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Harvard. Final Exams 2nd semester of graduate money and banking course, John Henry Williams. 1939-41

 

 

John Henry Williams was professor of economics at Harvard (1921-57) and served from 1936-48 as the first dean of its Graduate School of Public Administration. Together with Alvin H. Hansen he taught a graduate course with the nominal title “Principles of Money and Banking” that from judging from detailed notes taken in 1938-39 by R. W. Bean (Harvard Class of 1939) and in 1939-40 by James Tobin (likewise Harvard Class of 1939), also included generous doses of Keynesian macroeconomics and fiscal policy as well as of international monetary economics. From these notes we learn that Hansen and Williams taught the first and second semesters, respectively. To date I have only been able to find the semester final examination questions for the second semesters. A future posting will provide the reading list for the course.

This posting gives the course announcements, enrollments and the final examination questions for the 1938-39 through 1940-41 years.

Research Tip:  a typed copy of the Bean notes [missing pp. 98-99] can be found in the Wolfgang Stolper papers at Rubenstein Archive at Duke University (Box 29 ). A neatly handwritten bound copy of Tobin’s notes can be found in Box 6 of his papers at the Yale Archives.

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1938-39 Academic Year

Course Announcement

Economics 141. Principles of Money and Banking. Tu., Th., Sat., at 11. Professors WILLIAMS and HANSEN, and Associate Professor HARRIS.

Source: Harvard University. Courses of Instruction Offered by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences during 1938-39, 2nd edition. Official Register of Harvard University, Vol. XXXV, No. 42 (September 23, 1938), p. 151.

 

Course Enrollment

[Economics] 141. Professors WILLIAMS and HANSEN, and Associate Professor HARRIS—Principles of Money and Banking.

Total 40: 18 Graduates, 10 Seniors, 6 School of Public Administration, 5 Radcliffe, 1 Others

Source: Harvard University. Report of the President of Harvard College and Reports of Departments for 1938-39, p. 99.

 

Second Semester Final Exam, 1938-39

1938-39
HARVARD UNIVERSITY

ECONOMICS 141
PRINCIPLES OF MONEY AND BANKING

(Three hours)

Answer THREE questions

  1. Discuss the elements of instability in our monetary and banking mechanism, and the suggestions in recent years for making it more stable.
  2. Discuss the “pump-priming” theory versus the “compensatory” theory of deficit spending.
  3. Discuss the relation of fiscal policy to long-run economic progress.
  4. Discuss the merits and defects of monetary policy as an instrument of business cycle control.

Final. 1939

Source: Harvard University Examinations. Final examinations, 1853-2001, Box 4 (HUC 7000.28). Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Papers Printed for Final Examinations in History, History of Religions, … , Economics, …, Military Science, Naval Science (June, 1939).

 

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1939-40 Academic Year

Course Announcement

Economics 141. Principles of Money and Banking. Tu., Th., Sat., at 11. Professors WILLIAMS and HANSEN.

Source: Harvard University. Courses of Instruction Offered by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences During 1939-40, 2nd edition. Official Register of Harvard University, Vol. XXXVI, No. 42 (September 22, 1939), p. 158.

 

 

Course Enrollment 

[Economics] 141. Professors WILLIAMS and HANSEN.—Principles of Money and Banking.

Total 65: 38 Graduates, 13 Seniors, 2 School of Public Administration, 6 Radcliffe, 6 Others.

Source: Harvard University. Report of the President of Harvard College and Reports of Departments for 1939-40, p. 100.

 

 

Second Semester Final Exam, 1939-40

1939-40
HARVARD UNIVERSITY

ECONOMICS 141
PRINCIPLES OF MONEY AND BANKING

(Three hours)

Discuss question ONE and TWO others.

  1. Keynes’ “General Theory” as a basis for long-run economic stability.
  2. The views of Foster and Catchings and Hayek on the “dilemma of thrift.”
  3. Hawtrey’s analysis of the business cycle and its control.
  4. The American gold problem.

 

Final. 1940

Source: Harvard University Examinations. Final examinations, 1853-2001, Box 5 (HUC 7000.28). Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Papers Printed for Final Examinations in History, History of Religions, … , Economics, …, Military Science, Naval Science (June, 1940).

 

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1940-41 Academic Year

Course Announcement

Economics 141. Principles of Money and Banking. Tu., Th., Sat., at 11. Professors WILLIAMS and HANSEN.

The subject as a whole will be systematically reviewed. Selections from important writings dealing with monetary principles will be read and critically discussed. Particular attention will be given to the theory of the value of money and to the policy and operations of central banks.

Source: Harvard University. Division of History, Government, and Economics, Containing an Announcement for 1940-41. Official Register of Harvard University, Vol. XXXVII, No. 51 (August 15, 1940), p. 61.

 

Course Enrollment 

[Economics] 141. Professors WILLIAMS and HANSEN.—Principles of Money and Banking.

Total 45: 28 Graduates, 4 Seniors, 7 School of Public Administration, 2 Radcliffe, 4 Others.

Source: Harvard University. Report of the President of Harvard College and Reports of Departments for 1940-41, p. 60.

 

Second Semester Final Exam, 1940-41

 

HARVARD UNIVERSITY

ECONOMICS 141
PRINCIPLES OF MONEY AND BANKING

(Three hours)

Discuss THREE topics.

  1. The uses and limitations of the multiplier concept.
  2. Compare the “over-saving” and “under-investment” theories as guides to fiscal policy.
  3. Monetary and fiscal policies under conditions of war or defense.
  4. “Full employment” as a criterion of fiscal policy.
  5. Discuss: “Deficit spending is the logical sequel to central bank policy, and it was entirely logical that its first phase should be pump-priming.”

Final. 1941

Source: Harvard University Examinations. Final examinations, 1853-2001, Box 5 (HUC 7000.28). Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Papers Printed for Final Examinations in History, History of Religions, … , Economics, …, Military Science, Naval Science (June, 1941).

 

Image Source:  John Henry Williams from the Harvard Class Album 1950.

 

 

 

 

 

Irwin Collier

Posted by: Irwin Collier