Online has a list of 50 recommended Ivy League economic classes. (I have been partial to the MIT online economic classes, which this site omits). Regardless, here are a few worth exploring:

General Economics

The basics of the field of economics:

  1. Beyond Freakonomics: New Musings on the Economics of Everyday Life: University of Chicago professor and economist Steven Levitt further explains his theory on everyday economics in this lecture. [Princeton]
  2. Game Theory: Learn more about how game theory can be applied to economics in this lecture from Yale professor Ben Polak. [Yale]
  3. Financial Markets: This lecture series from professor Robert Shiller will teach you about the basics of the economic system and how each part fits together. [Yale]
  4. Economic Theory for an Innovative World: Learn why this economist thinks existing models should be changed so that businesses can foster innovation and change. [Columbia]
  5. Higher Education and the Recession: Check out this lecture to find out how higher education is being affected by the recession and how it might trickle down into local communities. [Cornell]
  6. Why Stock-price Volatility Should Never Be a Surprise, Even in the Long Run: Here you can gain a better understanding of how stocks work, and why you shouldn’t expect them to remain stable all the time. [UPenn]
  7. Close-up on Vicki Bogan: Listen to this lecture to get a better understanding of financial decision making. [Cornell]

Understanding the Economic Crisis

  1. Understanding the Crisis in the Markets: A Panel of Harvard Experts: Get an explanation of the financial crisis from some of the best and the brightest by watching this panel discussion at Harvard. [Harvard]
  2. Capitalism and Confusion: Here, Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen speaks about the current financial crisis. [Cornell]
  3. The Subprime Drama Continues, but for How Long?: Has the subprime crisis run its course? This lecture from Richard Herring attempts to address many of the issues surrounding this complex topic. [UPenn]
  4. Origins of the Financial Mess: Alan Blinder, a Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School and co-director of Princeton`s Center for Economic Policy Studies, discusses the financial crisis in this lecture. [Princeton]
  5. Financial Crises: Check out this series of lectures to learn about the roots of a financial crisis, responses and results. [Princeton]
  6. The Financial Crisis: Implications for Washington, Wall Street and Main Street: Here you can get some insights from Cornell experts on the financial crisis and what it means for business both big and small. [Cornell]
  7. Soft Landing Economy: This lecture from 2006 shows just how wrong many predictions about the seriousness of the market downturn really were. [UPenn]

Proposed Solutions to the Economic Crisis

Once you’ve learned a little more about where the financial crisis stands, you can listen to these lectures that propose a variety of solutions, sometimes conflicting, on what to do to help it recover.

  1. Temporary Nationalization Necessary to Save Troubled Banks: This lecture from Columbia Business School Professor Stiglitz takes the stance that the government should take control of failing banks to ensure economic stability. [Columbia]
  2. Preventing the Next Financial Crisis: Pay close attention to this lecture series that brings together numerous scholars, researchers and experts to discuss how future financial disasters can be averted. [Columbia]
  3. Economics Advice for President Obama: Several economists at Cornell share their thoughts on what the government should do in this informative discussion. [Cornell]

Category: Economy

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

15 Responses to “Free Ivy-League Lectures on the Economy”

  1. Simon says:

    I think I will bookmark this page. Thanks Barry.

  2. AlexInNC says:

    Awesome, thanks for posting these.

  3. Advocatus Diaboli says:

    Why would listening to the same charlatans help get us out of the mess they created, in the first place?


    BR: You shouldn’t.

    But you might want to listen to those (Like Shiller and Stiglitz) who warned about the crisis in advance.

  4. impermanence says:

    Seeking answers from Ivy league universities concerning the economic crisis would be analogous to seeking answers from the AMA and the insurance lobby concerning the health care crisis.

    It is for people like this that the word, “entrenched,” was coined.

  5. ZackAttack says:

    Scorecard: How many of them called it correctly?

  6. thfiv says:

    Mr. Ritholtz,

    Thank you for your excellent information.

    I look forward to it everyday.

  7. thfiv says:

    I could not find the MIT videos. What is that link?

  8. some_guy_in_a_cube says:

    “Understanding the Crisis in the Markets: A Panel of Harvard Experts: Get an explanation of the financial crisis from some of the best and the brightest by watching this panel discussion at Harvard. [Harvard]”

    That write-up contains no less than three references to “Harvard”, a reference to a panel of “Experts” – Harvard Experts, no less! – and a reference to “some of the best and the brightest”, all in a mere 33 words.

    OK, OK, I’m impressed already.

  9. some_guy_in_a_cube says:

    “impermanence” jacks it out of the park!

  10. some_guy_in_a_cube,

    right? esp. when this: “In a sign of the economic times, Harvard has sent a letter to its deans saying that the university’s $36.9 billion endowment fund lost 22 percent of its value in the last four months and could decline as much as 30 percent by the end of the fiscal year on June 30…”
    “…Harvard depends on its endowment for about 35 percent of its operating budget, and some of its schools rely on endowment income to cover more than 50 percent of their expenses. As a result, the letter noted that the endowment’s performance would have a significant impact on budgets. The decline, about $8 billion, does not capture the full extent of losses, the letter said, because some investments are harder to value and are valued only periodically.

    For example, at the end of its fiscal 2008 year, Harvard said it had 11 percent of its holdings in private equity, 9 percent in timber and agriculture, and a comparable amount in real estate. Each sector has been hard hit in the current environment, but it is difficult to quantify the decline on a daily or monthly basis. Harvard noted that its private equity and real estate investments are managed externally. Experts say that those markdowns could prompt a decline of an additional three or four percentage points…”

    is on the Scoreboard

    yet, this: “Harvard Management Company, Inc. (HMC)
    The mission of Harvard Management Company is to provide world-class investment management solely focused on generating strong results to support the educational and research goals of Harvard University.

    HMC’s investment strategy combines long-term goals with dynamic management, emphasizing quality, innovation and global diversity.

    Harvard Management Company has a long record of strong investment results that provide financial strengths and flexibility to the University.

    The members of HMC’s investment team are national and international leaders in their fields with deep expertise across a wide variety of asset classes.”
    can, still, be adv.ed w/ a straight face..

    The eggheads from Hartford, ya gotta luv ‘em — I guess it’s useful to have a ready compare/contrast foil for M.I.T..
    re: MIT OpenCourseWare, see:
    w/ s_g_i_a_c_, no kidding~

  11. [...] Barry Ritholtz has done a great job sorting them out and putting up his own recommendations. Free Ivy-League Lectures on the Economy Online has a list of 50 recommended Ivy League economic classes. (I have been partial [...]

  12. dss says:


    Thanks for the links. I had no idea that these lectures existed. I noticed that the Yale course has two lectures by Lawrence Summers.

    Learning from and Responding to Financial Crisis,
    Part I (Guest Lecture by Lawrence Summers)
    Part II.

    Those two will be interesting to say the least.

    The entire course by Shiller looks great and we finance geeks can never get enough economics.

  13. dsawy says:

    Why would anyone want to fill their heads with the same sort of mental afflictions that have costs people like Paulson, Summers, Bernanke, Cox, et al so much credibility for their complete lack of common sense?

    Let’s face facts: Anywhere you look in this melt-down, you can find a Ivy League graduate. And in many cases, graduates of their business schools (HBS especially). Look at what a Harvard MBA did to GM: ran it into the ground. A Harvard graduate made the SEC into a laughingstock.

    Another Harvard MBA ran the country into the ground. Yet another Ivy League graduate is busy digging the hole even deeper now.

    We could stand to have a lot fewer Ivy League graduates running the government, regulatory agencies and major companies in this country. Right about now, I’d say that what we need are some people who have actual, for-real, first-person business experience running the show. And we’d probably be better off if they came from land-grant universities, where they didn’t get sunshine and ego blown up their asses for four to six years.

  14. hr says:

    A $30k college education:
    The next bubble?