EH481      Half Unit
Economic Change in Global History: Approaches and Analysis

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Leigh Gardner SAR 507


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Global Economic History (Erasmus Mundus). This course is available on the CEMS Exchange and MBA Exchange. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Students at LSE following the MSc Global Economic History (Erasmus Mundus) for the second year of the two-year programme are not required to take this course.

Course content

The course provides an overview of the central themes and key theoretical questions in economic history and examines the ways in which economic historians collect, analyse and interpret evidence. Specific topics evolve to reflect recent research trends, but include a range of issues such as processes of economic development; culture and economic behaviour; the role of institutions; and welfare outcomes.  The course approaches these topics by considering problems of knowledge and explanation in economic history, and introduces quantitative and qualitative approaches to obtaining, analysing, and interpreting evidence.  Lectures pair conceptual and theoretical reviews with historical case studies illustrating applied research on these topics.


20 hours of lectures and 9 hours of seminars in the MT.

This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures (shared with EH401) totalling a minimum of 20 hours across Michaelmas Term. This year, some or all of this teaching will be delivered through a combination of virtual classes and flipped-lectures delivered as short online videos.

This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Michaelmas Term.


Formative coursework

Students are expected to write one essay or equivalent pieces of written work during the term.

Indicative reading

D. North, Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance (1990); A. Greif, Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy (2006); K. Pomeranz, The Great Divergence: China, Europe and the Making of the Modern World Economy (2000); R. Allen, The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective (2009); D Rodrik (Ed), In Search of Prosperity (2003); E. Helpman, The Mystery of Economic Growth (2004); T Rawski (Ed), Economics and the Historian (1996); J. Tosh, The Pursuit of History (2nd Edition, 1991); D. Little, Varieties of Social Explanation (1991).


Exam (90%, duration: 2 hours) in the January exam period.
Class participation (10%) in the MT.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Economic History

Total students 2019/20: 9

Average class size 2019/20: 2

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills