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Harvard. Final Exam Questions for Carver’s Course on Socialism and Schemes of Reform, 1920

These examination questions from Thomas Nixon Carver’s course “The Single Tax, Socialism, Anarchism” come from June 1920. The corresponding list of course readings for that year have been posted already here at Economics in the Rear-View Mirror.  


Course Enrollment

[Economics] 7b 2hf. Professor Carver—The Single Tax, Socialism, Anarchism.

Total 78: of which 10 Graduates, 13 Seniors, 29 Juniors, 11 Sophomores, 1 Freshman, 14 Others.


Source: Harvard University. Report of the President of Harvard College 1919-20, p. 90.


Final Examination



  1. What is socialism and what are the principal methods by which its advocates are trying to bring it into existence?
  2. Discuss Marx’s theory of value comparing it with that held by modern economists.
  3. What is meant by “the iron law of wages,” how much truth is there in it, and how does it fit into the “balancing up” program?
  4. In what sense is capital productive?
  5. What is thrift and how does its practice affect wages?
  6. Discuss the question: Is interest earned?
  7. What is meant by the single tax? What would be taxed and what exempted from taxation if it were in operation?
  8. What do you regard as the least defensible forms of ownership now permitted by law? Why?


Source: Harvard University Archives. Harvard University. Papers Set for Final Examinations in History, History of Religions, … ,Economics, … , Fine Arts, Music. June, 1920. (HUC 7000.28, 62 of 284).

Image Source: Harvard Class Album 1915.

Irwin Collier

Posted by: Irwin Collier