Amherst is a liberal arts college, committed to providing students with a broad education.
But while I loved all of these courses, there was an irresistible attraction of economics.
I grew up in a family in which political issues were often discussed, and debated intensely.
Economists often like startling theorems, results which seem to run counter to conventional wisdom.
I knew that discrimination existed, even though there were many individuals who were not prejudiced.
Amherst was pivotal in my broad intellectual development; MIT in my development as a professional economist.
I, like many members of my generation, was concerned with segregation and the repeated violation of civil rights.
The extra curricular activity in which I was most engaged - debating - helped shape my interests in public policy.
But individuals and firms spend an enormous amount of resources acquiring information, which affects their beliefs; and actions of others too affect their beliefs.
Much of my work in this period was concerned with exploring the logic of economic models, but also with attempting to reconcile the models with every day observation.