An Economist's Guide to Economic History is all about showing academic and professional economists what they have been missing by not engaging with the field of economic history. But publishing the book was just the start of our project; we now have to get the message out to the wider public that the study of our economic past is not just very cool, but it is also very useful.
I have just had a sabbatical from teaching at Queen's, and was based in the Netherlands for a great part of it, working on monetary policymaking during the interwar period. While there, I discovered the absence of economic history from university economics curricula was particularly noticeable. Although the Netherlands has one of the most prolific groups of economic historians working in academia today, at Utrecht University, the Rethinking Economics NL student action group recently found the field is (almost) entirely absent from undergraduate economics programmes - even in Utrecht!
To help make people aware of the problem, and to discuss possible solutions, the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study is putting on an event on 18 September 2019 on the future of economic history in economics pedagogy. This public event will take place at SPUI25, the University of Amsterdam's academic-cultural centre located on Spui, at the heart of the city.
We have a really great line-up of speakers for the panel discussion. Besides myself, we have Sam de Muijnck (from Rethinking Economics NL), Esther-Mirjam Sent (Professor at Radboud University, and member of the Upper Chamber of Dutch Parliament), and Jarig van Sinderen (Professor at Erasmus University, and Chief Economist of the Netherlands' Competition Authority). Oscar Gelderblom (Professor at Utrecht University) will chair the discussion.
You can find more details about the event, which will take place in Dutch (!), on the NIAS website. Capacity constraints limited us to 100 participants; you can register by visiting the SPUI25 website.
Chris Colvin is an economic historian based at Queen’s University Belfast, UK.