Seminar of Inequality

Dec 2010

I enjoyed Seminar in Inequality because Spilerman was straight forward. The course capsulizes how and why the rich get richer, while the rest of us accumulate less wealth and have a smaller income flow. The readings can be extensive, but are interesting if not somewhat dated. Statistics come from the Census Bureau and are therefore difficult to dispute, but not terribly hard to interpret. Salient points are discussed in class, and this is what you should focus on for tests. The mid term was not terribly difficult, as long as you showed up to class and took notes from the lecture. The other major portion of the class consisted on a term paper determined by students, and an oral presentation. It's best to start the paper right after the midterm, because it will creep up on you. If you do your paper regarding inequality in foreign country, Spilerman will be especially appreciative. Once you start digging for statistics and facts, you can correlate them with class readings and discussion. It is actually very interesting. Professor Spilerman is extremely knowledgeable, matter of fact, and to the point. Although he willingly takes questions, he leaves little room for interpretation. His style is dry, and can be off putting to some. He keeps regular office hours, and is pleased that some students showed up. Of note, there is hardly any math in this class. Do not be scared on the first day when Spilerman says you should have a statistical back ground. It's simple stats and curves, where you merely compare and contrast rather than formulate. I would recommend this class simply because it is very informative and practical. It's not that easy for some, but if you put in the effort you can get an A/B+.

May 2004

Nowhere near as bad as anyone says. Take notes and you'll get an A. Scanning the reading is enough though it is good reading.