Monica Prasad on Monday, January 24th

The Social Theory & Evidence Workshop is pleased to announce our upcoming talk:

“The Credit/Welfare State Tradeoff: Toward A Demand-Side Theory of Comparative Political Economy”

Monica Prasad
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology
Northwestern University

Monday, January 24th
12 – 1:15 pm
Social Sciences Research Building, Room 401

Abstract: Until recently, the U.S. had stricter banking regulations than all European countries. This was one reason for the American deregulations of the 1990s. But when the U.S. attempted to imitate the looser regulations of Europe, the consequences were much worse than in Europe. Our theories of comparative political economy cannot explain either the heavier regulation in the supposedly liberal U.S., or the different consequences of deregulation in the U.S. To make sense of these phenomena I sketch a “demand side” theory of comparative political economy. I show that there is a tradeoff between reliance on credit and reliance on the welfare state across the industrial countries, that the divergence stems from political economic patterns laid down at the turn of the twentieth century, and that under deregulation less well developed welfare states see an explosion in household indebtedness, while more developed welfare states do not.

The paper is an excerpt from Prof. Prasad’s book manuscript The Land of Too Much: American Productivity and Comparative Political Economy. For a copy of the paper, please contact Maria Akchurin, Student Coordinator, at

Winter 2011 Workshop Schedule

The following is our schedule for the winter 2011 quarter:

January 10, 2011
Graduate Student Professionalization Seminar: Panel on Dissertation Proposals

January 24, 2011
Monica Prasad, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Northwestern University
“The Credit/Welfare State Tradeoff: A Demand-Side Theory of Comparative Political Economy”

January 31, 2011
Dustin Gourdin, PhD Student, Department of Sociology, University of Chicago
“A Bridge Too Far: How Government Funding Mitigates the Cost of Disasters”

February 7, 2011
Dingxin Zhao, Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Chicago

February 14, 2011
Zack Kertcher, Recent Sociology PhD from the University of Chicago and Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Notre Dame
“Cultural Holes and Adapters in Multifield Innovation Brokerage”

February 21, 2011
Abi Ocobock, PhD Student, Department of Sociology, University of Chicago

February 28, 2011
Scott Feld, Professor, Department of Sociology, Purdue University, University of Chicago

Workshops are held in Social Sciences Room 401, from 12 to 1 pm.  Please note that there will be no presentations during Weeks 1, 3, 7, and 10.

We look forward to seeing you at the workshop!