U.C. Berkeley :: Spring 2017 :: Economics 210b :: 10:00am-noon :: Evans 65
DRAFT: Course Syllabus: The Research Frontier in Economic History: A "Recent Great Books" Approach
Joachim Voth and J. Bradford DeLong
Current Version at:
This Is an Older DRAFT Version:
Jan 17: Organization Meeting
Jan 31: Peter Temin and Joachim Voth: Prometheus Shackled: Goldsmith Bank and England’s Financial Revolution after 1700 http://amzn.to/29kqXMc
Feb 14: Robert Allen: The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective http://amzn.to/29kOUhz
Feb 28: Peter H. Lindert and Jeffrey G. Williamson: Unequal Gains: American Growth and Inequality since 1700 http://amzn.to/29xpaVm
Mar 14: Richard Baldwin The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization http://amzn.to/2icGZHV
Mar 21: Stanley Engerman and Kenneth Sokoloff: Economic Development in the Americas since 1500: Endowments and Institutions. http://amzn.to/29pRxlx
Apr 4: Peter Temin (2012): The Roman Market Economy http://amzn.to/2b72BG6
Apr 18: Yuval Noah Harari: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind http://amzn.to/2j4tkHj
Apr 25: Sven Beckert: Empire of Cotton: A Global History http://amzn.to/2jrdin8
Feb 28: Steven Radelet: The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World http://amzn.to/29rguNR
Feb 28: Richard von Glahn: The Economic History of China: From Antiquity to the Nineteenth Century http://amzn.to/29jBkwt
May 9: Joseph Henrich: The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter http://amzn.to/29iHVeh
May 16: Maristella Botticini and Zvi Eckstein (2014): The Chosen Few: How Education Shaped Jewish History, 70-1492 http://amzn.to/2aKTV3X
May 30: Sven Beckert: Empire of Cotton: A Global History
June 6: William Goetzmann, Money Changes Everything
June 13: de Cecco on State Capacity
June 20: Stasavage, Taxing the Rich
June 27: Wrigley, Coal...
Lawrence Katz and Claudia Goldin: The Race Between Education and Technology
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.
Requirements for the course are three, and grades for the semester will attach equal weights to the three components. First, doing the readings, attending meetings and participating in class discussions. Second, leading a class meeting devoted to a book. Third, submitting a 10- page memo at the end of the semester describing three potential research ideas loosely based on topics discussed in the course of the semester.
Course template and architecture by Barry J. Eichengreen...