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Henry Rand Hatfield (1866-1945) was among the first four Ph.D.’s in Political Economy at the University of Chicago in 1897. The following items present a reasonably complete picture of the life and career of this scholar. Numbers people can be sorted into accountants and statisticians. In the early years of graduate economics education they shared the

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Some Ph.D.’s in economics go on to contribute to the development of the science, others go on to contribute to the commonwealth outside the ivory tower and others leave you wondering what were they thinking when they decided to write a dissertation anyway. Most of my interest is in the first group but sometimes the

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Economics in the Rear-View Mirror now has a page dedicated to the authors of 114 doctoral dissertations in economics written at Harvard during the period 1875-1926. Perhaps a half-dozen are judgment calls, but if anything I have erred on the side of inclusion for the list. It was not until 1904-05 that “Economics” was even listed as a Ph.D.

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Philip Durgan Bradley, Jr. (1912-2003) received his A.B. from Lawrence College in 1935, his A.M from Harvard in 1938, and his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1942 with the dissertation “Some aspects of corporate income taxation”. Bradely’s special examination for the Ph.D. was in Public Finance. Besides having been a tutor/instructor then assistant professor of economics at Harvard, a visiting professor

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From the conclusion of John Maynard Keynes’ General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money: “Practical men who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few

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2 weeks ago


Thomas Nixon Carver covered quite a lot of beachfront in the Harvard economics curriculum for the first three decades of the twentieth century. His courses ranged from economic theory, sociology, social reform through the economics of agriculture, today’s post. His autobiography, Recollections of an Unplanned Life (1949) can be read online at Before there were

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In checking a reference using Google, I serendipitously stumbled upon the following pages at FRASER: Committee on the History of the Federal Reserve System Collection>Bibliographies: Harvard University Reading Lists (1950-1955), Entry 168, Box 10, Folder 5. A pdf file can be downloaded for the following two reading lists: Economics 248. Fiscal Policy Seminar (1955/56) of

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The M.I.T. graduate economics program of my day (mid-1970s) still offered three courses in economic history: Peter Temin‘s American Economic History, Evsey Domar‘s Russian Economic History and Charles Kindleberger‘s European Economic History. I will confess here that little value-added from his lectures has survived the intervening decades for me  (I did read plenty!). That said, my

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For his 50th class reunion Paul A. Samuelson filled out the following one page questionnaire. Besides revealing the youthful musical taste of this Chicago educated Wunderkind, Samuelson’s responses sometimes even illustrate his writing style (e.g. 7 8/9 grandchildren). I was most struck by his declared favorite professor during these formative years. Guess, then read. ____________________________________

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Today’s post is a jewel of fiscal policy thought in a memorandum from the University of Chicago written in 1932 at the trough of the Great Depression in the United States. Looking at the signers of the memorandum that argues for aggressive fiscal stimulus (economists covering the ideological spectrum from Aaron Director through Paul Douglas), one is reminded of Ben

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