This year’s Senior Experience: Reading Option features Alexander Field’s A Great Leap Forward: 1930s Depression and U.S. Economic Growth (Amazon link here). Field argues that technology advanced faster during the Great Depression than any other 10-12 year period in U.S. history, throwing a wrench into much of the conventional wisdom concerning the depression, World War II, and American economic growth. Field makes his case quantitatively, walks through some of the implications, and puts it in historical context, including his thoughts on some recent events. This is very high quality economics.
Indeed, it is rarefied economic history that finds its way into the New York Times (!) .
We are fortunate to have Professor Field coming to campus on Thursday May 15 to meet with our seminar students and give a public lecture on his work as part of the Phi Beta Kappa lecture series.
Our first meeting is Tuesday, January 6 at 2:30 p.m. in Briggs 217 (I am also in process of scheduling a second time for those who cannot meet in the Tuesday slot). By our first meeting, you should have read the introduction and background (Chapter 1) through about page 40. I also recommend you go back and review your macro notes on economic growth (e.g., Mankiw Chapters 8 & 9).
If you are interested in reading but are not part of the Senior Experience cohort, see me about setting up a directed study for 2-3 units.