Main | A Question for People Taking Econ 113 This Fall: Amerindian Numbers »

August 17, 2007

American Economic History Syllabus: Fall 2007: U.C. Berkeley

MW 4-5:30 VLSB 2040

Staff: Brad Delong, Marc Gersen, Adam Jack Gomolin, Vikram Maheshri

Administrivia pages | Web assignment index page | Comments-on-readings pages | Questions pages | Syllabus page | Lecture Notes Pages


August 27: Waves of Settlement and Conquest:

Walton and Rockoff: preface, chapters 1-6.
Jared Diamond (2000), "Why Did Human History Unfold Differently On Different Continents For The Last 13,000 Years?" ; (2002), "How to Get Rich"
Timothy Yeager (1995), “Encomienda or Slavery? The Spanish Crown's Choice of Labor Organization in Sixteenth-Century Spanish America.” Journal of Economic History 55 (December 1995): 842-59
Charles Mann (2002), "1491," Atlantic Monthly

Assignment: Web assignment 1: Diamond, Mann, or Yeager. Due before noon on August 29.

Section Topic: Discussion: the Amerindians and the conquest.

Lecture Notes; Audio

August 29 and September 5: The Pre-Industrial United States: Farms and Factories:

Walton and Rockoff, chapters 7-12.
Peter Temin (1966), “Labor Scarcity and the Problem of American Industrial Efficiency in the 1850's,” Journal of Economic History, Vol. 26, No. 3. (Sep., 1966), pp. 277-298
John R. Nelson, Jr. (1979), "Alexander Hamilton and American Manufacturing: A Reexamination," Journal of American History, Vol. 65, No. 4. (Mar., 1979), pp. 971-995
Joan Underhill Hannon (1984), “Poverty in the Antebellum Northeast: The View from New York State's Poor Relief Rolls.” Journal of Economic History 44 (December 1984): 1007-32

Optional Reading: "Growth Accounting, Natural Resources, and Pre-Civil War America" (for those who have taken 100b and remember it)

Assignments: Web assignment 2: Temin or Nelson. Due before noon on September 3. Web assignment 3: Questions. due before noon on September 5.

Section: Tools: understanding regressions, using Hannon on poverty in the early U.S. as an example.

Lecture Notes: August 29; August 29 Audio File.html); Overheads for August 29. [Lecture Notes: September 5]; [September 5 Audio File]

September 10 and 12: Slavery and Civil War

Walton and Rockoff, chapters 13 and 14.
Alfred Conrad and John Meyer (1958), “The Economics of Slavery in the Ante Bellum South,” Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 66, No. 2. (Apr., 1958), pp. 95-130.
Richard B. Sheridan (1976), "Sweet Malefactor": The Social Costs of Slavery and Sugar in Jamaica and Cuba, 1807-54,” Economic History Review, New Series, Vol. 29, No. 2. (May, 1976), pp. 236-257 Claudia D. Goldin and Frank D. Lewis (1975), "The Economic Cost of the American Civil War: Estimates and Implications," Journal of Economic History, Vol. 35, No. 2. (Jun., 1975), pp. 299-326

Assignments: Web assignment 4: Goldin and Lewis or Sheridan. Due before noon on September 10. Problem set 1: understanding regressions: due at lecture September 12:

Section Topic: Discussion: why did slavery survive and flourish into the 1850s?

September 17 and 19: The Industrialization of America:

Walton and Rockoff, chapters 15-17, 20.
Stanley Engerman and Kenneth Sokoloff (1994), "Factor Endowments: Institutions, and Differential Paths of Growth Among New World Economies"
Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward ISBN 155709506X
Marc Gersen, "Writing Handout"

Assignments: Web assignment 5: Engerman and Sokoloff. Due before noon on September 19. Problem set 2: cotton is king! due at lecture September 17 UNREVISED:

Section Topic: Tools: growth accounting: sources of growth before and after the Civil War.

September 24 and 26: Labor and Capital and Technology:

Walton and Rockoff, chapter 18.
Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz (1999). “Human Capital and Social Capital: The Rise of Secondary Schooling in America, 1910-1940.” Journal of Interdisciplinary History
Richard Freeman (1998), “Spurts in Union Growth” J. Bradford DeLong, “Did J.P. Morgan’s Men Add Value?” W. Devine (1983), “From Shafts to Wires: Historical Perspective on Electrification,” Journal of Economic History pp. 347-72

Assignments: Web assignment 6: Goldin and Katz or DeLong or Devine. Due before noon on September 24. Paper 1: read and respond to Bellamy, Looking Backward in 500 words.

Section Topic: Review for first midterm exam


October 3 and 8: The Great Depression and the New Deal:

Walton and Rockoff, chapters 21-23.
Eugene White (1990), “The Stock Market Boom and the Crash of 1929,” Journal of Economic Perspectives 4:2 (Spring), pp. 67-83
Martha L. Olney (1999), “Avoiding Default: The Role of Credit in the Consumption Collapse of 1930.” Quarterly Journal of Economics CXIV (February 1999): 319-335
Christina Romer (1993) “The Nation in Depression.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 7 (Spring 1993): 19-39
Peter Temin, Did Monetary Forces Cause the Great Depression? ISBN 0393092097

Assignment: Web assignment 7: White or Romer or Olney. Due before noon on October 3.

Section Topic: Review and Tools: the midterm and macroeconomic tools for p.s. 3.

October 10 and 12: World War II and After: Social Democracy and the American Century

Walton and Rockoff, chapters 24-26.
J. Bradford DeLong and Barry Eichengreen (1993, “The Marshall Plan: History’s Most Successful Structural Adjustment Program”
Barry Eichengreen, Globalizing Capital, chapters 1-4 ISBN 0691002452

Assignment: Problem set 3: causes of Great Depression and of recovery. Due at lecture October 12 UNREVISED:

Section Topic: Discussion: the Great Depression, World War II, and the rise of government

October 17 and 19: The American Dream: The Great Compression and the Great Widening:

Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz (1999), “ The Returns to Skill in the United States across the Twentieth Century” NBER Working Paper no. 7126 (May)
Claudia Goldin and Robert A. Margo (1992), “The Great Compression,” Quarterly Journal of Economics
Alberto Alesina, Edward Glaeser, and Bruce Sacerdote (2001), “Why Doesn’t the U.S. Have a European-Style Welfare System?”
Emmanuel Saez (2004), “Income Concentration in a Historical and International Perspective”
Stephen S. Cohen and J. Bradford DeLong (2005), “Shaken and Stirred,” Atlantic Monthly

Assignment: Paper 2: read and respond to Eichengreen, Globalizing Capital chapters 1-4 in 500 words. Due at lecture on October 17.

Section Topic: Review: second midterm.


October 29 and 31: Focus on Women

Gavin Wright (1991), “Understanding the Gender Gap: A Review Article,” Journal of Economic Literature : 1153-63
Sue Bowden and Avner Offer (1994), “Household Appliances and the Use of Time” Economic History Review 47: 725-748
Claudia Goldin (2004) "The Long Road to the Fast Track" NBER WP 10331

Assignment: Web assignment 8: Wright or Bowden and Offer. Due before noon on October 29.

Section Topic: Discussion: gender equity.

November 5 and 7: Focus on African-Americans

Turner, Sarah and John Bound. “Closing the Gap or Widening the Divide: The Effects of the G.I. Bill and World War II on the Educational Outcomes of Black Americans.” Journal of Economic History 63 (March 2003): 145-177
J. Smith and Finis Welch (1989), "Black Economic Progress after Myrdal," JEL (June), pp. 519-40, 557-61
Werner Troesken, “Race, Disease, and the Provision of Water in American Cities, 1889-1921,” Journal of Economic History 61 (September 2001): 750-776

Assignment: Problem set 4: intergenerational mobility. Due at lecture on November 7 UNREVISED:

Section Topic: Tools: the Phillips curve and its vicissitudes

November 12 and 14: Governing the Macroeconomy

Walton and Rockoff, chapter 27.
J. Bradford DeLong (1996), “Keynesianism, Pennsylvania Avenue Style: Some Economic Consequences of the Employment Act of 1946,” Journal of Economic Perspectives, 1996, vol. 10, issue 3, pages 41-53
J. Bradford DeLong, "America's Only Peacetime Inflation: The 1970s," published in Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, Christina Romer and David Romer, eds., (Chicago: University of Chicago Press) 1997
J. Bradford DeLong and Barry Eichengreen, "From Meltdown to Moral Hazard"

Assignment: Web assignment 9: DeLong or DeLong and Eichengreen. Due before noon on November 14.

Section Topic: Discussion: dilemmas of modern macroeconomic management

November 19 and 26: The Crisis of Social Democracy

Walton and Rockoff, chapters 28 and 29.
Dean Baker, The United States since 1980 ISBN 0521860172

Section Topic: Discussion: critiquing Dean Baker on the U.S. since 1980

November 28 The Productivity Speed-Up of the Late 1990s

Paul David (1990), “The Dynamo and the Computer: An Historical Perspective on the Modern Productivity Paradox,” American Economic Review, pp. 355-60
Kevin Stiroh, “Information Technology and the U.S. Productivity Revival: A Review of the Evidence.” Business Economics 37 (January 2002): 30-37.
J.B. DeLong (2000), “Cornucopia: The Pace of Economic Growth in the 20th Century” NBER Working Paper no. 7602 (March)

Assignment: Paper 3: read and respond to Baker, The United States since 1980

Section Topic: Discussion: the information age

December 3: The Present and the Future

Ronald Lee and Jonathan Skinner (1999), “Will Aging Baby Boomers Bust the Federal Budget?” Journal of Economic Perspectives 13 (Winter 1999): 117-140
David Cutler (2002), “Health Care and the Public Sector”
Nicholas Stern et al., "The Stern Review on Global Climate Change"

Section Topic: Tools: going through the Stern Report



December 18 8-11 AM: FINAL EXAM

Walton and Rockoff ISBN 0324259697

7 web discussion assignments 4 problems sets 3 short papers


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