The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Economic History

  • Alexander J. Field
Reference work entry


Economic history focuses on the historical study of growth and development. Originating in the German historical school and studies of the Industrial Revolution in England, it became professionally differentiated from economics proper with the establishment of associations in Britain (1926) and the United States (1941). As economics continued on its increasingly mathematical and ahistorical path in the 1960s, the ‘new economic history’ advocated applying theory to history. But its emphasis on data analysis retained a bridge to older traditions. As economists have rediscovered an interest in long-term economic growth, often applying traditional institutional approaches, there is continuing evidence of rapprochement.


American Economics Association Anthropometric history Cliometrics Economic development Economic growth Economic history Economic History Association in the United States Historical School (German) Great Depression Industrial Revolution Kuznets, S. Marshall, G. Marx, K. Mathematical models Mercantilism New economic history North, D. Physiocrats Royal Economic Society Smith, A. Total factor productivity Weber, M 

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander J. Field
    • 1
  1. 1.