Capitalism: Success, Crisis, and Reform

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In this course, we will seek to interpret capitalism using ideas from biological evolution: firms pursuing varied strategies and facing extinction when those strategies fail are analogous to organisms struggling for survival in nature. For this reason, it is less concerned with ultimate judgment of capitalism than with the ways it can be shaped to fit our more specific objectives--for the natural environment, public health, alleviation of poverty, and development of human potential in every child. Each book we read will be explicitly or implicitly an argument about good and bad consequences of capitalism.

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Karl Marx
Joseph Schumpeter
Economic System
Oint Stock Corporation
Braudel's Bell Jar


Lecture 1Exploding Worlds and Course IntroductionLecture 2Thomas Malthus and Inevitable PovertyLecture 3Counting the Fingers of Adam Smith's Invisible HandLecture 4Karl Marx, Joseph Schumpeter, and an Economic System Incapable of Coming to RestLecture 5Property, Freedom, and the Essential Job of GovernmentLecture 6Rise of the Joint Stock CorporationLecture 7Can You Sell a Scheme for Operating on Beating Hearts and Make a Business of It?Lecture 8Mortal Life Cycle of a Great TechnologyLecture 9Guest Lecture by Jim Alexander: Managing the Crooked ELecture 10Guest Lecture by Richard Medley: Entrepreneurship in Business InformationLecture 11Guest Lecture by Will Goetzmann: Institutions and Incentives in Mortgages and Mortgage-Backed SecuritiesLecture 12Accountability and Greed in Investment BankingLecture 13The Mortgage Meltdown in ClevelandLecture 14The Political and Judicial Elements of American CapitalismLecture 15Mass Affluence Comes to the Western WorldLecture 16Braudel's Bell JarLecture 17The Case of Mister Balram HalwaiLecture 18Microfinance in South IndiaLecture 19Plight of the Bottom BillionLecture 20Policy Targets for Capitalist DevelopmentLecture 21Guest Lecture by Paolo Zanonni, Part ILecture 22Guest Lecture by Paolo Zanonni, Part IILecture 23Marrying the Devil in TexasLecture 24Capitalist Enterprise and Clean Water for a Bolivian City
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