Monday DeLong Smackdown Watch: Cosma Shalizi Has Serious Doubts About How Well We in Berkeley Economics Are Doing at Our Broad Educational Mission...
Morning Must-Read; Ralph Nader: October 20, 2000

Monday DeLong Smackdown Watch: Cosma Shalizi Has Serious Doubts About My Claim That We at Berkeley "Broadly, Manage to Accomplish This"

NewImageNo 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:

Cosma Shalizi: "Respectfully, I just looked over the requirements for the Berkeley econ. major

...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 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...