Advanced Topics in Liberty

Economy, Culture, and the Historical Origins of Capitalism

Conference for students - April 19-21, 2013

Discussion Leader: Fabio Rojas

Session 1: Ideology, Knowledge, and Economic Change.

Mokyr, Joel. The Enlightened Economy: An Economic History of Britain 1700–1850. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009. Introduction, “Ideology, Knowledge, and Institutions in Economic Change” (pages 1–12), Chapter 2, “Enlightenment and Economy” (pages 30–39), and Chapter 3, “Useful Knowledge and Technology” (pages 40–62).

Session 2: Culture and Institutions

Mokyr, Joel. The Enlightened Economy: An Economic History of Britain 1700–1850. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009. Chapter 4, “An Enlightened Political Economy” (pages 63–78) and Chapter 16, “Social Norms and a Civil Economy” (pages 368–391).

Session 3: Customs, Incentives, and Innovation

Appleby, Joyce. The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2010. Chapter 1, “The Puzzle of Capitalism” (pages 3–26), selections from Chapter 2, “Trading in New Directions” (pages 27–39), and notes (pages 437–438).

Session 4: Human Nature and Cultural Differences

Appleby, Joyce. The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2010 Selections from Chapter 4, “Commentary on Markets and Human Nature” (pages 87–94 and 114–120), Chapter 6, “The Ascent of Germany and the United States” (pages 163–199), and notes (pages 440–441 and 443–446).

Session 5: Bourgeois Dignity

McCloskey, Deirdre N. Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can’t Explain the Modern World. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010. “Preface and Acknowledgements” (pages xi–xvi), Chapter 1, “The Modern World was an Economic Tide, but did not have Economic Causes” (pages 1–9), Chapter 2, “Liberal Ideas Caused the Innovation” (pages 10–19), Chapter 4, “Many Other Plausible Stories Don’t Work Very Well” (pages 31–39), Chapter 5, “The Correct Story Praises “Capitalism”” (pages 40–47), Chapter 19, “Nor Was It Accumulation of Human Capital, Until Lately” (pages 161–167), and Chapter 38, “The Cause was not Science” (pages 355–365).

Session 6: The Future of Capitalism

Mokyr, Joel. The Enlightened Economy: An Economic History of Britain 1700–1850. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009. Chapter 19, “The Results: The British Economy in 1851” (pages 475–489).

McCloskey, Deirdre N. Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can’t Explain the Modern World. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010. Chapter 41, “It was Words” (pages 385–392) and Chapter 42, “Dignity and Liberty for Ordinary People, in Short, Were the Greatest Externalities” (pages 393–405).

Appleby, Joyce. The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2010. Selection from Chapter 13, “Of Crises and Critics” (pages 417–436) and notes (pages 458–459).