EH432      Half Unit
Economic History and Geography: Advanced Topics and Methods

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Professor Joan R Roses (SAR 5.15)


This course is available on the MSc in Economic History, MSc in Economic History (Research), MSc in Financial History, MSc in Global Economic History (Erasmus Mundus) and MSc in Political Economy of Late Development. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


Students should have completed courses in intermediate level econometrics.

Knowledge of spatial econometric packages like GIS is not necessary. The course will not provide a comprehensive training in econometric methods or computer applications.

Course content

The course aims to introduce the student to topics at the frontier of Historical Economic Geography research of importance both at a theoretical and empirical level. Historical Economic Geography explores how and why the location of economic activities changes across time and space. To do so, it combines methodologies from several social sciences including Economic History, Economic Geography, Human Geography, Economics and Econometrics.

The focus is on acquiring the necessary skills to engage in advanced analysis of historical economic geography evidence and understand how History and Geography can shape economic development. The course consists of nine two-hours seminars on specialised topics in historical economic geography and one preparatory research workshop. This course contents change from year to year following the recent developments in the discipline.

The topics considered in this edition of the course are the following. 1) general problems of research with historical and spatial data; 2) the construction of historical-spatial data; 3) historical analysis of market integration: time-series and dynamic panels; 4) historical analysis of the spatial concentration of economic activities: measurement and determinants; 5) historical and spatial analysis of factor markets; 6) historical analysis of the local labour markets; 7) natural experiments in Historical Economic Geography: policies and shocks; 8) the evolution and measurement of regional inequality; 9) historical analysis of the urban space.


20 hours of computer workshops in the LT.

Formative coursework

Students will produce several short reviews of research papers and participate in the research workshop with an original project. The reviews' objective is to familiarize the students with the different methodologies and prepare them for their research projects. The research workshop will help them design the project and discuss its methodology. All formative coursework will receive written or oral feedback.

Indicative reading

  • Ahlfeldt, G. M., Redding, S. J., Sturm, D. M., and Wolf, N. 2015. “The economics of density: Evidence from the Berlin Wall,” Econometrica, vol. 83(6), 2127-2189.
  • Bertazzini, M. 2022. “The Long-term Impact of Italian Road Construction in the Horn of Africa, 1920-2000,” Journal of Economic Geography, vol. 22(1), pp. 181-214.
  • Rosés, J. R., & Wolf, N. 2021. “Regional growth and inequality in the long-run: Europe, 1900–2015,” Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 37(1), 17-48.
  • Gibbons, S., H.G Overman and E. Patacchini 2015. “Spatial Methods,” in Duranton, G, J.V. Henderson and W. Strange (eds) Handbook of Urban and Regional Economics, Vol 5a, Chapter 3, Elsevier
  • Baum-Snow, N. and F. Ferreira 2015. “Causal Inference in Urban Economics,” in Duranton, G, J.V. Henderson and W. Strange (eds) Handbook of Urban and Regional Economics, Vol 5a, Chapter 1, Elsevier.
  • Gibbons, S., and Overman, H. G. (2012). “Mostly pointless spatial econometrics?,” Journal of regional Science, vol. 52(2), 172-191.
  • Corrado, L., and Fingleton, B. 2012.. “Where is the economics in spatial econometrics?” Journal of Regional Science, vol. 52(2), 210-239.
  • Kelly, M. (2019). “The standard errors of persistence,” mimeo UCL.


Project (100%, 5000 words) in the ST.

Key facts

Department: Economic History

Total students 2021/22: Unavailable

Average class size 2021/22: Unavailable

Controlled access 2021/22: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

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