October 22, 2003
Econ 210a: Fall-Winter 2003-2004: Index Page

Main index page for Economics 2003--Fall-Winter 2003-2004. Paper Guidelines Background and Requirements All Econ 210a Fall-Winter 2003-2004 Files Reading Notes: October 22...

Posted by DeLong at 10:59 AM

October 20, 2003
Econ 210a: Fall-Winter 2003-2004: (First Half)

Economics 210a: Fall-Winter 2003-2004: (First Half) University of California at Berkeley Barry Eichengreen (Evans 603, TBA, 2-0926, eichengr@econ.berkeley.edu) Brad DeLong (Evans 601, Th 12:30-2:30, 3-4027, delong@econ.berkeley.edu) October 22, 2003: Markets and Their Alternatives; the Ancient Economy (Reading Notes) Robert M. Solow (1985), "Economic History and Economics," American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings 75 (May): 328-331. M. I. Finley (1970), "Aristotle and Economic Analysis," Past and Present, No. 47. (May), pp. 3-25. M. I. Finley (1965), "Technical Innovation and Economic Progress in the Ancient World," Economic History Review, New Series, Vol. 18, No. 1, Essays in Economic History Presented to Professor M. M. Postan), pp. 29-45. Peter Temin (2001), "A Market Economy in the Early Roman Empire" J. Bradford DeLong (2003), "Thinking About Aristotle of Stagira and Moses Finley." J. Bradford DeLong (1997), "The 'Embedded Economy' Thesis" Michael Kremer (1993), "Population Growth and Technological Change: One Million B.C. to 1990," Quarterly Journal of Economics 108 (August), pp. 681-716. Avner Greif (1989), "Reputation and Coalitions in Medieval Trade: Evidence on the Maghribi Traders," Journal of Economic History 49:4 (December), pp. 857-882. Those who do not think that they have enough to do may also read: Morris Silver (1983), "Karl Polanyi and Markets...

Posted by DeLong at 11:45 AM

Econ 210a: Fall-Winter 2003-2004: (Second Half) [UPDATED]

Economics 210a: Fall-Winter 2003-2004: (Second Half) University of California at Berkeley Barry Eichengreen (Evans 603, TBA, 2-0926, eichengr@econ.berkeley.edu) Brad DeLong (Evans 601, Th 12:30-2:30, 3-4027, delong@econ.berkeley.edu) Link to First Half of Syllabus Please note that most of the links below can be found through http://sunsite2.berkeley.edu:8000/. The links may be easiest to find through the above website and may only be accessible from campus computers. 1.        January 21                 AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM Paul David (1966), AThe Mechanization of Reaping in the Ante-Bellum Midwest,@ in Henry Rosovsky (ed.), Industrialization in Two Systems, New York: Wiley, pp. 3-28, http://www.amazon.com. On reserve at Haas. Robert Fogel (1962), AA Quantitative Approach to the Study of Railroads in American Economic Growth,@ Journal of Economic History 22, pp.163-197, http://uclibs.org/PID/907. Alfred Chandler (1990), Scale and Scope, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, chapter 3, pp. 51-89, http://www.amazon.com. On reserve in Haas. Richard Langlois (2003), AThe Vanishing Hand: The Changing Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism,@ Industrial and Corporate Change 12, pp. 351-285, http://uclibs.org/PID/9106. Douglas Irwin (1998), “Did Late Nineteen Century U.S. Tariffs Promote Infant Industries? Evidence from the Tinplate Industry,” NBER Working paper no.6835 (December), http://www.nber.org/papers/W6835. 2.         January 28                 CAPITAL FORMATION AND FINANCIAL MARKETS Naomi Lamoreaux (1986), ABanks, Kinship, and Economic...

Posted by DeLong at 11:43 AM

October 15, 2003
Econ 210a: Fall-Winter 2003-2004: Ancient Economy Reading Notes

Notes for the October 22 Economics 210a readings: The readings open with a classic article: Solow (1985). In this article Solow lays down his version of the law about what economic history should be--and what its relationship to economics proper should be. Robert Solow's article is a plea to economic historians to teach economists that social contexts and institutional patterns matter: that "economic history can offer the economist a sense of the variety and flexibility of social arrangements and thus, in particular, a shot at understanding a little better the interaction of economic behavior and other social institutions." That is Robert Solow's wish. And the bulk of the readings for this first week try to satisfy this wish. We look at the ancient (and, a little bit, the medieval) economy, trying to figure out how social contexts and institutional patterns matter, and what the interaction of economic behavior and other social institutions actually is. The next two papers on the list are by the great qualitative ancient economic historian Moses Finley (driven from America to Britain--to our loss--by the McCarthy movement in the early 1950s). Finley (1970) is a series of reflections on the "economics" (or, rather, the non-economics) of...

Posted by DeLong at 08:58 PM

Econ 210a: Fall-Winter 2003-2004: Background and Requirements

COURSE PURPOSE Economics 210a is required of Ph.D. students in Economics. It is recommended that students enroll in the first year of the graduate program. Graduate students in other degree programs may enroll subject to the availability of space and with the instructors' approval. The course is designed to introduce a selection of themes from the contemporary economic history literature. While themes are presented chronologically, the purpose of the course is not to present a narrative account of world economic history. Instead, emphasis is placed on the uses of economic theory and quantitative methods in history and on the insights that a knowledge of history can give to the practicing economist. COURSE REQUIREMENTS Class meetings will consist of a mixture of lecture and discussion. Because discussion will focus on the issues raised, resolved, and left unanswered by the assigned readings, readings should be completed before class. An informed contribution to the discussion will count--perhaps heavily--toward a student's grade. A research paper is also required. This paper should go beyond summarizing or synthesizing some subliterature of economic history: students should use the tools of economic theory and empirical analysis to pose and answer an historical question. The paper should have historical...

Posted by DeLong at 03:06 PM

The "Embedded" Economy Thesis

Something I wrote back in 1997: worth dredging up... I have been following the discussion of Karl Polanyi, and I have been worried because it seems to me that of readers are missing the point. I think that Polanyi does have an interesting argument. But it is being hidden from many because of his terminology. The underlying point is that it used to be the case--painting with a very broad brush--that what happened in economic transactions was in large part determined and guided by sociological and political relationships, but that now--again painting with a very broad brush--the principal direction of influence it is reversed: politics and sociology are more shaped by economic factors than they in turn manage to shape what happens in economic transactions. In Polanyi's vocabulary, this is a transformation from an "embedded" to a "market" economy. And many readers do not hear Polanyi's point because their first reaction is: "We have had markets since time out of mind: what was the agora of Periclean Athens?" I'm not sure how true Polanyi's point really is. But I do think it is worth thinking about. What does Polanyi mean by a claim that a market is "embedded" in a...

Posted by DeLong at 02:50 PM

Econ 210a: Fall-Winter 2003-2004: Paper Guidelines

PAPER GUIDELINES The paper required for Economics 210a is a research paper. That is, it should provide new information or evidence on a topic in economic history. It should not merely summarize an existing literature in the field. The writing and submission process requires that you meet two benchmarks: submit approximately ten pages' worth of a literature review and a statement of your hypotheses by Friday, December 12, 2003; and submit roughly 25 pages' worth of final paper by Friday, March 19, 2004. Topic The paper may cover almost any topic in economic history. You are certainly not limited to the material covered in 210a. You may, for example, work on time periods or countries of particular interest to you. The only requirement is that the topic must genuinely involve the past. Comparisons of past and current events are certainly fine, but studies of developments solely after 1973 are not. Evidence As the readings on the make clear, historical evidence comes in a wide range of form and styles. It is often empirical, but not always. Sometimes the key evidence is just a list of goods traded or what policymakers said they were trying to accomplish. With empirical evidence, tables...

Posted by DeLong at 01:29 PM