During my recent archival visit to Harvard, I was able to copy a magnificent trove of final examinations in economics (up through 1949…there is much more going forward, but I had to move on). Now I begin the curatorial work of pairing some of those examinations to course materials I have posted earlier and where the exam questions were missing.
Today I am adding a transcription of Paul Sweezy’s final examination for his 1939-40, second semester course “Economics of Socialism”. —Irwin Collier
(Reading Period—One Hour)
- Write a critical appraisal of EITHER Pigou’s Socialism versus Capitalism OR Lange’s On the Economic Theory of Socialism.
(Answer all three—One Hour and a Half)
- Explain the Marxian theory of value and surplus value. What is your own opinion of its usefulness?
- Discuss briefly each of the following: (a) fetishism of commodities; (b) industrial reserve army; (c) law of the falling tendency of the rate of profit.
- “It has been shown time and again that an empire, so far from being a source of riches to the mother country, is a distinct economic liability. In view of this, it is difficult to see how any one can continue to uphold the Marx-Lenin theory of imperialism.” Do you agree? Why or why not?
(One Half Hour)
- Discuss EITHER (a) OR (b)
(a) The meaning and significance of costs in a socialist economy
(b) The distribution of income in a socialist economy
Source: Harvard University Archives. Harvard University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Papers Printed for Final Examinations, History, History of Religions, … ,Economics, … , Military Science, Naval Science. June, 1940. (HUC 7000.28) Box 5 of 284.