Courses

A historical survey of how, over time, market economies have been essential in the achievement of peace and prosperity across societies. And how alternative systems have failed every single time we have tried them.

Key historical societies discussed:

  1. Classical Greece
  2. Late Republican Rome and Early Principate
  3. Islamic Golden Age
  4. Song China
  5. 13th century Western Europe
  6.  Industrial Revolution Western Europe

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The course offers an empirical-based narrative that aims to explain the roots of current US wealth. Why did the British colonies, and later  the independent US, grow from being a peripheral area of the world economy, at the end of the Peace of Utrecht (1713-1715), to being the largest economy in the world by the 1870s?

Key topics discussed in the course:

  1. What role did economic factors play in the revolt of the colonies?
  2. Which forces drove the Revolution?
  3. How did the Constitution determine the economic developmental path of the U.S.?
  4. What role did John Marshall play in engineering economic growth?
  5. Did slavery cause the U.S. prosperity or slow it down?

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This course offers students an introduction to a rich tradition of thinking about the centrality of markets in the social sciences. The course aims to explore the proper scope of what we call economics by looking into the development of our discipline through the several discussions about the nature of economic growth, exchange, cooperation, factors of production, and more .

Some key authors discussed:

  1. Aristotle
  2. Adam Smith
  3. Karl Marx
  4. Friedrich Hayek
  5. Joseph Schumpeter

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This course explores philosophical concepts of justice, liberty, rights, and equality to address general economic and social issues.  The aim is to emphasize economics as more than a social
science of laws and theorems, and more as a discipline that  influences the well-being of the whole of society.

Some key questions discussed:

  1. Does individual self-interest in the aggregate really promote the common good?
  2. Is it always right to do whatever promotes the greatest good for the greatest number?
  3. Do people have inviolable rights which have priority over all else?
  4. What do all humans desire: pleasure? Happiness? Wealth? Or the primary goods of well-being and self-respect?
  5. Is self-interest natural to us or produced by social forces and circumstances?
  6. Is government the only institution in society which needs to treat everyone equally? Or is it the institution which needs to correct for social inequalities?

See more about the class here.