Takeaways from my MPhil dissertation

The last academic year was a whirlwind dominated by researching, writing, editing, and submitting my MPhil dissertation, "Normal Science and Anomaly: Responding to Unemployment in Economics in the 1920s." My motivation for the work was to explore the relationship between empirical evidence and economic theory, which is important for understanding how academic economic research relates to the "real world" -- a perennially interesting question.

To get at these bigger questions, I did a case study of a specific historical episode: persistently high unemployment in Britain in the 1920s. Unlike the United States and some other European countries, Britain experienced high unemployment (on average 12%) for the years preceding the early 1930s Great Depression…

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Pairing voices with the data: deep dives into responses from the 1911 NCF survey

This summer I explored the National Civic Federation 1911 survey of labor and business leaders in my RA work for a Politics professor at Oxford. Though I ended up programming for most of my work, I did have reason to look into some of the smaller firms more deeply. Throughout the process, I collected links to blogs, articles, and websites about some of these firms that I found particularly interesting. Below, I offer links to these external sources, pairing them with the response to the questions on the Sherman Anti-Trust Act given in my survey data. If you love minutiae, dive in!

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The interesting life of Alfred Mummery

An economist and a mountain climber? The perfect nineteenth century combination! Alfred Mummery built his mountain climbing reputation on the Matterhorn and led the first team to attempt to climb the 8126m Nanga Parbat in the Himalayas. This fatal attempt was in 1895, and Nanga Parbat would take 30 more lives before it was successfully summited in 1953.

Mummery also co-authored The Physiology of Industry in 1889 with economist J.A. Hobson, the famous proponent of under-consumptionist theories. This was a notable contribution to heterodox economics at the time, and J.M. Keynes discussed the work at length in the General Theory chapter 23 (which apparently nobody reads these days). Keynes offers an extended quote from Hobson about how they came to work together...

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