So far at Rhodes I have taught introductory economics, intermediate microeconomics, and senior seminar. Next year (2013-14) I will teach our history of economic thought course, which is part of the political economy curriculum.
My research in economic history examines institutions for accumulating and transmitting human capital through time. These institutions typically must deal with problems of individual incentives that do not quite line up with efficient provision of collective goods. And yet, people often do discover ways to come close to efficient provision.
My first book, Origins of American Health Insurance (Yale University Press, 2007) showed that early sickness insurance funds covered a large minority of the American working class, despite problems of moral hazard and adverse selection among their members, and despite the intense disdain in which Progressive activists held them.
My next book, The Charleston Orphan House (University of Chicago Press, 2013) is a history of poor white families in antebellum Charleston, their methods for getting by, and their interactions with the Orphan House.
Among other current research projects, Werner Troesken (U of Pittsburgh) and I will have an article on post-Reconstruction African American family economies in Journal of Interdisciplinary History. To write this article we relied on an 1897 Bulletin of the Department of Labor titled "The Condition of the Negro in Various Cities."
I am also working on studies of the effectiveness of 1970s phosphate bans in the Lake Erie watershed (with Isabelle Nilsson, Toledo), accidents in late 19c European coal mining (with Javier Silvestre, Zaragoza), revisiting Charles Beard on Rhode Island’s constitutional ratification vote (with Ruth Herndon, Bowling Green), foundlings in 19c France (with Kate Lynch, Carnegie Mellon) and, by myself, selection biases in mid 20c maternity insurance and a sequel to my first book on health insurance history.
I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, where I learned to applaud batters who hit to the right side with a runner on second and less than two out. Neither of my parents went to college, so if you are a first generation college student and find this brave new world hard to read, please come in and let’s talk about it. My family enjoys bicycling and slackpacking throughout the region, from Village Creek State Park, Arkansas to Sipsey Wilderness, Alabama. My daughters love music and we have found that there is way more classical music happening in Memphis than we can keep up with.
Professor Murray′s Curriculum Vitae
B.A., Oberlin College
M.S., University of Cincinnati
M.A., Ph.D., The Ohio State University
ECON 100 - Introduction to Economics
ECON 201 - Intermediate Microeconomic Theory
ECON 486 - Senior Seminar in Economics
Children Bound to Labor: The Pauper Apprentice System in Early America. Co-edited with Ruth Wallis Herndon. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2009.
Asymmetric information and countermeasures in early 20th century American short-term disability microinsurance. Journal of Risk and Insurance 78 (2011).
Chinese-Filipino wage differentials in early twentieth century Manila. Journal of Economic History 62 (2002).
Marital protection and marital selection: Evidence from a historical-prospective sample of American men. Demography 37 (2000).
Heights of men and women in 19th century Bavaria: Economic, nutritional, and disease influences. With Jörg Baten. Explorations in Economic History 37 (2000).
Child labor and social class in the American South. In Peggy G. Hargis, Larry J. Griffin, and James G. Thomas, Jr., editors, New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, volume 21: Social Class. University of North Carolina Press, 2012.
Health. In Joel Mokyr, editor, Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History. Oxford University Press, 2003.