The Recent History and Near Future of the Economy

In this seminar, we will examine the current economy from a historical perspective, focusing on the most "recent" six decades. The crisis of the 1970s is widely recognized as marking out the beginning of a new era of economic history. Variously celebrated or critiqued as "globalization," "Neo-Liberal," "Post-Fordist," "Post-Industrial," or the "Service Economy," we will examine what actually changed during these years, as well as important continuities with the longer history of capitalism. Did the Great Recession of 2007-2008 mark the beginning of a new era of global economic history? What trends do we expect to continue, which to change? Rather than abstract economic theory, empirical data will be emphasized, and the seminar will explore the pedagogical power of using data sets and data visualization to encourage students to rethink their assumptions about the economic past, present, and future.