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Professors to Compare Economies Throughout History

April 16, 2013

Two Booth professors will study and collaborate on comparative economics under an interdisciplinary program funded by the Neubauer Family Collegium for Culture and Society.  

C. Hoyt Bleakley, associate professor of economics, and Matthew Gentzkow, Richard O. Ryan Professor of Economics and Neubauer Family Faculty Fellow are participating in the Working Group on Comparative Economics, one of the inaugural research projects supported by the Neubauer Collegium.

Through the working group, the professors will team with researchers in the humanities and social sciences divisions who share an interest in comparative economic analysis of societies throughout history. The group will come together over the next two years through a series of meetings and lectures, as well as an annual conference.  

“The Working Group on Comparative Economics opens up the past as a place to examine many of our assumptions about human behavior, and to test some of the economic theories developed to describe modern industrialized societies,” said David Nirenberg, director of the Neubauer Collegium. “It also brings into collaboration two great Chicago schools of thought, the historical and the economic. We are certain that the conversation between them will be productive, perhaps even transformative, for both, and we are thrilled to be able to support it.”

The Collegium is named in honor of Joseph Neubauer and Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer, whose landmark $26.5 million gift to the University is among the largest in support of the humanities and social sciences in the institution’s history.

Including the Working Group on Comparative Economics, the Neubauer Collegium recently announced its support for 18 projects led by faculty from the 17 divisions of the humanities and social sciences, as well as members of the University’s law and divinity schools and the Oriental Institute. –Ben Pokross