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Lance E. Davis Oral History Interview with Shirley K. Cohen

 Digital Record
Identifier: 2016-02-17-000058


  • Other: 2016 February 17


An interview in October 1998 with economic historian Lance Edwin Davis, Harkness Professor of Social Science in the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences. Dr. Davis received a BA in economics from the University of Washington in 1950 and his PhD from Johns Hopkins University in 1956. He joined the economics faculty of Purdue in 1955 and came to Caltech in 1968 as a professor of economics in 1968. He became Harkness Professor in 1980 and Harkness Professor emeritus in 2005.

In this interview, he recalls his undergraduate education and his naval service at the end of World War II and during the Korean War; graduate school at Johns Hopkins; and the excellence of the Purdue economics faculty. He comments on the state of the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences when he arrived. Recollections of colleagues: Alan Sweezy, Robert W. Oliver, Roger Noll. He describes the growth of Caltech’s social sciences program; contributions of James Woodward, David Grether, Colin Camerer, John Ledyard. Discusses his own work on the long-term growth of financial institutions; discusses the books he wrote in collaboration with Robert Huttenback, Robert Gallman, Douglass C. North, and Peter L. Payne.

The interview concludes with his views on the presidencies of Harold Brown and Marvin L. (Murph) Goldberger; on the Baxter Art Gallery; and on the state of the humanities at Caltech.

Repository Details

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