Economics 1342: The History of Economic Growth

This course examines the history of economic growth, beginning with the divergence between human ancestors and other primates and continuing through the end of the 20th century. Topics covered include the Neolithic Revolution; economic growth in ancient societies; the origins of modern economic growth; theories and evidence about the institutional, geographic, and cultural determinants of growth; the East Asian Miracle; the middle income trap; the political economy of growth; growth and inequality; and theories and evidence about the persistence of poverty in the world’s poorest regions.

Economics 2355: Unleashing Novel Data at Scale

Many important economic questions remain unanswered, in substantial part because the data required to examine them has traditionally been inaccessible. Information that could elucidate important questions is scattered throughout text, or contained in scans, photographs, or hard copy documents. This course will provide an introduction to deep learning-based methods that can convert raw information into computable data at scale. The course will examine how object detection models can be used to perform document layout understanding, extracting complex structures from documents such as statistical tables, corporate records, biographical compendia, archival documents, and newspapers. Active learning, which aims to optimally combine inputs from humans and deep learning to conserve tedious human labor, will receive emphasis. We will also consider GAN-based image pre-processing. We will moreover discuss how to optimize character recognition. The second half of the course will examine natur...