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Month: July 2016

The theory core at MIT in the mid-1970s consisted of four half-semester courses in microeconomics and four half-semester courses in macroeconomics. For reasons unknown to me, Microeconomic Theory I (A) taught by Martin Weitzman was scheduled to follow Microeconomic Theory II (A) taught by Robert Bishop for the First Term of 1974-75. I guess I should really

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10 months ago

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In one box at the Harvard Archives (Harvard University/Examinations for the Ph.D. ), I found an incomplete run of published Ph.D. examination announcements for the Division of History and Political Science from 1903-04 through 1926-27. Earlier I transcribed the announcement for 1915-16. Today’s posting gives us (1) the

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In a filed labeled “Miscellaneous” in the Milton Friedman papers at the Hoover Institution Archives, along with such skit party classics as The Cowles Commission Song and a parody from HMS Pinafore about Milton Friedman, we have the following “Ode to an Economist”. I was able to track down the exact issue of Punch from which the

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In the spirit of the J. Willard Gibbs quote, known by generations of economists from the title page of Paul A. Samuelson’s Foundations of Economic Analysis, i.e., “Mathematics is a Language”, the economics department at Columbia University changed its foreign language requirement in the Spring of 1950 to allow the substitution of mathematics “at a

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We have below a random letter from the President of Harvard, Abbott Lawrence Lowell, to Professor Frank Taussig of the Economics Department that struck my fancy because 1) the President of the University appears to be aware of the grade distribution of a particular faculty member (he was not amused at the low frequency of

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10 months ago

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In this 1942 letter from the head of the Industrial Relations Section of the M.I.T. Department of Economics and Social Science, W. Rupert Maclaurin, to the economic historian Earl J. Hamilton of Duke University, we see that hiring a young economic historian was part of the plan “to build one of the leading departments in

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Up through the 1941-1942 Course Announcements of the Columbia University Faculty of Political Science did not provide prospective graduate students of economics any guidance with respect to their undergraduate preparation. Late in the Fall of 1941 the Executive Officer of the Department of Economics, i.e. chairman, Robert Murray Haig received suggestions and comments that were

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10 months ago

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We are used to seeing professors restricting their teaching to their research comfort zones. We see here that Wassily Leontief also taught courses from his broad interests. Here the syllabus and final exam for a course on the “Russian” economy. In the following year Alexander Gerschenkron taught the

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Before heading off to the pastures of retirement, Harvard’s Arthur Eli Monroe taught a year-long undergraduate intermediate economics course, Economic Theory and Policy. His syllabi for 1947-48 show a serious attempt to weave contemporary textbook material with readings from major contemporary works and links to the history of economics. A less than serious attempt was made,

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