Course Detail

Perspectives on Capitalism (33250)

Course Description by Faculty

  • Gertner, Robert
  • Content

    The University of Chicago is home to scholars of diverse and nuanced perspectives on the accomplishments, limitations, and future of capitalism. The goal of this course is to take advantage of that diverse expertise to equip Chicago Booth students with tools and perspectives that help them engage thoughtfully in these debates and extend them into application in their own roles as corporate, non-profit, or entrepreneurial leaders. The course will provide students with an unbiased survey of the economic, social, and intellectual history of capitalism, sparking active discussion of the challenges and opportunities facing capitalist economies today and what "capitalism" can and should mean going forward. 

    Course format: 

    The format of the course is atypical. The class will follow two parallel paths. First, a diverse group of University of Chicago faculty will be invited to share their research and views, supplemented by short readings; they will discuss their perspectives on capitalism and its future through the lens of their research and areas of expertise. The second path will be that of a seminar course, built around readings and discussion. The seminars of 10-15 students and a faculty member will be taught by Brian Barry, James Carmichael, Luis Garicano, Rob Gertner, Caroline Grossman, John Paul Rollert, Susana Vasquez, and Chris Wheat.

    The course is 100-total units, but will be broken up into two course numbers/enrollments:

    • 33250 Perspectives on Capitalism (0 units), meets 90 minutes per week on Tuesdays from 6:00-7:30pm in Friedman Hall at the Rubenstein Forum (Woodlawn and 60th on the Hyde Park campus).  Lecture format with speakers.
    • 33251 Perspectives on Capitalism Seminar (100 units), meets 90 minutes per week.  Small group discussion with required readings.

    There will be a remote option for the seminar; students are expected to attend lectures in person unless they are in a remote seminar section or an in-person Weekend section.

    Faculty speakers include: 

    • Marianne Bertrand, Chris P. Dialynas Distinguished Service Professor of Economics, Chicago Booth
    • Agnes Callard, Associate Professor in Philosophy, the College
    • Michael Greenstone, Milton Friedman Distinguished Professor in Economics, the College and the Harris School 
    • Chang-tai Hsieh, Phyllis and Irwin Winkelried Professor of Economics, Chicago Booth
    • Jonathan Levy, James Westfall Thompson Professor, History, John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought, and the Collegue
    • Kevin Murphy, George J. Stigler Distinguished Service Professor of Economics, Chicago Booth, the College 
    • Kenneth Pomeranz, University Professor of Modern Chinese History, the College
    • Raghuram Rajan, Katherine Dusak Miller Distinguished Service Professor of Finance, Chicago Booth
    • Richard Thaler, Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics, Chicago Booth
    • Dali Yang, William Claude Reavis Professor, Political Science
    • Luigi Zingales, Robert C. McCormack Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance, Chicago Booth

    Information Session:

    View Info Session Recording from 1/30/23 for more details about the course.

    The Application will open week of 1/30 and will be due by Thursday 2/9 at 5pm.

    Initial registration will be by application, but the only questions will be about time preferences among seminar sections and when you will graduate. Preference will be given to students graduating in 2023, and section scheduling and allocation will depend on student preferences. Beyond these criteria, selection will be random. 

    Students interested in enrolling should submit an application request form (will open week of 1/30/2023) to indicate their meeting time preference for the discussion seminar. The course is 100 units but will be broken up into two course numbers/enrollments. 
    • 33250 Perspectives on Capitalism (0 units): meets 90 minutes per week on Tuesdays from 6:00-7:30pm in Friedman Hall at Rubenstein Forum (1201 E 60th St.); lecture format with speakers
    • 33251 Perspectives on Capitalism Seminar (100 units): meets 90 minutes per week; small group discussion with required readings.  Seminar times will be held at Harper, Gleacher, and remotely. 

    Tuesdays 10:00-11:30am (Harper)
    Tuesdays 1:30-3:00pm (Harper)
    Tuesdays 4:00-5:30pm (Harper) - just before lecture
    Tuesdays 8:00-9:30pm (Harper) - just after lecture 
    Wednesdays 10:00-11:30am (Harper)
    Wednesdays 3:00-4:30pm (Harper)
    Wednesdays6:00-7:30pm (Gleacher)
    Wednesdays 6:00-7:30pm (Remote)
    Thursdays 10:00-11:30am (Harper)
    Thursdays 1:30-3:00pm (Harper)
    Thursdays 6:00-7:30pm (Remote)
    Saturdays 1:30-3:00pm (Remote)
    Saturdays 1:30-3:00pm (Gleacher) 

    Applications open on January 30 and close on Thursday, February 9 at 5:00pm. Students will be notified whether or not they are in the course and their assigned seminar section before Spring Quarter bidding opens on February 13 at 5:00pm.  After the initial selection and enrollment process is complete, students can add into open sections of BUSN 33251 via iBid. After each phase, students will then be enrolled into BUSN 33250. Direct all inquiries to




  • Prerequisites
    Note:  The lecture portion of this course will be held in Friedman Hall at Rubenstein Forum (1201 E 60th St.), not the Harper Center.
    • No non-Booth Students

    • Application-based course

  • Grades
    No pass/fail grades.
    • No pass/fail grades

  • Syllabus
  • Spring 2023Section: 33250-01T 6:00PM-7:30PMLocation: TBDIn-Person Only
Description and/or course criteria last updated: February 23 2023