, I think, A very good job for an economics department...