Course Descriptions

HS 354A — Capitalism and the Welfare State

Addresses the tensions between markets and social justice. Capitalism awards income and wealth according to success in the marketplace. The welfare state provides income and services according to need. The legitimacy of capitalism and its gross inequalities is based on the premise that markets are efficient--but they often are inefficient as well as unjust. And the political power of capital often blocks policies that might allow the economy and society to become both more efficient and more just. Students often feel underprepared in their knowledge of formal economics, both orthodox and dissenting--and the connection of economics to the social policy topics we study at the Heller School. This course will help students fill in some of those gaps, as well as applying this knowledge to policy challenges.​ Usually offered every year.
Robert Kuttner