Business History at LSE: An Empiricist Voice

  • Leslie HannahEmail author


Many pioneers of economics blended empirical work effortlessly with their theoretical work, though critics alleged that theory became increasingly divorced from empirics after 1945. Yet many LSE academics—from Ronald Coase and Edith Penrose to Geoffrey Owen and John Sutton—consistently rooted their work in the founders’ aims of studying ‘the concrete facts of industrial life’, generating and testing important ideas in industrial economics. A distinctive LSE initiative in 1978 was the foundation of the Business History Unit, a wellspring of later developments in the subject of business history within the UK and internationally. The core staff and the Unit’s students and diaspora at home and abroad contributed to the analysis of entrepreneurship, technical innovation and comparative business development.


Business history History of technology Financial history Business economics Industrial economics Empiricism Entrepreneurs Corporations Varieties of capitalism 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economic History, London School of EconomicsUniversity of LondonLondonUK

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