Plague and long-term development

The lasting effects of the 1629-30 epidemic on the Italian cities Guido Alfani isassociate professor atBocconi University After many years of relative neglect, plague has recently started to recover a long-lost popularity among economic historians. In particular, the Black Death pandemic of the fourteenth century has been singled out as a possible factor favouring Europe over […]

Accounting for the ‘Little Divergence’

This blog post was written by AlexandraM. de Pleijt, post doc at Utrecht University What drove economic growth in pre-industrial Europe, 1300-1800?  The Industrial Revolution is arguably the most important break in global economic history, separating a world of at best very modest improvements in real incomes from the period of ‘modern economic growth’. Thanks to […]

Long Run Growth in Spain: Evidence from Historical National Accounts

Leandro Prados de la Escosura (Universidad Carlos III, CEPR, Groningen, and CAGE) Can we rely on historical estimates of GDP to assess output and material welfare in the long run?  In the early days of modern economic quantification, Kuznets (1952: 16-17), noticed the “tendency to shrink from long-term estimates” on the grounds of “the increasing inadequacy […]

The mining sectors in Chile and Norway, ca. 1870-1940: the development of a knowledge gap

Kristin Ranestad is a post-doc atUniversity of Olso New EHES working paper Chile and Norway are two ‘natural resource intensive economies’, which have had different development trajectories, yet are closely similar in industrial structure and geophysical conditions.  The questions of how and why Chile and Norway have developed so differently are explored through an in-depth […]

Danger to the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street?

Patrick O’Brien  is Professor Emeritus,London School of Economics NEW EHES Working paper  The Bank Restriction Act of 1797 suspended the convertibility of the Bank ofEngland’s notes into gold. The current historical consensus is that the suspension was a result of the state’s need to finance the war, France’s remonetization, a loss of confidence in the […]

You Reap What You Know: Observability of Soil Quality, and Political Fragmentation

Thilo Hunig is  PhD student atHumboldt University, Berlin New EHES working paper Geographic conditions limited medieval rulers in their attempts to extract their peasants’ agricultural product. Soil quality determines agricultural output, and a high spatial variation of the quality makes it hard to observe what peasants could potentially harvest. If observability is bad, peasants can […]

Sound for Seniors Workshop, August 23-24 in Gothenburg

Group photo, participants of the workshop This new series of workshops builds upon the concept of the Sound Economic History Workshop, which is aimed at PhD students and post-docs, primarily from the Scandinavian countries, but instead, it targets researcher who may no longer claim for themselves the label “young”. It held its first event September […]

Remembering Gunnar

By: Cormac Ó Gráda, Dublin Karl Gunnar Persson 19 March 1943 – 14 September 2016 In last his email to me Gunnar Persson was full of the joys of life, looking forward to his trip to Buriano (where he died suddenly a few days later) and explaining how his sons had discovered a way of […]

A great scholar and friend has passed away

By: Paul Sharp I always used to joke that I wanted to be like Gunnar when I grew up. What did I mean by that? Certainly I could never hope to be half the scholar he was. No, what I admired most about Gunnar, and the most important thing which my former supervisor and dear […]