Department News 2023-24

Events, media, appointments, publications and more

Janet Hunter

The economic impact of natural disasters: Japan's Great Kantō Earthquake of 1923

Wednesday 22 May 2024, 6-7.30pm, Wolfson Theatre, Cheng Kin Ku Building

Professor Janet Hunter looks at contemporary explanations of the economic impact of Japan's greatest natural disaster of modern times, and how they foreshadow later scholarship.

More information about this event, including how to attend, are here: Japan's Great Kantō Earthquake of 1923


Professor Chris Minns made Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences 

Fellows are elected for their substantial contributions to social science. This is much more than economic history: fellows are active in a range of areas including land law reform, rural socio-economic change, ageing populations, urban development challenges and migration.   

On announcing the Fellows, the President of the Academy, Will Hutton, said: “At a time when the importance of the social sciences to addressing many pressing issues cannot be overstated, it’s a pleasure to welcome these 41 leading social scientists to the Academy’s Fellowship. Their contributions have furthered our understanding in tackling a wide range of societal challenges including mitigating health and economic inequalities, understanding the causes and effects of hate crime, the development of inclusive practices in education, and the future of cities. We look forward to working with them to further promote the vital role the social sciences play in all areas of our lives.” 

Congratulations to Chris for this well-deserved accolade.

oppenheimer scholarship

Goldman Sachs Gives (UK) - Oppenheimer MSc in Financial History Scholarship

We are very pleased announce that LSE is offering the Goldman Sachs Gives (UK) - Oppenheimer MSc in Financial History Scholarship for the academic year 2024/25.

More details, including eligibility and how to apply, can be found here: Goldman Sachs Gives (UK) - Oppenheimer MSc in Financial History Scholarship


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The Silver Empire: how Germany created its first common currency

Alumni Theatre, Cheng Kin Ku Building

Oliver Volckart will discuss his new book "The Silver Empire", in which he examines the conditions leading to the creation of Germany's first common currency.

Full details and how to attend this event can be found here: The Silver Empire


"Money in Renaissance Germany"

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 12 January-10 November 2024 

Professor Oliver Volckart has co-curated a fascinating display of coins exploring the creation in 1559 of a common currency throughout the Holy Roman Empire. Incidentally, this was the first European currency to consistently use Arab numerals to mark the coins' face values.

Find out more about this free display here: Money in Renaissance Germany


Epstein Lecture 2024: 217 million census records: evidence from linked census data

Speaker: James Feigenbaum, Boston University

Thursday 7 March, 6.30-8pm, Auditorium, Centre Building, and online

New historical census sources and advances in record linking technology, allow economic historians to become big data genealogists. In this lecture, James Feigenbaum will show how the ability to link individuals over time, and between databases, means that new avenues for research have opened up, thus allowing us to track intergenerational mobility, assimilation, discrimination and the returns to education.

No ticket or pre-registration is required for the in-person event, as entry is on a first come, first served basis. 

Registration for the online event will open after 10am, Thursday 15 February 2023.

You can find more information here: 217 million census records: evidence from linked census data

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Public Event: As Gods Among Men

Speaker: Guido Alfani, Bocconi University

In his latest book, which forms the basis of this lecture, Guido Alfani offers a history of the rich and the super-rich in the West, examining who they were, how they accumulated their wealth and what role they played in society. His account offers a novel perspective on current debates about wealth and income disparity.

For more information go to the event's page: As gods among men


Alumni Event: Any Happy Returns: Structural Changes and Super Cycles in Markets

Hosted by the Department of Economic History and the Economic History Advisory Board (EHAB)

Speaker: Peter C. Oppenheimer

Tuesday 30 January, 6.30-8.00pm, Thai Theatre, CKK Building

In his new book, which forms the basis of this event, Oppenheimer discusses how structural changes in macroeconomic drivers, geopolitics, government policy and social attitudes all combine to drive secular super cycles that help to explain investor returns. 

Peter C. Oppenheimer is chief global equity strategist and head of Macro Research in Europe within Global Investment Research at Goldman Sachs.

This is an in-person event for alumni and pre-registration is required. For more information and to register, go to the event's webpage: Any Happy Returns

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When Nations Can't Default: A History of War Reparations and Sovereign Debt

Simon Hinrichsen, University of Copenhagen) tells the history of war reparations and their consequences through the lense of history, political economy, and open economy macroeconomics. He argues that reparations are unlike other sovereign debt because repayment is enforced by military and political force, making it a senior liability of the state. His book analyses fifteen episodes of war reparations, looking at when reparations were paid and when not. 

Simon Hinrichsen recently graduated from LSE with a PhD from the Department of Economic History.

Find out more here about his book here:  When nations can't default



Research Showcase: Professor Neil Cummins 

The Last Will and Sentiment: what wills reveal about English social, economic and psychological history  

Tuesday 31 October, 11.00–11.30am
Shaw Library, 6th Floor, Old Building

For the past millennium, the ‘‘last Will and Testament’’ has guided the transmission of wealth at death in England. Millions of these handwritten documents exist, representing our best record of individual lives and the economic, family, social and religious influences which mattered most to people as they contemplated their death.

Professor Neil Cummins will draw on a new, large sample of wills to quantitatively reconstruct English economic, social and psychological history, documenting the behavioural roots of the modern world.

More information about the series and how to sign up: LSE Research Showcase . 

Research showcases are 30-minute coffee-break talks on campus, featuring fascinating research from the LSE academic community. The talks are open to LSE staff, students, alumni and prospective students. 

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Professor Nick Crafts (1949-2023)

The department is deeply saddened by the death of Professor Nick Crafts, former Convenor of the Department, and a great friend and colleague. He was generous with his time, and supportive of students and young scholars and, above all, very funny. 

Nick was, quite literally, a giant of his field and an inspiration to many. His work with Knick Harley, reinterpreting the British Industrial Revolution remains influential and much discussed. 

Nick joined the Department of Economic History at LSE in 1995 and stayed for 10 years before returning to Warwick, where he was the founding Director of CAGE.

A condolences page is available here for colleagues and friends wishing to leave a message: Professor Nick Crafts Condolences Page  


Dr Jason Lennard wins 2023 Figuerola Prize 

Jason is the 2023 winner of the “Figuerola Prize", which the Instituto Figuerola de Historia y Ciencias Socialies awards biannually for the best article published in the European Review of Economic History, journal of the European Historical Economic Society (EHES). 

The winning article is Sticky wages and the Great Depression: evidence from the United Kingdom (European Review of Economic History, 2023 issue2, vol 27, pp. 196-222)

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Dr Safya Morshed awarded 2023 Gino Luzzatto Prize

Safya is the 2023 winner of the Gino Luzzatto Prize, awarded at the EHES Society conference for the best PhD dissertation.

Safya won for her thesis, The Evolutionary Empire: Demystifying State Formation in Mughal South Asia (1556 1707), in which she studies the effects of conflicts on state formation in Mughal South Asia.  

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Leigh Gardner's Sovereignty without Power: Liberia in the age of empires, 1822-1980 receives prestigious award

Leigh Gardner, Professor of Economic HIstory, has won the Lindert-Williamson Prize at the 2023 Economic History Association conference, for her book Sovereignty without Power: Liberia in the age of empires, 1822-1980 

The prize is awarded biennially for the most outstanding book in global, African, Asian, Australian and/or South American History.

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Historical Economic Demography (HED) Group

HED is an interdisciplinary network of LSE researchers exploring changes in population, health, migration, living standards and social mobility over time, from the Middle Ages to the present and across all continents. The group is led jointly by Professor Eric Schneider and Professor Neil Cummins.

Find more about HED's members, research and events here: Historical Economic Demography 


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Public event: The economic government of the world, 1933-2023

Speaker: Professor Martin Daunton

Thursday 26 October, 6.30-8.00pm, Old Theatre, LSE and online

Economic historian Professor Martin Daunton will talk about this new book, The economic government of the world, 1933-2023. This pulls back the curtain on the institutions and individuals who have created and managed the economy over the last ninety years, revealing how and why one economic order breaks down and another is built.

This event is co-hosted by the Department of Economic History and the Economic HIstory Advisory Board.

For more information and details of how to register go to the event page: The economic government of the world, 1933-2023

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Slavery, capitalism and the Industrial Revolution

Maxine Berg, Pat Hudson, Nick Draper, Tirthankar Roy, Patrick Wallis

Tuesday 10 October 2023, 7-8.30pm,  PAN G.01 (Pankhurst House), LSE 

A round table discussion of themes raised in Maxine Berg and Pat Hudson’s Slavery, capitalism and the Industrial Revolution. Berg and Hudson ‘follow the money’, detailing the role of slavery in the making of Britain’s industrial revolution, and its development as a global superpower. 

For more information and details of how to register go to the event page: Slavery, capitalism and the Industrial Revolution


Public event: Trends and determinants of global child malnutrition: what can we learn from history?

Speaker: Professor Eric Schneider

Thursday 16 November 2023 6.30-8.00pm, Auditorium, Centre Building, LSE and online

In his inaugural lecture Eric Schneider will explore how child malnutrition, measured through child growth, has changed over the past 150 years around the world. Children with poor nutrition or who are exposed to high levels of chronic disease grow more slowly than healthy children. Thus, children’s growth is a sensitive metric of how population health has evolved over time.

For more information and details of how to register to to the event page: Trends and determinants of global child malnutrition

Professor Mary Morgan

Public event: How economics changes the world

Speaker: Professor Mary S. Morgan

Thursday 23 November 2023 6.30-8.00pm, Auditorium, Centre Building, LSE

Do economists’ ideas change the ways the economic world works? While the conventional view is that ideas create policy change and economic change follows on, it is just not that simple. We can see what is involved by looking at major changes, such as the reconstruction of post-war economies, post-colonial economic development planning, or switching from capitalist to socialist systems. Designing such new kinds of worlds required new ways of thinking about how the economic world could work involving imagination and cognitive work, and new kinds of economic measurements and accounting systems to deliver that change. Economic ideas are ‘performative’, meaning that they do change the ways economies work - but not on their own.

For more information and details of how to register to to the event page: How economics changes the world