Economic History at LSE

Economic History is a distinct discipline with an intellectual heritage and methodological approaches that differentiate it from research in economics and history. Economic historians study the success and failure of economic actors in the past. These actors include large-scale macro-level units such as national economies and large enterprises, as well as households and individuals at the micro-level.  Economic historians are committed to the collection and analysis of quantitative and qualitative primary source evidence.

For more than a century, LSE’s economic historians have conducted historical research with an explicit social science focus. Department members are interested in understanding economic development in all parts of the globe and across all time periods. Our research shows how the changes in scale and scope of economic activity in the past contribute to understanding the historical record of human societies. We complement research in other disciplines by providing answers to the question “how did we get here?” for fundamental issues such as poverty and economic inequality, demographic change, gender and childhood development, and the evolution of finance, industry, and institutions. 

The methodological approaches used by department members reflect developments in different areas of study, and complement other approaches to historical investigation, including political history, social history, military history, the history of science and technology, and the history of material culture.

For more details on our work, please visit our pages outlining