What is economic history?

Economic history is the study of how economic phenomena evolved in the past.

Analysis in economic history is undertaken using a combination of historical methods, statistical methods and by applying economic theory to historical situations. The topic includes business history and overlaps with areas of social history such as demographic history and labour history. Quantitative economic history is also referred to as Cliometrics.

Studying the historical development of an economy provides a context for existing challenges and a source of hypotheses to explain the trajectory of its evolution. Economic history has become increasingly important as a framework for studying questions not just in economic history, but also in other fields of economics, particularly macroeconomics, microeconomics and development economics. The burgeoning body of empirical research with a historical character in these fields support this claim.

Call for papers

The call for papers for the special issue of Economic History of Developing Regions, scheduled for December 2015, is now open! We invite papers that seek to explain development outcomes on the basis of family-level values and institutions. Papers using new data and methods of capturing these institutions are welcome. Full papers must be submitted online at by 1 February 2015. For more information: see here


It gives us great pleasure to announce that an article published in our journal, Economic History of Developing Regions, entitled Intra-regional Trade in South America, 1912–1950: The Cases of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile and Peru, by A. Carreras-Marín, M. Badia-Miró & J. Peres Cajías, has been awarded with the Earl J. Hamilton 2014 Prize, as the best article in an international journal by the Spanish Association in Economic History.

See Volume 28(2) – December 2013.