History of Economic Theory

William R Allen

History of Economic Theory

Economics department

William R Allen

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from 10 users


Overall 2.0
Easiness of class 1.2
Workload 1.2
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 2.8
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 3.0


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Fall 2006

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

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Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Dec. 19, 2003 Grade Received: N/A

I didn't go to 3/4 of Allen's class cause my sleep is more important to me than Aristotle taught, and took the final for 100% of my grade. The dude is boring, but he isn't that hard. Just read old tests, memorize the old quotes, and watch out for the easy questions, because they usually have a tricky answer, and I didn't even read 1/2 of the book. I got a B in the class, but that was with little effort, so study a little bit, buy the lecture notes, and you'll get a B, maybe an A.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Dec. 4, 2003 Grade Received: N/A

This is NOT as hard as some people say... It's manageable to do well in this class. I think Prof. Allen does a good job,he has a good sense of humor and his lectures are NOT boring at all (I found the class material very interesting and lectures enjoyable).
Do not try to memorize quotes or other material... try to UNDERSTAND it. This is the class where you need to apply you creatical thinking and abstract association abilities...

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Jan. 12, 2003 Grade Received: N/A

This course was just plainly a stupid course. Honestly, if you hate econ or history, then try staying away from this course, cuz it combines history and econ! It's really stupid and boring, trust me. Not to mention that it's hella hard.
His lectures are dry. His sense of humor is whacked. He's a very eccentric man. Could be intimidating.
I can't even count the number of times I fell asleep in his class! Seriously.
If you can, try buying the lecture notes. They are helpful in that he covers a lot of that stuff in class. MEMORIZE ALL THE FRIGGING QUOTES in the lecture notes!
His tests are sooo hard and stupid. Hard in that you honestly have to frigging study the whole book, every reading that he assigned to you, plus to top it off, you have to frigging memorize gazillion quotes by dead economists,such as Smith, Marx, Ricardo, blah blah blah. It's beyond hard when trying to distinguish who said this or who said that. THe book is stupid because it's hella confusing. It's also hard because one economist said this and another agreed w/ him whereas another one contradicted both of the above and had his own theory. It's confusing, trust me. Literally, when studying for his exams, you seriously have no idea what to study though cuz there's just so much information.
I literally studied my butt off for his class. Tripped out like crazy. BUt hey, I pulled a B. Which is decent, but lots of people do bad in his class.
Good luck!!!

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted June 26, 2002 Grade Received: N/A

Allen is hilarious! I loved his lectures so much because he has a great sense of humor. His class isn\355t that hard. Even though I would have liked a better grade, it was worth it to have experienced this guy. I agree that he may have posted the review on the 28th; it definitely seems to be written in his style. However, I doubt he goes on the Internet that much, and it may have just been written by a student who was as impressed with this character as I was. If you listen to him, and stop trying to write down his every word, or highlighting copies of the lecture notes, you will have no trouble.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted March 29, 2002 Grade Received: N/A

Prof. Allen was an outstanding instructor, and I highly enjoyed his course on "dead economists" (Econ 107). I see that he has taken a lot of heat on this message board, and that's understandable, but, in my opinion, unjustified. Allen comes from a time when students cared about learning (rather than temporary memorization) and teachers had high expectations of their students. If you study as you should study in his class, then you'll be grateful that he didn't lower the bar. His exams are challenging, and you really have to know your stuff in order to do well. It is essential that you work through some of his practice exams, especially the true/false section. I'd also recommend buying the lecture notes and studying them (but only as a supplement).

Concerning the class logistics, I really had a good time. He's been doing this for years, so his lectures are very polished and clear. He also interjects a lot of funny jokes, both in lecture and "off-the-cuff" when you're speaking to him in person. He's very helpful in office hours, and he's not afraid to tell you when you are flat-out wrong (this is something that we students don't get enough of). Just remember that this isn't anything personal--he wants you to do well, and he understands that it's better to tell a student the truth and risk hurting his (possibly oversensitive) feelings than to tell him a lie and have him learn nothing. Also, be sure that you behave diplomatically when speaking to him personally. I have the impression that a lot of these accusations of his being mean are merely the result of students approaching him in an unprofessional manner.

Is Econ 107 boring? Well, I didn't think so, but that is really a matter of opinion. The fact is, no one is putting a gun to your head, so if you don't want to take it, don't take it. But I'm glad that I took 107 because it put the whole of economics in perspective. I also, much to my surprise, learned a lot about economics that I didn't learn in 1, 2, and 11.

I would definitely recommend Allen for 107, but just know what you are getting into. If your having doubts about him, just keep a positive attitude toward the class and his instruction. I find that always helps. And would I recommend him for Econ 1? I didn't have him for that class, but I wish I had. At the principles level, it's important to grasp the concepts of economics rather than learning how to move equations around (the math in economics doesn't really become meaningful until you learn and use calculus, anyway). And as far as his "conservative opinions" are concerned, or the charge that he teaches "Allen's view of economics," you shouldn't let these things bother you. The fact is, the "opinions" he presents in Econ 1 are not limited to him, but are standard fact in economics. You'll get the exact same thing from people like Prof. McDevitt (who is also a good instructor), although McDevitt will demonstrate them in the form of graphs whereas Allen will verbally explain these facts (or principles, more appropriately) of economics.

Anyway, kudos to Prof. Allen for a job well done!

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted March 22, 2002 Grade Received: N/A

I don't care what anyone says about this guy, I think he's HILARIOUS! It's not easy lecturing about the History of Economic Thought at 8am in the morning. The topic is dry and boring and 8am surely doesn't help things. However, Professor Allen manages to add so much humor and wit to every lecture it is amazing.

His tests are all T/F, multiple choice, and IDs. This can be a good or bad thing. You may be able to guess on everything on not do too badly. You also may know your stuff really well and still not do too well. But that's always a problem with non essay/mathematical tests.

You don't have to attend lecture to pass this class. He likes to recycle a lot of old questions from previous exams. You can read the book, review old tests (in reserves), and look at lecture notes and you'll do fine. I do recommend going to lecture though. He's just a funny guy.

Overall, it is boring material spiced up by the charisma and wit of Professor Allen. His tests can be frustrating at times though. The T/F questions can be very difficult...so much so that it may be better to guess than try to make an "educated guess."

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