Chris Blattman

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Syllabus of the year

From Uwe Reinhardt, James Madison Professor of Political Economy and Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University, a new lecture series:

After the near‐collapse of the world’s financial system has shown that we economists really do not know how the world works, I am much too embarrassed to teach economics anymore, which I have done for many years. I will teach Modern Korean Drama instead.

Although I have never been to Korea, I have watched Korean drama on a daily basis for over six years now. Therefore I can justly consider myself an expert in that subject.

Reinhardt is one of the world’s leading health care economists. And hence.

Finally, every good Korean drama has many scenes at super clean hospitals with good‐looking doctors and nurses. Koreans love their hospitals and seem to run to them whenever they have a cold or a headache or are lovesick or simply feel “stress.”

To an economist like me, this fondness for hospitals is surprising, because hospitals are expensive in Korea and much of the bill is not covered by Korea’s National Health Insurance system. Price‐elasticity of demand does not seem to work in Korean drama.

The introduction and first lecture (pdf).

hat tip to Selvin Akkus-Clemens.

15 Responses

  1. This is a great idea. Studying shouldn’t be a template. As long as we have the same syllabus for general classes like English students will order their essays from writing services that use to write the same assignment for each of them. James Madison – my new favorite professor.

  2. I remember Uwe Reinhardt from when I was a Princeton undergrad in 1977-1981, and if I recall correctly he also keynoted a gathering of Marshall scholars in London in 1982. I once spent a long evening in Tokyo’s Kabuki-za theater (pre-2010) eating salted fish up in the rafter cheap seats where they shout the characters’ names at choreographed intervals. I should incorporate that into my lectures, hmmm…

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