(This seminar is no longer offered. Professor Kremer has left Harvard University.)
Michael R. Kremer (Department of Economics)
Freshman Seminar 41J 4 credits (
spring term) Enrollment: Limited to 12
Understanding the determinants of the wealth of nations has long motivated the study of economics and it is arguably the most important problem in the field for human welfare. This seminar will examine economic development, looking both at historical experience and at contemporary issues in developing countries. It will focus on writing in economics, but will also draw on other disciplines, including political science and sociology. The seminar will start with readings of Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and Max Weber. Participants will then read works illustrating some of the techniques and modes of reasoning associated with contemporary microeconomics and statistical analysis. Finally, it will conclude with contemporary writing on development, including work that addresses big-picture political economy models of the role of institutions in development and more microeconomic approaches.
Prerequisites: Students are expected to have had some background in economics, such as an AP economics course in high school, or simultaneous enrollment in Ec10A.