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The Economic History Podcast


The Economic History podcast is a platform for sharing knowledge, ideas and new research with a general interest audience. Each fortnight, we meet leading academics in the field and discuss a range of topics, including pandemics, long run economic growth, gender issues, financial crises,Read more

Popular episodes

The Long Economic Shadow of World War II in Europe

Oct 1 • 59:35

In this episode, we chat with Prof. Tamás Vonyó about the long run variation in the impact of World War II across a range of European economies. We begin with discussing the comparative wartime destruction across regions (using Tamás' "5 D's") and then move on to contrast the growth experiences of Western Europe and Eastern Europe with these initial starting points in mind...

The Great Enrichment

Sep 16 • 50:09

Prof. Deirdre McCloskey has written prolifically on a wide range of topics. In this episode, she discusses her trilogy of books which attempt to explain what she coined 'The Great Enrichment' since the nineteenth century. We discuss the use of language in economics, the potentially overstated role of physical capital, how liberalism spawned innovation and fostered ideas, a...

Economic Experiments in Extremism

Sep 1 • 45:04

Today, we meet Professor Hans-Joachim Voth to discuss some of his work on the economic forces around religious and political epochs characterised by extremism. We begin by reviewing the long term economic effects of the Spanish Inquisition and consider the historical  roots of anti-semitism  in explaining Nazi support centuries later. Finally, we look at how "social capita...

Lessons from the Great Depression

Jun 29 • 21:26

Professor Peter Temin's 'Lessons from the Great Depression' remains a standard classic three decades since its publication. In today's episode, Peter talks about the Great Depression's lessons for today's policy makers and the use of fiscal policy with and without a gold standard. We also consider how the existing theories available to each generation influence their polic...

The Corporation through Time: Theory, Mergers and the issues of Bigness

Jun 16 • 43:57

This week, we hear from Prof. Naomi Lamoreaux on her work on the evolution of the corporation through time. We start with trying to define what a firm is, cover the motivations behind and the consequences of mergers. We look to a past example of a giant corporation and put it in the context of the present. Is "bigness" of some firms a problem and if so, how might we attemp...

Creativity, Well-being and the Influence of Composers since 1450

Jun 1 • 36:47

This week, Prof. Karol Jan Borowiecki discusses his research on composers' creativity and consider some of the factors that influence the process: emotions, geography and instruction. We review some of the most innovative ways that Karol's work in economic history measures emotions, creative output and the transmission of ideas and consider the relevance of these to our un...

Bretton Woods 50 Years On

May 19 • 34:14

Today, we meet Prof. Eric Monnet of the Paris School of Economics and discuss the monetary system that emerged after World War II- Bretton Woods. After covering how it theoretically operated, Eric takes us through the details of how it functioned in reality. We look at the nostalgia for gold amongst some central bankers, the co-operation that distinguished the BW system fr...

The Maddison Project and Counting the Consequences of Colonialism in Africa

May 5 • 40:44

In this episode, we meet Prof. Jutta Bolt to discuss the collaborative effort of the Maddison project, which standardizes  international income statistics to compare living standards over time and space. We look at some of Jutta’s research on the relationship between slavery and economic growth, as well as discussing how pre-colonial institutions influenced colonial instit...

BONUS: The Industrial Revolution: History, Causes and Consequences

Apr 21 • 01:08:12

Professor Nicholas Crafts discusses some important developments in our interpretations of the Industrial Revolution over recent decades. We discuss how Nick's work, along with that of others, has led to a more sober interpretation of the productivity performance of the British economy during the first Industrial Revolution.  Some of the most prominent theories of the  root...

Africa in the World Economy: Growth, Shrinking and Debt

Apr 6 • 33:37

In this episode, we meet Dr. Leigh Gardner to consider the experience of a number of former British colonies in Africa. We review the literature and Leigh's work on the cost of financing and operating former colonies and compare their debt and borrowing experiences  with other regions. We also discuss her recent work on constructing national accounts for eight African econ...

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