The Economics of Emancipation by Claudia Goldin

 The following questions do not have to answered in your response. They are meant to help you think about your response to this paper. Do you find her thesis, that the war might have been avoidable had the two sides considered this scheme, to be compelling? Goldin considers lots of complicating factors. Do these seem reasonable? Are there complicating factors that you can think of that she might have excluded here? 

Do not try to respond to her entire paper, but to one or two of her big ideas. Your response should include a summary of the article you are addressing with a focus on the economic ideas. Any model, theory or principle you discuss should be described and applied correctly and in appropriate circumstance. Your goal is to analyze the argument of the writer rather than the style. To critique the article, you will want to consider the writer’s underlying assumptions. Are they consistent with the assumptions that are standard for models with which you are familiar? Are they appropriate for the given data, time period, or scope of the analysis? Are there any assumptions that are present but not explicitly acknowledged? What assumption(s) would you exclude and what assumption(s) should have been included? Is the writer’s use of economic principles/theories/models consistent with those employed by “mainstream” economists? Are these tools used in a way that you would expect them to be used and that is appropriate for the given data, time period, or scope of the analysis? Do you see any error in the application of principle/theory/model? If you are going to use principle/theory/model to make your point, be sure to choose the appropriate tool and describe and apply that tool accurately. Are the conclusions consistent with both the assumptions and the theoretical application? Is there a failure of logic? Are you aware of evidence that is contrary to the writer’s conclusions? If this is a situation where there is not much evidence available (common with historic writing), where does the argument fall short to undermine the conclusion?

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