Robert E. Prasch joined the Economics Department in 2000 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2003. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1992. He also has an MA in economics from the University of Denver (1986), and a BA in history and economics from the University of Colorado, Boulder (1983). Before coming to Middlebury, he taught at Vassar College, the University of Maine, and San Francisco State University. Each year, he teaches at least one course on Monetary Theory and Policy, Macroeconomics, and American Economic History. Additionally, he frequently presents the History of Economic Thought as either a Freshman Writing Course or Senior Seminar.
Currently, he is completing two book manuscripts. The working title of the first is “A Wage of Her Own: The Rise and Fall of Progressive Era Minimum Wage Legislation for Women: 1913-1923,” the second is “The Political Economy of Empire.” He has also co-edited two books, Thorstein Veblen and the Revival of Free Market Capitalism (Edward Elgar, 2007), and Race, Liberalism and Economics (University of Michigan Press, 2004). His most recent book is How Markets Work: Supply, Demand, and the ‘Real World’ (Edward Elgar, 2008).
In addition to the above, he has published over 80 articles, book chapters, and reviews on sundry topics in a variety of scholarly journals. He also served on the board of editors of the Journal of Economic Issues and is currently on the board of editors of the Review of Political Economy. He has also served on the Board of Directors of both the Association for Evolutionary Economics and the Association for Social Economics.
Courses offered in the past four years.
▲ indicates offered in the current term
▹ indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]
ECON0220 / HIST0220 - American Economic History
American Economic History since 1900
This course will provide an overview of the major themes in the growth and development of the modern American economy. Topics will include the economic history of railroads, automobiles, foreign trade, banks and financial markets. We will also examine the role of the courts and government policy in American economic development, with special emphasis on the rise and decline of Laissez-Faire as the dominant mode of economic regulation in the nation's labor and financial markets. (ECON 0150 or ECON 0155) 3 hrs. lect. HIS NOR SOC
ECON0229 - Econ Hist/Hist of Econ Thought
Economic History and History of Economic Thought
Economic History and History of Economic Thought
This course will provide an introduction to economic history and the history of economic thought. We will investigate and understand the causes and consequences of important historical events and trends, such as industrialization and globalization, from an economic perspective. We devote considerable attention to the dissemination throughout Europe of new industrial and agricultural practices originating in Britain. Along the way, we evaluate how prominent economists perceived and analyzed the events of their time. (ECON 0150, ECON 0155) 3 hrs. lect. EUR HIS SOC
Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014
ECON0250 - Macro Theory
Macroeconomic theory analyzes whether the market effectively coordinates individuals' decisions so that they lead to acceptable results. It considers the effectiveness of monetary, fiscal, and other policies in achieving desirable levels of unemployment, inflation, and growth. The theories held by various schools of economic thought such as Keynesians, monetarists, and new classicals are considered along with their proposed policies. (ECON 0150) 3 hrs. lect.
Spring 2013, Spring 2014
ECON0375 - Monetary Theory and Policy
Monetary Theory and Policy
This course will cover the determination of interest rates, portfolio theory, the demand for money, and the supply of money process. Emphasis will be on the difficulties faced by the Federal Reserve in its goals of achieving a steady growth in aggregate demand while doing its best to ensure that monetary disorder, such as that which characterized the Great Depression, does not reoccur. (ECON 0150 and ECON 0155) 3 hrs. lect.
Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014
ECON0450 - History of Economic Thought
History of Economic Thought
This course offers a historical and analytical perspective on the development of economic ideas. It asks the question: Why is economics what it is today? A number of international issues will be considered, such as the differential development of economic ideas in different countries, comparative advantage and its relation to trade, and the development and spread of socialist ideas. In this course students will read Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and Frederich Hayek. (ECON 0250 and ECON 0255; or by approval) 3 hrs. sem. HIS PHL
ECON0500 - Individual Special Project
Individual Special Project
If you choose to pursue an area that we do not offer or go in depth in an area already covered, we recommend the Individual Special Project option. These ECON 0500 proposals MUST be passed by the entire department and are to be submitted to the chair by the first Friday of fall and spring semester, respectively. The proposals should contain a specific description of the course contents, its goals, and the mechanisms by which goals are to be realized. It should also include a bibliography. According to the College Handbook, ECON 0500 projects are a privilege open to those students with advanced preparation and superior records in their fields. A student needs to have a 3.5 or higher G.P.A. in Economics courses taken at Middlebury in order to pursue an Individual Special Project. ECON 0500 does not count towards the major or minor requirements.
Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015
IPEC0500 - Independent Project
IPEC0700 - Intl.Pol.&Economics SR. Thesis
Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013