Mountain Scene

Chicago History

Thomas Coleman

Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago

Selected essays and presentations on the History of Chicago Economics

The Harris Center for Economic Policy, together with Thomas Coleman from Harris and Allen Sanderson from economics, is starting in 2019 a quarterly series of lectures about the people and ideas that have animated economics at Chicago and in the world more widely. Visit the Harris "Economics History" page or see below for the lecture notes and associated material.

26 April 2019

Human Capital (Coleman)

Coleman: "Gary Becker and the Origins of Human Capital" (slides plus sources, references, and detailed notes) and (slides only version) is Thomas Coleman's presentation on Human Capital with a brief discussion of three applications.

14 February 2019

Price Theory (Sanderson) and Milton Friedman's Monetary History (Coleman)

Coleman: "How Friedman & Schwartz Saved the World in 2008" (slides plus sources, references, and detailed notes) and (slides only version) is Thomas Coleman's presentation on Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz's Monetary History of the United States, and how their analysis of the Great Depression of the 1930s educated the Fed about how to manage the 2008 financial crisis.

Sanderson: book covers covering Becker's contributions; price theory ideas from literature


Short (2-3 page) essays on topics in the History of Chicago Economics

"Milton Friedman, Anna Schwartz, and A Monetary History of the US" (Coleman) is a short discussion of monetary history as it unfolded in three US banking crises: 1907-08, the 1930s, and 2008. And how Friedman and Schwartz educated the Fed and saved the world in 2008.

"The Natural Rate of Unemployment" (Coleman) discusses Milton Friedman's ideas around the natural rate of unemployment: the fact that there is no inflation - unemployment trade-off

"Permanent Income" (Coleman) discusses Milton Friedman's book Theory of the Consumption Function and ideas around the permanent income hypothesis and the marginal propensity to consume.

"Human Capital" (Coleman) discusses some of the history and concepts of human capital, and particularly Gary Becker's contributions.