The Market for Ideas Reading Groups

Market for Ideas Reading GroupsThe Market for Ideas Reading Groups provide a forum for students to engage with key texts in economics and related disciplines with a cohort of their peers under the guidance of a Bagwell Center affiliated faculty member. Each reading group will meet for a total of three hours per semester to discuss readings assigned by the faculty member. Student participants will receive the assigned reading materials, plus a $200 honorarium for each reading group completed (each individual student can potentially participate in up to three reading groups).

Application deadline for the Spring 2019 semester is December 3, 2018.


  • Remain enrolled as a student in good standing at Kennesaw State University throughout participation in the Market for Ideas Reading Group.
  • Attend and actively participate in the scheduled program.
  • Arrive on time and prepared for each meeting, having carefully read any assigned readings in advance.
  • Participants are also encouraged to attend Bagwell Center events and to build relationships with other participants and Bagwell Center faculty.
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Spring 2019 Offerings 

  • Title: The Myth of the Robber Barons: A New Look at the Rise of Big Business in America  
    Author: Burt Folsom
    Description: this book tells the stories of heroic entrepreneurs who built America and changed the world: Cornelius Vanderbilt, the namesake of Vanderbilt University who transformed the steamship industry; John D. Rockefeller, the son of struggling parents who founded Standard Oil and provided an affordable source of energy for many millions of people; Andrew Mellon, an oil and aluminum entrepreneur who persuaded Congress to cut taxes and allow Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money; and others.
    Faculty leader: Prof. Burt Folsom
  • Title: Thinking Strategically: The Competitive Edge in Business, Politics, and Everyday Life 
    Authors: Avinash K. Dixit and Barry J. Nalebuff
    Description: Thinking Strategically is a crash course in outmaneuvering any rival. This entertaining guide builds on scores of case studies taken from business, sports, the movies, politics, and gambling. It outlines the basics of good strategy making and then shows how you can apply them in any area of your life.
    Faculty leader: Prof. James Boudreau

  • Title: New Deal or Raw Deal?: How FDR’s Economic Legacy Has Damaged America 
    Author: Burt Folsom
    Description: In this shocking and groundbreaking new book, economic historian Burton W. Folsom exposes the idyllic legend of Franklin D. Roosevelt as a myth of epic proportions. With questionable moral character and a vendetta against the business elite, Roosevelt created New Deal programs marked by inconsistent planning, wasteful spending, and opportunity for political gain -- ultimately elevating public opinion of his administration but falling flat in achieving the economic revitalization that America so desperately needed from the Great Depression. Folsom takes a critical, revisionist look at Roosevelt's presidency, his economic policies, and his personal life.
    Faculty leader: Prof. Burt Folsom

  • Title: The Tyranny of Metrics
    Author: Jerry Z. Muller
    Description: Today, organizations of all kinds are ruled by the belief that the path to success is quantifying human performance, publicizing the results, and dividing up the rewards based on the numbers. But in our zeal to instill the evaluation process with scientific rigor, we've gone from measuring performance to fixating on measuring itself. The result is a tyranny of metrics that threatens the quality of our lives and most important institutions. In this timely and powerful book, Jerry Muller uncovers the damage our obsession with metrics is causing--and shows how we can begin to fix the problem.
    Faculty leader: Prof. Alex Maslov
  • Title: Who Gets What – And Why: The New Economics of Matchmaking and Market Design
    Author: Alvin E. Roth
    Description: Most of the study of economics deals with commodity markets, where the price of a good connects sellers and buyers. But what about other kinds of “goods,” like a spot in the Yale freshman class or a position at Google? If you’ve ever sought a job or hired someone, applied to college or guided your child into a good kindergarten, asked someone out on a date or been asked out, you’ve participated in a kind of market. This is the territory of matching markets, where “sellers” and “buyers” must choose each other, and price isn’t the only factor determining who gets what. In Who Gets What—and Why, Nobel laureate Alvin E. Roth reveals the matching markets hidden around us and shows us how to recognize a good match and make smarter, more confident decisions.
    Faculty leader: Prof. Timothy Mathews