Fall Economics Lectures


2015 St. Olaf Kleber – Gery Lecture

The One True and Verified Theory of How We Got So Rich: Liberty and Dignity


Deirdre McCloskey,

Distinguished Professor of Economics, History, English, and Communication
at the University of Illinois at Chicago


Based on her forthcoming book, Bourgeois Equality, How Ideas, Not Capital or Institutions, Enriched the World (2016), McCloskey proposes that a novel way of looking at the virtues and at bettering ideas arose in northwestern Europe from a novel liberty and dignity enjoyed by all commoners, among them the bourgeoisie, and from a startling revaluation starting in Holland by the society as a whole of the trading and betterment in which the bourgeoisie specialized. The revaluation, called “liberalism,” in turn derived not from some ancient superiority of the Europeans but from egalitarian accidents in their politics 1517–1789. That is, what mattered were two levels of ideas — the ideas in the heads of entrepreneurs for thebetterments themselves (the electric motor, the airplane, the stock market); and the ideas in the society at large about the businesspeople and their betterments (in a word, that liberalism). What were not causal were the conventional factors of accumulated capital and institutional change. They happened, but they were largely dependent on betterment and liberalism.  “Our riches,” she argues, “were made not by piling brick on brick, bank balance on bank balance, but by piling idea on idea.”

Thursday, October 29th at 7:30 p.m. in Tomson Hall 280

This lecture is intended for the general audience and can also be viewed at:


You Should Not Use Tests of Significance

Noted economist and St. Olaf 2015 Kleber-Gery lecturer, Deirdre McCloskey, will present a seminar on the use and abuse of tests of statistical significance in economic research.  St. Olaf students and faculty members are invited to this seminar.

Thursday, October 29th at 3:45 p.m. in Regents Hall of Natural Science 290


Social Science Lecture Series

American Indians and Social Work Education: Addressing Issues of Recruitment and Retention


Susan Smalling ‘97SmallingSusan2015

Assistant Professor of Social Work and Family Studies and Director of Field Education

A 2009 Council on Social Work Education study found a total of 31 American Indian faculty in social work education in 1979.  Thirty years later, there were only 41 full time American Indian faculty.  Little is known about the experience of American Indian faculty in higher education and even less known about their experiences in social work education.  However, existing research on minority scholars in general suggests they tend to be less satisfied with their jobs than their white male counterparts, engage in less valued forms of scholarship and report higher levels of stress with the tenure and promotion process. In this presentation, Smalling will review the results of a research study  seeking to understand the experience of American Indian faculty to ensure successful recruitment and retention of such faculty in social work programs and to address any exclusionary practices.

Tuesday, November 17th, at 3:30 p.m. in Regents Hall of Natural Science 290



Spring 2015 Economics Campus Golf

Congratulations to The Casey Mulligans

Alex Aristides
Elliot Knuths
Evan Lebo
Paul Wojick

2015 Economics Campus Golf Tournament Winners


Fall 2015 Economics Bowling

Congratulations to Aaron Stets
Spring 2015 Bowling Champ

Cocoa and Cookie Mondays

Join us in the Economics Dept. Office, Holland Hall 414,
for complimentary cocoa and cookies.
Monday mornings 8:00 a.m. to noon.