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  • Print publication year: 2014
  • Online publication date: June 2014

21 - Learning from the Field

Summary

Let me first extend my thanks to Michael Szenberg and his colleagues for inviting me to contribute a chapter to this distinguished volume. It has given me an opportunity to rethink some of the foundations of my own work.

While many of the economists who have contributed to this volume began their academic journeys in high school or college, mine did not begin until I was a graduate student at UCLA in the early 1960s. As a poor kid born in the Depression (1933), my early years were focused primarily on survival. We were fortunate to have a relatively large backyard in our home in Los Angeles, where we had a variety of fruit trees and room to plant a vegetable garden. As a kid, I learned how to garden and also how to preserve fruits by standing over a hot stove to can them. Now I must confess that the long, hot August days that I spent canning peaches and apricots are not my favorite memories of my childhood, but I certainly learned a lot about the household economics of a poor family – long before I studied these problems in developing countries.

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