Seminar für Wirtschaftsgeschichte

Economic History plays an important role in the training of economists: Milton Friedman's classic treatise on money, as well as Simon Kuznets's path-breaking work on economic development, for example, were, to a considerable degree, based on historical analysis. We analyse the dynamic processes of development over time by formulating explicit formal models and econometric methods. We test hypothesis formally in order to enhance our understanding of such major determinants of the way we live today as the industrial revolution, industrialization and the information revolution. We use historical (often archival) data to test the extent to which economic theory can be validated or improved upon in a wide array of ways, spawning totally new perspectives, such as counterfactual history. The granting of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Economics to two economic historians Douglass North and Robert Fogel is a clear recognition of our unique scientific contribution to the discipline.