Professor of the History of Economics
Department of Economic History
I have taught in the Department for many years, and even did my first degree here. Just now I am beginning a new project to make sense of the way different social scientists, including historians, do case study research, and have been lucky enough to gain a British Academy Wolfson Professorship to fund my investigations.
The Department of Economic History is a very friendly and easy department to work in - a style that we transmit to our student body. We are small enough for collegial relations between faculty, department staff and our students, and big enough to offer a range of courses to suit many interests, with the distinctive quality that we study history from a social science perspective. Nearly all our master's courses are comparative and international in scope, asking questions such as: Why did the USA become rich and Africa remain poor over the 20th century? How is the Great Crash of 1929 different from our current financial crisis? Why did the Industrial Revolution occur in Europe in the 19th century when it seems to have started earlier in India and China?
Our students come from all over the world, bringing their own national historical experiences to bear on these classic questions, to rethink their assumptions, re-evaluate the evidence and tussle with the problems of figuring out how the economic world works. Our students get good jobs, for we teach them not to take easy explanations for granted but to marshal evidence from many sources in support of their analysis and thus to make arguments that really do get to the heart of complex economic historical matters.