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Confi-Guide Too Soft on Ec

MAIL

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

To the Editors of The Crimson:

As head tutor of the Economics Department, I was deeply distressed by the coverage of the department contained in the 1990-91 edition of the Confidential Guide: Courses at Harvard-Radcliffe.

The review of Social Analysis 10 was tame, favorable except for passing criticisms of Marty Feldstein's politics, of the pace of the course, and of the lack of coordination among the Eastern Europe lecturers (a nicely done box, by the way). The write-up on the department as a whole is without meat, making only a few points of which only two are critical--that Economics 1125 has not worked in the past and that the department allows you to take larger and/or easier courses and does not force you to take the smaller and more difficult ones.

Then come the course reviews. Jeff Wolcowitz is great teaching 1010a. Greg Mankiw is great teaching 1010b/1011b. Jim Medoff is great teaching 1125. Larry Summers is great teaching 1410. Doug Elmendorf and Marty Feldstein are great teaching 1420. Richard Caves is more than great teaching 1600. And that is it. No more courses reviewed. Nothing more critical said.

From my perspective, this is deeply disturbing. One of the functions of the head tutor is to quote selected juicy passages from the current Confidential Guide at appropriate ate moments, and then to ask the rhetorical question: "We don't want to read this again next year, do we?" This year there are no such passages for me to quote, and this deprives me of one of my more important bureaucratic weapons.

Please do not let this happen again. J. Bradford De Long   Assistant Professor and Head Tutor   Economics Department

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