Introduction: theory and econometrics in historical analysis




Cliometrics, Cliodynamics, Economic History, Theory, Historical Analysis, Data Revolution


This article introduces the special issue of the Revista de Historia Industrial – Industrial History Review on theory and econometrics in historical analysis. First, it briefly reviews the literature on the evolution of economic history since the so-called cliometric revolution, i.e., the growing use of theory to frame historical evidence and the increasing use of quantitative techniques, particularly to study causality. Secondly, it provides an overview of how a potential data revolution – prompted by technological progress in historical-data collection and processing – may be affecting the field. Lastly, the introduction provides a succinct summary of the articles included in the special issue, which highlight how economic theory and new quantitative analysis can be used to explore a range of issues within economic history, spanning different countries and time periods.


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Alexopoulou, Kleoniki, and Joerg Baten. 2023. ‘Gender (in)equality, maritime economies, and numeracy development in Greece during the 19th and 20th century’, Revista de Historia Industrial – Industrial History Review, 33 (89): 27-64.

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Blasco-i-Piles, Guillem, and Federico Tadei. 2023. ‘From Sickle to Hammer: The Decline of Production Frictions and the Industrialization of Russia’, Revista de Historia Industrial – Industrial History Review, 33 (89): 65-106.

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Cioni, Martina, Giovanni Federico, and Michelangelo Vasta. 2022. ‘Persistence studies: a new kind of economic history?’, Review of Regional Research, 42: 227-248.

Clay, Karen, Joshua Lewis, and Edson Severnini. 2018. ‘Pollution, Infectious Disease, and Mortality: Evidence from the 1918 Spanish Influenza Pandemic’, The Journal of Economic History, 78 (4): 1179-1209.

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De Moor, Tine, and Jan Luiten van Zanden. 2010. ‘Girl Power: The European Marriage Pattern and Labour Markets in the North Sea Region in the Late Medieval and Early Modern Period’, The Economic History Review, 63 (1): 1-33.

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Fernández-de-Pinedo, Nadia, Alvaro La Parr a-Perez, and Félix-Fernando Muñoz. 2023. ‘Recent Trends in Publications of Economic Historians in Europe and North America (1980–2019): An Empirical Analysis’, CliometricaI< 17 (1): 1-22.

Fourie, Johan. 2016. ‘The Data Revolution in African Economic History’, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 47 (2): 193-212.

Grinin, Leonid, Alexander Markov, and Andrey Korotoyev. 2013. ‘On Similarities between Biological and Social Evolutionary Mechanisms: Mathematical Modeling’, Cliodynamics, 4: 185-228.

Gutmann, Myron P., Emily Klancher Merch ant, and Evan Roberts. 2018. ‘“Big Data” in Economic History’, The Journal of Economic History, 78 (1): 268-99.

Haupert, Michael. 2019. ‘History of Cliometrics’. In Handbook of Cliometrics, 2nd edition, edited by Claude Diebolt and Michael Haupert. Cham: Springer International Publishing, pp. 3-32.

Jedwab, Remi, Felix Meier zu Selhausen, and Alexander Moradi. 2022. ‘The Economics of Missionary Expansion: Evidence from Africa and Implications for Development’, Journal of Economic Growth, 27 (2): 149-92.

Li, Zhongjin. 2023. ‘Beyond State and Market: the Role of Labor Regimes and Class Dynamics in the East Asian Miracle’, Revista de Historia Industrial – Industrial History Review, 33 (89): 143-172.

Jordà, Òscar, Katharina Knoll, Dmitry Kuvshinov, Moritz Schularick, and Alan M. Taylor. 2019. ‘The Rate of Return on Everything, 1870–2015’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 134 (3): 1225-1298.

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Kerby, Edward, Alexander Moradi, and Hanjo Odendaal. 2022. ‘African Time Travellers: What Can We Learn from 500 Years of Written Accounts?’. Oxford Economic and Social History Working Papers. Oxford Economic and Social History Working Papers no. 2022/201.

Koschnick, Julius. 2023. ‘Breaking Tradition: Teacher-Student Effects during the Scientific Revolution’. Paper presented at the Economic History Society Annual Conference 2023 (Warwick).

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Velde, François R. 2022. ‘What Happened to the U.S. Economy during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic? A View Through High-Frequency Data’, The Journal of Economic History, 82 (1): 284-326.




How to Cite

Cappelli, Gabriele, Nikos Benos, and Yorgos Goletsis. 2023. “Introduction: Theory and Econometrics in Historical Analysis”. Revista De Historia Industrial — Industrial History Review 32 (89):11-26.