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John D. Rockefeller, 1888


4th Mini, 2000
Graduate School of Industrial Administration
Carnegie-Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA, 15213

Instructor: Keith T. Poole

Office: 231F GSIA (new bldg)
E-Mail: kpoole@ucsd.edu
WebSite: K7MOA Home Page
Classroom: Cooper Auditorium
Time: 6:30PM - 9:30PM Tu

The following texts will be used in this course:

The Myth of the Robber Barons, by Burton W. Folsom, Jr.
The Rise of the Western World, By Douglass North and Robert Paul Thomas
The readings listed in the assignments are in the course packet.


One term paper is required. The topic must be approved by the instructor and it must be related to business issues raised by the course readings and lectures. The paper must be properly footnoted and references provided. An example from last year is included in the course packet.

Course Outline

  1. Private Property Rights and the Necessity of the Entrepreneur
    1. The Rise of the Western World
    2. Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, pp. 63-142.

  2. Political Entrepreneurs versus Market Entrepreneurs
    1. The Myth of the Robber Barons, Chapters 1 and 2: Cornelius Vanderbilt
      and James J. Hill

  3. Hard Work, Efficiency, and Vision: John D. Rockefeller and The Standard Oil
    1. The Myth of the Robber Barons, Chapter 5: John D. Rockefeller

  4. Creative Destruction: Andrew Carnegie and the Rise of Steel
    1. Myth of the Robber Barons, Chapter 4: Charles Schwab
    2. "Hard Driving and Efficiency: Iron Production in 1890." Journal of Economic History, 38, Dec. 1978.

  5. Path Dependence: Does the Best Technology Always Win?
    1. "Understanding the Economics of QWERTY: The Necessity of History." by Paul David, In William Parker, ed., Economic History and the Modern Economist
    2. Liebowitz, Stan J. and Stephen E. Margolis (1990). "The Fable of the Keys." Journal of Law and Economics, 32.
    3. "Corporate Culture and Marketing in the American Railway Locomotive Industry," by Albert Churella, Business History Review, 69, Summer 1995, pp.191-229.
    4. Gates, Chapters 12 and 13.
    5. "The Day Bill Gates Overthrew Big Blue," by Paul Carroll, Wall Street Journal, 16 August 1993.

  6. How and Why Inventive Activity Goes Where the Money Is
    1. "Changes in Industry and the State of Knowledge as Determinants of Industrial Invention," by Jacob Schmookler. In The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity.

  7. The Emergence of Modern Financial Markets
    1. The Myth of the Robber Barons, Chapter 6: Andrew Mellon
    2. The Life and Legend of Jay Gould, by Maury Klein, Chapters 8-10.
    3. The Morgans: Private International Bankers, by Vincent P. Carosso, Chapter 9.

  8. Modern Entrepreneurs and the Lessons of History

    1. William H. Gates, Andrew Carnegie, and John D. Rockefeller

    2. Michael Milken, J. P. Morgan, and Jay Gould