How history can contribute to better economic education

Coen Teulings 11 July 2014

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Historians tend to stress the particularities in history. Each event is unique, caused by a set of conditions that will never reproduce themselves again. In turn, each event causes new events, which therefore are equally unique and equally irreproducible. Hence, historians conduct painstaking research into the details of these conditions to understand the course of history.

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Topics:  Economic history Education

Tags:  geography, institutions, Agriculture, economic history, Industrial Revolution, urbanisation, agglomeration, history, new economic geography

What explains political institutions? Evidence from colonial British America

Elena Nikolova 17 August 2012

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Under what circumstances do democratic as opposed to authoritarian institutions emerge? Although a large literature has tackled this question (see Acemoglu et al. 2001, Acemoglu and Robinson 2012, Engerman and Sokoloff 2000), we still have an imperfect knowledge of how representative institutions originate and change. Political institutions are difficult to study not only because they are usually endogenous to other variables, such as inequality, culture, or geography, but also because institutional change is rare or may happen very gradually.

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Topics:  Labour markets Politics and economics

Tags:  US, democracy, institutions, economic history, colonisation

International trade and institutional change: Medieval Venice's response to globalisation

Diego Puga, Daniel Trefler,

Date Published

Sun, 08/05/2012

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Institutions and economics International trade

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Italy, economic history, gloablisation

How universities helped transform the medieval world

Davide Cantoni, Noam Yuchtman 21 May 2012

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How does a new form of knowledge enter the public sphere and what are the consequences for economic activity? Today, thousands of students are pursuing university degrees in biotechnologies and computer sciences in order to enter the high-tech labour force or to become entrepreneurs. Do the institutions that train them generate economic growth? What roles can governments play in establishing educational institutions and supporting investments in the new forms of human capital they produce?

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Topics:  Education Frontiers of economic research

Tags:  education, economic history, university, Middle Ages

Hatred transformed: How Germans changed their minds about Jews, 1890-2006

Hans-Joachim Voth, Nico Voigtländer 01 May 2012

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How and when do people change their minds? For example, watching a popular television series like AMC’s Mad Men seems to transport us straight to another planet. It shows the lives of advertising executives on Madison Avenue in the 1960s who spend their days drinking heavily (from 9am), chain-smoking, and fornicating. While not necessarily an accurate portrayal of corporate life in the middle of the 20th century, it reminds us how deeply cultures can be transformed in a relatively short space of time.

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Topics:  Frontiers of economic research

Tags:  economic history, Nazi Germany, Jews, WWII, genocide

Europe requires European bonds

Christophe Chamley 10 January 2012

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The ongoing Eurozone crisis has at least four dimensions:

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Topics:  EU policies Europe's nations and regions

Tags:  economic history, Eurozone crisis, political union, eurobonds

What really happened during the Glorious Revolution – and why it matters for current fiscal crises

Steven CA Pincus, James A Robinson 07 August 2011

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Debt crises and fiscal problems are nothing new. On 2 January 1672, King Charles II of England put a “stop on the exchequer,” suspending repayment of his debts for a year. Such events would have been more common for the Stuart kings if people had been prepared to lend them money in the first place. Few were. Prior to the stop, Charles had already been refused an “advance” from the bankers of Lombard Street. His father Charles I had resorted to “forced loans” when short of money.

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Topics:  Global crisis Politics and economics

Tags:  economic history, England, Eurozone crisis, Glorious Revolution

The “Out of Africa” hypothesis, human genetic diversity, and comparative economic development

Quamrul Ashraf, Oded Galor 01 August 2011

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Existing theories of comparative development seek to explain the vast inequality in living standards around the world. The importance of geographical, cultural and institutional factors, human capital formation, ethnic, linguistic, and religious fractionalisation, colonialism and globalisation have all been at the centre of a debate regarding the origins of the differential timing of transitions from stagnation to growth and the remarkable transformation of the world income distribution in the last two centuries.

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Topics:  Development Economic history Frontiers of economic research Productivity and Innovation

Tags:  Africa, economic development, economic history, genetic diversity

From lender of last resort to global currency? Sterling lessons for the US dollar

Marc Flandreau, Stefano Ugolini 23 July 2011

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Financial crises are bad news for the status of the currency in which the turmoil is denominated, right?

So the US-made financial crisis must be bad for the dollar, right?

And especially so because of the expansive dollar monetary policy that has ensued, right?

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Topics:  Economic history Global crisis International finance

Tags:  reserve currency, economic history, Bank of England, US dollar, exchange-rate policy

Opening Pandora’s box: A new look at the industrial revolution

Tony Wrigley 22 July 2011

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The most fundamental defining feature of the industrial revolution was that it made possible exponential economic growth – growth at a speed that implied the doubling of output every half-century or less. This in turn radically transformed living standards. Each generation came to have a confident expectation that they would be substantially better off than their parents or grandparents.

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Topics:  Development Energy Environment Frontiers of economic research

Tags:  economic history, Industrial Revolution, fossil fuels, England, Ricardo, Smith

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