The Center for Economic Policy, led by Dr. Thomas Coleman from Harris School of Public Policy, is hosting a quarterly series of lectures about the people and ideas that have animated economics at Chicago and in the world more widely.

History of Chicago Economics 

Past Lectures

Nov 17, 2021

Professor Coleman's Autumn 2021 History of Chicago Economics talk on "Universal Basic Income".

May 21, 2021

Professor Coleman's Spring 2021 History of Chicago Economics talk on "Money, Inflation, and the Phillips Curve". 

Feb 4, 2021

"Milton Friedman and The Social Responsibility of Business" with Thomas Coleman, Steven Durlauf, Allen Sanderson 

Access: Friedman's original essay in the NY Times; Chicago Booth Review essay (and resources); Coleman’s BFI blog entry; Sanderson’s essay on corporate structure in Chicago Life 

May 14th, 2020

Our spring 2020 lecture revisited Milton Friedman's Monetary History and discussed how historical financial crises can inform our understanding of the financial turmoil resulting from the current pandemic. We met on Zoom and you can find the Zoom recording here and the slides here.

November 22nd, 2019

Our autumn 2019 lecture provided an overview of economics at Chicago, and discussed the idea of "Universal Basic Income". (Click here for slides)

April 26th, 2019

Price Theory (Sanderson) and Gary Becker & Human Capital (Coleman)

See "Gary Becker and the Origins of Human Capital" for Thomas Coleman's presentation on the origins of Human Capital theory. (Click here for more detailed notes.)

February 14, 2019

Price Theory (Sanderson) and Milton Friedman's Monetary History (Coleman)

"How Friedman & Schwartz Saved the World in 2008" is Thomas Coleman's presentation the origins of human capital and the important role it plays in economics and policy.


"Milton Friedman, Anna Schwartz, and A Monetary History of the US" (Coleman) is a short discussion of monetary history as it unfolded in three US banking crises: 1907-08, the 1930s, and 2008

"The Natural Rate of Unemployment" (Coleman) discusses Milton Friedman's ideas around the natural rate of unemployment: the fact that there is no inflation - unemployment trade-off

"Permanent Income" (Coleman) discusses Milton Friedman's book Theory of the Consumption Function and ideas around the permanent income hypothesis and the marginal propensity to consume.

"Human Capital" (Coleman) discusses some of the history and concepts of human capital, and particularly Gary Becker's contributions.