Without economic history, economics runs the risk of being too abstract or parochial, of failing to notice precedents, trends and cycles, of overlooking the long-run and thus misunderstanding ‘how we got here’. Recent financial and economic crises illustrate spectacularly how the economics profession has not learnt from its past.
This important and unique book addresses this problem by demonstrating the power of historical thinking in economic research. A carefully curated collection of short chapters guides economics lecturers and their students through the field of economic history, and advises them on how they can actively engage with economic history in their own teaching and learning. Matthias Blum and Christopher L. Colvin bring together important voices in the field to show readers how they can use their existing economics training to explore different facets of economic history. Each chapter introduces a question or topic, historical context or research method and explores how they can be used in economics scholarship and pedagogy. In a century characterised to date by economic uncertainty, bubbles and crashes, An Economist’s Guide to Economic History is essential reading.