J. Bradford DeLong
Christina D. Romer
Department of Economics
University of California at Berkeley
Week 1: Introduction and Organization (August 27)
- J.M. Keynes, "Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren," Essays in Persuasion (New York: Norton, 1963), pp. 358-373.
- Paul David, "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review (May 1985) 75, pp. 332-37.
- S.J. Liebowitz and Stephen Margolis, "The Fable of the Keys," Journal of Law and Economics 33 (April 1990), pp. 1-25.
- Outline of class:
- Logistics issues:
- Organization (once a week; end a little before 12; discussion course).
- Requirements (paper; take-home final; contributions to discussions).
- Why do we study economic history?
- General knowledge
- Testing ground for (and source of) economic theories
- Prediction (those who do not remember history...)
- Path dependence
- Discussion of readings
- Keynes: how we are living in a remarkable age--and what conclusions do we draw once we recognize just how remarkable an age we live in.
- David/Liebowitz & Margolis. Path dependence. Is there such a thing? Does it matter? How does it matter?
- Questions for thought (as you read):
- John Maynard Keynes is giving his talk in the early stages of the Great Depression. But how large does the Great Depression loom in his thought?
- What does he see as truly important?
- What consequences--economic, political, moral--does he think will follow from the changes he analyzes?
- Was Keynes right? Where he was right, why was he right? Where he was wrong, why was he wrong?
- Kenneth Arrow has been heard to observe (a) that "path dependence" is unimportant-- because (b) the only circumstances in which "path dependence" matters are those in which all possible outcomes are more-or-less equally efficient. Would Paul David agree with (b)? Do you? If you agree with (b) are you then committed to (a) as well?
- How much do we know about efficient typewriter keyboard design? How much should we know (in an optimally-functioning economy) about efficient typewriter keyboard design?
- L&M adopt the rhetorical strategy of "seizing the high ground of the null hypothesis". Is this an effective strategy? Should this be an effective strategy?
- How common are what David calls "QWERTY worlds"?
Week 2: Measuring Economic Growth (September 3)
- Simon Kuznets, "The Meaning and Measurement of Economic Growth," in Barry Supple, ed., The Experience of Economic Growth (New York: Random House, 1963), pp. 52-67.
- Paul David, "New Light on a Statistical Dark Age: U.S. Real Product Growth Before 1840," American Economic Review 57 (May 1967), pp. 294-306.
- William Nordhaus, "Do Real Output and Real Wage Measures Capture Reality? The History of Lighting Suggests Not" (Yale: Cowles Foundation Discussion Paper 1078, 1994).
- Stephen Nicholas and Richard Steckel, "Heights and Living Standards of English Workers During the Early Years of Industrialization, 1770-1815," Journal of Economic History 51 (December 1991), pp. 937-57.
- Questions for thought (as you read):
- Simon Kuznets begins his enterprise with a very particular way of measuring economic growth--take today's prices, and use it to value output produced in the past. Why not use some other set of prices? Why not adopt a chain-weighted measure, or a utility-based measure?
- What does Kuznets see as the most important parts of modern economic growth.
- Think of Nicholas and Steckel as trying to answer the question, "Is growth good for you?" What is their answer? Why?
- Measuring growth
Week 3: Pre-Industrial Growth (September 10)
- Michael Kremer, "Population Growth and Technological Change: One Million B.C. to 1990," Quarterly Journal of Economics 108 (August 1993), pp. 681-716.
- Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel (New York: Norton, 1997) pp. 13-17, 104-130, 210-64.
- Eric Jones, The European Miracle (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1981), pp. 45-70, 85-126, 202-22.
- J. Bradford DeLong and Andrei Shleifer, "Princes and Merchants: City Growth Before the Industrial Revolution," Journal of Law and Economics 36 (October 1993), pp. 671-702.
- Outline of class:
- Start by handing out "inventions" handout; "population" handout; "real GDP" handout.
- Say that there are three frames in which you can look at these: since one million BC; 10,000 BC to 1500 AD or so (dominance of Eurasia); 0 AD to 1800 AD or so (dominance of Europe within Eurasia); 1000 AD to 1800 AD or so (patterns within Europe).
- Michael Kremer is an optimist with a view of the big picture; Jared Diamond is an optimist coming at the same problem from a different direction; which pespective do you see as more valuable?
- Kremer and Diamond both give essentially the same answer to "why Eurasia?"--namely "it's big!" What other possibilities are there?
- DeLong and Shleifer wind up with a very "political" interpretation of European economic growth. Does the data support it? David Landes on Chinese technology gives a different interpretation.
- Questions for thought (as you read):
- At some point in the past, we as a species acquired language and fire--the habit of technology. Was there ever a point thereafter at which the human race was in "ecological balance"?
- Why the pace of inventions? Why did the industrial revolution take place when it did--in the last quarter of the second millennium AD, some 10,000 years after the development of agriculture?
- Why the dominance of Eurasia?
- Were we bound to have an industrial revolution (somewhere, sometime, relatively soon after we did)?
- Why the (temporary) preeminence of Europe?
- Inventions by location; also population growth; also real GDP growth.
Week 4: Markets, Trade, and Growth (September 17)
- Avner Greif, "Reputation and Coalitions in Medieval Trade: Evidence on the Maghribi Traders," Journal of Economic History 49 (December 1989), pp. 857-82.
- Jan de Vries, "The Industrious Revolution and the Industrial Revolution," Journal of Economic History 54 (1994), pp. 249-70.
- Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (New York: Modern Library, 1937; orig. pub. 1776), pp. 398-429.
- Winnifred Rothenberg, "The Market and Massachusetts Farmers, 1750-1855," Journal of Economic History 41 (June 1981), pp. 283-314.
- Albert Fishlow, "Antebellum Regional Trade Reconsidered," American Economic Review 54 (1964), pp. 352-64. (Also Robert Fogel's discussion, pp. 377-89.)
- Questions for thought:
- First, Greif
- William Parker calls the subject of this week "Smithian" growth. Technological change does not have a great deal to do with it.
- What makes large-scale long-distance trade possible?
- In what sense are Greif's agents "self-interested". Think about Mansur Olson's concept of "selective incentives"
- The unravelling problem
- Second, de Vries
- How does being "embedded" in markets lead people to behave? Why is de Vries so confident that they behave differently?
- We have seen the issue of efficiency vs. behavior before. Things that may not matter (much) for efficiency may matter (a lot) for behavior--in terms of what people wind up doing. Liebowitz and Margolis would presumably be uninterested in the industrious revolution: people consume more, but they also work harder, so their utility is about the same, and so the pattern by which fixed costs inhibiting transport and trade were overcome is "uninteresting." Non-economic historian economists tend to focus on efficiency; economic historians tend to focus on behavior.
- The broader perspective:
- French Revolution as being against something called "feudalism"
- Marx's references to "asiatic, primitive, ancient, feudal, and capitalist" modes of production.
- But "feudalism" in the classic sense was gone from Western Europe by 1400--and was dying in 1300. So what took place between 1300 and 1800? A problem...
Week 5: The Industrial Revolution (September 24)
- C. Knick Harley, "Reassessing the Industrial Revolution: A Macro View," in Joel Mokyr, ed., The British Industrial Revolution: An Economic Perspective (Boulder: Westview Press, 1993), pp. 171-226.
- David Landes, "The Fable of the Dead Horse; or, The Industrial Revolution Revisited," in Joel Mokyr, ed., The British Industrial Revolution: An Economic Perspective (Boulder: Westview Press, 1993), pp. 132-170.
- Peter Temin, "Two Views of the Industrial Revolution," Journal of Economic History 57 (March 1997), pp. 63-82.
- Industrial Revolution handout
- Questions for thought (as you read):
- Knick Harley wants to say that he disagrees violently with an earlier "revolutionary" view of the industrial revolution--a view associated with David Landes. Does he?
- David Landes wants to say that what Harley writes that is interesting is not new, and that what he writes that is new is not interesting. Is Landes correct?
- Suppose that the industrial revolution was a process that was concentrated in a very few sectors, and had only slow effects on economic aggregates. Then there should be observable implications. What does Temin think the observable implications of the "industrial evolution" should have been? Is he right? What does he find?
Week 6: Exceptional America (October 1)
- Robert Fogel, "The Specification Problem in Economic History," Journal of Economic History 27 (September 1967), pp. 283-308.
- Kenneth Sokoloff and Zorina Kahn, "'Schemes of Practical Utility': Entrepreneurship and Innovation Among 'Great Inventors' in the United States, 1790-1865," Journal of Economic History 53 (June 1993), pp. 289-307.
- Gavin Wright, "The Origins of American Industrial Success," American Economic Review 80 (1990), pp. 651-68.
- Nathan Rosenberg, "The Economic Matrix" and "The Nineteenth Century: America as Initiator," chapters 2 and 4 of Technology and American Economic Growth (White Plains, NY: Sharpe, 1972), pp. 25-58 and 87-112.
Week 7: Slavery and American Economic Growth (October 8)
- Alfred Conrad and John Meyer, "The Economics of Slavery in the Ante-Bellum South," Journal of Political Economy 66 (April 1958), pp. 95-130.
- Jonathan B. Pritchett and Richard M. Chamberlain, "Selection in the Market for Slaves: New Orleans, 1830-1860," Quarterly Journal of Economics (May 1993), pp. 461-73.
- Roger Ransom and Richard Sutch, One Kind of Freedom: The Economic Consequences of Emancipation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977), pp. 264-9.
- Gavin Wright, The Political Economy of the Cotton South (New York: Norton, 1978), pp. 89-127.
- Garland Brinkley, "The Decline in Southern Agricultural Output, 1860-1880," Journal of Economic History 57 (March 1997), pp. 116-38.
Week 8: International Migration (October 15)
- W. Arthur Lewis, The Evolution of the International Economic Order (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1978), pp. 2-25, 38-57.
- Jeffrey Williamson, "Migration to the New World: Long Term Influences and Impact," Explorations in Economic History (1974), pp. 357-89.
- Kevin O'Rourke, Jeffrey G. Williamson, and Timothy J. Hatton, "Mass Migration, Commodity Market Integration, and Real Wage Convergence," in Timothy Hatton and Jeffrey Williamson, eds., Migration and the International Labor Market, 1850-1939 (London: Routledge, 1994), pp. 203-220.
- Gregory Clark, "Why Isn't the Whole World Developed?: Lessons from the Cotton Mills," Journal of Economic History 47 (1987), pp. 141-74.
Week 9: Capital Formation and Financial Markets (October 22)
- Moses Abramovitz and Paul David, "Reinterpreting American Economic Growth: Parables and Realities," American Economic Review 63:2 (May 1973), pp. 428-39.
- Alexander Gerschenkron, "Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective," in Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective and Other Essays (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1962).
- J. Bradford DeLong, "Did J. P. Morgan's Men Add Value?: An Economist's Perspective on Financial Capitalism," in Peter Temin, ed., Inside the Business Enterprise: Historical Perspectives on the Use of Information (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press for NBER, 1991), pp. 205-36.
- Charles Calomiris and R. Glenn Hubbard, "Internal Finance and Investment: Evidence from the Undistributed Profits Tax of 1936-37," Journal of Business 68:4 (October 1995), pp. 443-82.
- Naomi Lamoreaux, "Banks, Kinship, and Economic Development," Journal of Economic History46 (September 1986), pp. 647-67.
Week 10: The Organization of Industrial Production (October 29)
- Alfred Chandler, "Introduction" and "The Coming of the Modern Industrial Corporation," pp. 1-12 and 285-314 of The Visible Hand: The Managerial Revolution in American Business (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1977).
- Anthony Patrick O'Brien, "Factory Size, Economies of Scale, and the Great Merger Wave of 1898-1902," Journal of Economic History 48 (September 1988), pp. 639-49.
- Warren Devine, "From Shafts to Wires: Historical Perspectives on Electrification," Journal of Economic History 43 (June 1983), pp. 347-72.
- Daniel Raff, "Wage Determination Theory and the Five Dollar Day at Ford," Journal of Economic History 48 (June 1988), pp. 387-99.
- Sanford Jacoby, "The Development of Internal Labor Markets in American Manufacturing Firms," in Paul Osterman, ed., Internal Labor Markets (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1984), pp. 23-69.
Week 11: The Gold Standard and the Great Depression (November 5)
- Barry Eichengreen, Golden Fetters: The Gold Standard and the Great Depression (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), pp. 3-28.
- Christina D. Romer, "The Great Crash and the Onset of the Great Depression," Quarterly Journal of Economics 105: 3 (August 1990), pages 597-624..
- James Hamilton, "Monetary Factors in the Great Depression," Journal of Monetary Economics 19 (1987), pp. 145-69.
- Peter Temin, "The Transmission of the Great Depression," Journal of Economic Perspectives 7:2 (Spring 1993), pp. 87-102.
- J.M. Keynes, Essays in Persuasion (New York: Norton, 1963), pp. 118-134 and 168-81.
Week 12: Responses to Depression and the Coming of the Welfare State (November 12)
- Barry Eichengreen and Jeffrey Sachs, "Exchange Rates and Economic Recovery in the 1930s," Journal of Economic History 45 (1985), pp. 925-46.
- Robert Margo, "Interwar Unemployment in the United States," in Barry Eichengreen and T.J. Hatton,eds., Interwar Unemployment in International Perspective (Boston: Kluwer, 1988), pp. 325-52.
- George F. Break, "The Role of Government," in Martin Feldstein, ed., The American Economy in Transition (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1980), pp. 617-671.
- Claudia Goldin, Understanding the Gender Gap (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990), pp. 119-158, "The Changing Economic Role of Married Women."
- Claudia Goldin, Understanding the Gender Gap (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990), pp. 185-210, "The Political Economy of Gender".
Week 13: Twentieth Century Fluctuations (November 19)
- Christina D. Romer, "Spurious Volatility in Historical Unemployment Data," Journal of Political Economy 94: 1 (February 1986), pages 1-37.
- Steven Allen, "Changes in the Cyclical Sensitivity of Wages in the United States, 1891-1987," American Economic Review 82 (March 1992), pp. 122-40.
- Steven Sheffrin, "Have Economic Fluctuations Been Dampened? A Look at Evidence Outside the United States," Journal of Monetary Economics 21:1 (January 1988), pp. 73-83.
- Milton Friedman and Anna J. Schwartz, "A Summing Up," in A Monetary History of the United States (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1963), pp. 676-700.
- Christina D. Romer and David H. Romer, "Does Monetary Policy Matter?: A New Test in the Spirit of Friedman and Schwartz," NBER Macroeconomics Annual 4 (1989), pp. 121-70.
Week 14: Global Growth Patterns: (November 26)
- J. Bradford DeLong, "Productivity Growth, Convergence, and Welfare: Comment," American Economic Review 78 (December 1988), pp. 1138-54.
- Mankiw, N. G., D. Romer, and D. N. Weil. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth." Quarterly Journal of Economics 107:2 (May 1992), pp. 407-37.
- Moses Abramovitz, "Catching Up, Forging Ahead, and Falling Behind," Journal of Economic History (1986), pp. 385-406.
Week 15: Twentieth Century Growth: Successes and Failures (December 3)
- Peter Temin, "Nazi and Soviet Economic Planning in the 1930s," Economic History Review 44:4 (November 1991), pp. 573-93.
- Richard Ericson, "The Classical Soviet-Type Economy", Journal of Economic Perspectives5:4 (1991), pp. 11-27.
- Barry Eichengreen and Brad DeLong, "The Marshall Plan: History's Most Successful Structural Adjustment Program," in Dornbusch, Layard, and Nolling, eds., Postwar Economic Reconstruction and Lessons for the East Today (Cambridge: M.I.T. Press, 1993), pp. 189-230.
- Alwyn Young, "The Tyranny of Numbers: Confronting the Statistical Realities of the East Asian Growth Experience," Quarterly Journal of Economics 110 (August 1995), pp. 641-80.
- Dani Rodrik, "Getting Interventions Right: How South Korea and Taiwan Grew Rich," Economic Policy 20 (1994), pp. 53-101.
Professor of Economics J. Bradford
DeLong, 601 Evans
University of California at Berkeley; Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
(510) 643-4027 phone (510) 642-6615 fax