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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.

Council (2017-2019)

  • President: Prof Johan Fourie (Stellenbosch University)
  • Vice-president: Dr Anton Ehlers (Stellenbosch University)
  • Secretary: Mr Calumet Links (Stellenbosch University)
  • Treasurer: Prof Derick Blaauw (North-west University)
  • General board members:
    • Jeanne Cilliers (Lund University, Sweden)
    • Bokang Mpeta (Stellenbosch University)
    • Krige Siebrits (Stellenbosch University)
    • Christie Swanepoel (University of the Western Cape)
    • Grietjie Verhoef (University of Johannesburg)

Annual (2012-2015)

Economic History links