14.731 | Spring 2009 | Graduate

Economic History


Course Meeting Times

Discussions: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session


This course is a survey of world economic history, and it introduces economics students to the subject matter and methodology of economic history. It is designed to expand the range of empirical settings in students’ research by drawing upon historical material and long-run data. Topics are chosen to show a wide variety of historical experience and illuminate the process of industrialization. The emphasis will be on questions related to labor markets and economic growth.


The prerequisites are 14.04 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory and 14.06 Advanced Macroeconomics .


The class will be organized around a discussion of assigned readings; thus, it is essential that the readings be completed by the date indicated on the reading list. In addition to discussion of the readings, classes will include a discussion of students’ research ideas and/or interesting research questions and how one might go about addressing those questions. Students are encouraged to attend the Harvard Economic History Workshop and/or the Harvard Economic History Tea. If there is enough attendance, we may discuss the papers presented there.

Requirements are participation in class discussions, two short research proposals (detailing the question, setting/data, and methodology) and two oral presentations. The first research proposal is due by Ses #12. The first oral presentation will be on Ses #13. The second proposal is due 1 week prior to the final oral presentations, which are going to be scheduled in the last weeks of class.


Research proposal 1 20%
Research proposal 2 20%
Oral presentation 1 30%
Oral presentation 2 30%

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2009
Learning Resource Types
Presentation Assignments
Written Assignments with Examples