2014-2015 Series on “Bound Labor”

The Working Group on Comparative Economics has so far explored the “Boundaries of the Firm” in various ways, examining the fluidity of the frontier between the firm and the market, the role of the family, and of the state in the definition of economic institutions. The Working Group's 2014 spring symposium offered the opportunity to broaden this perspective and to analyze institutions and organizations in an even more global way.

The 2014-2015 series will focus on "Bound Labor." Partcipants in the autumn symposium, "Consent, Contract and Bound Labor in a Comparative Perspective," confronted institutional solutions in three different economic contexts: Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the
Modern Period.


2014 autumn symposium

October 10, 2014
Classics Building, Room 21
Watch the symposium videos >>

Paul Freedman (Yale University), "European Slavery and Serfdom in the Middle Ages"
Julie Saville (The University of Chicago), “Modern Slavery, Modern Ideology” 
Walter Scheidel (Stanford University), “The (Ancient) ‘West’ and the Rest: Early Labor Regimes in Global Perspective”

2015 Winter Symposium

February 20, 2015
Regenstein Library, Room 122

Alain Bresson (University of Chicago, Classics), "Slavery in Ancient Greece: Path Dependence, Profit and Externalities"
Suresh Naidu (Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs), "The Law and Economics of Bound Labor"
Details >>

2015 Spring Symposium

May 8, 2015
Neubauer Collegium, Forum
2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Seth Richardson (University of Chicago),"Bound and Indeterminate: Measuring Labor and its Alternatives"
David Lewis (University of Edinburgh), "The Homeric Origins of Spartan Helotage"
Noel Lenski (Yale University), "Slaves and Serfs in Late Antiquity: The Late Antique Colonate and its Relationship to Chattel Slavery"
Details >>