Weekend Reading: Dylan Matthews: No, Really, George W. Bush Lied About WMDs
Weekend Reading: Tim Dunlop: Journalism, Power and Taking Sides

Claudia Goldin and Larry Katz: The Race Between Education and Technology: The Economic History Research Frontier: A Great Recent Books Approach

Bradford delong com Grasping Reality with the Invisible Hand

Claudia Goldin and Larry Katz: The Race Between Education and Technology http://amzn.to/29Yv3XC


Five Orienting Questions:

  1. How much of an impact do Goldin and Katz think a 1%-point rise in the share of a cohort going to college has on income inequality over time? Is this reasonable?
  2. What other factors changed at about the same time as U.S. commitment to low-cost open-access higher education changed?
  3. What calculations are those who would have gone to college in a counterfactual world but are not doing so in this world making?
  4. What is the alternative theory to "skill-biased technological change" coupled with diminished rate of increase in educational effort?
  5. Do Goldin and Katz have a theory for the top 1%--and the top 0.1%, and the top 0.01%?

This course will provide students with an introduction to the research frontier in economic history by studying a carefully curated list of recent books in the field. We will undertake a critical reading of these books, focusing on both their strengths and weaknesses. General questions will include the following. Does the topic justify a book-length treatment? Does the author successfully sustain his/her argument throughout the book? What is the role of books, as opposed to articles, in research in economic history (and in economics more generally)? Supplementary readings are provided to point up this last question. Most sessions will be student led, in that students will take charge of presenting the author’s argument and stimulating classroom discussion.

Course template and architecture by Barry J. Eichengreen...