ACRE Reading Group

Spring 2019:

The Economics of Knowledge: How an Economic Way of Thinking Can Help You Understand Markets, Governments, and Why Your College Tuition is So High

January 28 – April 8

Monday nights, 5 – 7 p.m.

The Economics of Knowledge Reading Group will explore questions about how markets help individuals discover and evaluate knowledge. Some topics include:

Why do college graduates make so much more money than non-college graduates?
Which public policies should be determined by experts and which should be determined by voters?
How should leaders make decisions when information is unclear or complicated?

Students will read essays and book excerpts by scholars such as F.A. Hayek, Joseph Stiglitz, Bryan Caplan, and Cass Sunstein. They will meet once a week over dinner to discuss these works with other UCA students. In February students will attend a summit in Dallas on Southern Methodist University’s campus where they will meet with other students from Baylor, Texas Tech, and SMU, who have been reading the same works. Program author Bryan Caplan will also speak at the summit and students will have the opportunity to ask him questions about his work.

The summit in Dallas is mandatory, and travel, lodging, and food will be provided. The date of the summit is February 22-23.

The Birth and Evolution of Democracy

January 29 – March 26

Tuesday nights, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Students in this reading group will learn about the origins and evolution of democracy by reading and discussing a wealth of primary source documents as well as contemporary secondary articles to help explain what democracy is and has been, how democracy works, and what arguments have been made for and against democracy throughout history.

The history reading group will also spend a weekend on UCA’s campus playing a Reacting to the Past game on “The Threshold of Democracy.” During this weekend, they will be assigned a character who participated in the restoration of the Athenian government in 403 BCE. Will Athens retain a political system where all decisions are made by an Assembly of citizens? Will leaders continue to be chosen by random lottery? By examining democracy at its threshold, students will gain a richer perspective on modern democracies and republics.

For each reading group, sessions are weekly. Dinner is provided each night. A $500 scholarship will be awarded upon completion of the reading group.

Deadline to apply is January 18, 2019.

Want to check out our past reading group topics? Click here!