Northwestern Events Calendar


Economic History Lunch Seminar

When: Friday, October 7, 2022
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM CT

Where: Kellogg Global Hub, 3301, 2211 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Mariya Acherkan  

Group: Department of Economics: Economic History Lunch Seminar

Category: Academic


Julius Koschnik (London School of Economics): Breaking Tradition: Teacher-Student Effects at English Universities during the Scientific Revolution



Abstract: While teacher-student effects in conveying a fixed curriculum have been widely studied, the effect of teachers on the direction of research at the knowledge frontier has received less attention. This paper studies the teacher effect on students’ future research at the time of the English Scientific Revolution. It introduces a novel dataset on the universe of all 111,242 students at English universities in the seventeenth and early eighteenth century and matches them to their publications. Through topic modeling, the paper is able to quantify personal interest in different research topics. To derive causal estimates, the paper exploits a natural experiment based on the expulsion of fellows following the English Civil War. The paper finds that teachers strongly influenced the direction of research of their students, both for traditional topics and topics associated with the Scientific Revolution. Thus, it identifies an important channel for the intergenerational transmission of the ideas of the Scientific Revolution.

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