Dartmouth Economics Reading Group

Dartmouth Economics Reading Group led by Professor Meir Kohn and Professor Douglas Irwin

How do market economies create prosperity? Why are some countries more prosperous than others? What is the relationship between prosperity and freedom? What is the proper role of government in the economy? Formal courses in economics generally address ‘big issues’ such as these only indirectly, tending to focus more on the technical tools of the discipline. We intend to address the big issues directly through reading and discussion in an informal, extra-curricular framework. In this way, we hope to supplement the formal coursework in economics and to place it in a broader context. Our readings include works of some of the great economic thinkers; works of economic history; and works on contemporary economic issues such as the welfare state and economic development.
In Fall 2008, we read The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith (led by Prof. Irwin) and The Welfare State We’re In by James Bartholomew (led by Prof. Kohn). In Winter 2009 we are reading The Power of Productivity by William Lewis (Prof. Irwin) and The Economy of Cities by Jane Jacobs (Prof. Kohn).