The Economic History podcast is a platform for sharing knowledge, ideas and new research with a general interest audience. Each fortnight, we meet leading academics in the field and discuss a range of topics, including pandemics, long run economic growth, gender issues, financial crises, inequality, sustainable development and a number of weird and fun economic experiments in history. There is no time like the past to help us understand the present.
The Long Economic Shadow of World War II in Europe
In this episode, we chat with Prof. Tamás Vonyó about the long run variation in the impact of World War II across a range of European economies. We begin with discussing the comparative wartime destruction across regions (using Tamás' "5 D's") and then move on to contrast the growth experiences of Western Europe and Eastern Europe with these initial starting points in mind. We also revisit the 1980s collapse of the Eastern Bloc and reconsider the role of factor inputs as a cause of socialism's failure, as an alternative to the traditional narrative, which places the blame on productivity/innovation deficiencies.
The Great Enrichment
Prof. Deirdre McCloskey has written prolifically on a wide range of topics. In this episode, she discusses her trilogy of books which attempt to explain what she coined 'The Great Enrichment' since the nineteenth century. We discuss the use of language in economics, the potentially overstated role of physical capital, how liberalism spawned innovation and fostered ideas, as well as comparing some historical living standard examples throughout.
Economic Experiments in Extremism
Today, we meet Professor Hans-Joachim Voth to discuss some of his work on the economic forces around religious and political epochs characterised by extremism. We begin by reviewing the long term economic effects of the Spanish Inquisition and consider the historical roots of anti-semitism in explaining Nazi support centuries later. Finally, we look at how "social capital" may have negative effects in garnering support for extremist movements and look at the effects of road building on political votes for the Nazi party.
Lessons from the Great Depression
Professor Peter Temin's 'Lessons from the Great Depression' remains a standard classic three decades since its publication. In today's episode, Peter talks about the Great Depression's lessons for today's policy makers and the use of fiscal policy with and without a gold standard. We also consider how the existing theories available to each generation influence their policy makers in their choices.
The Corporation through Time: Theory, Mergers and the issues of Bigness
This week, we hear from Prof. Naomi Lamoreaux on her work on the evolution of the corporation through time. We start with trying to define what a firm is, cover the motivations behind and the consequences of mergers. We look to a past example of a giant corporation and put it in the context of the present. Is "bigness" of some firms a problem and if so, how might we attempt to deal with it?
Creativity, Well-being and the Influence of Composers since 1450
This week, Prof. Karol Jan Borowiecki discusses his research on composers' creativity and consider some of the factors that influence the process: emotions, geography and instruction. We review some of the most innovative ways that Karol's work in economic history measures emotions, creative output and the transmission of ideas and consider the relevance of these to our understanding of long term economic growth.
I love the guests and host. But am I crazy or is the audio so that there are no breaths by the guest and the audio is sped up? Please, a regular pace and breathing helps me keep up otherwise it’s a machine gun.
Interesting, engaging, and easy to follow
The content of the podcast is great: but informative interviews with knowledgeable guests on complex and interesting topics. The format is simple, just a one-on-one interview without breaks or sound effects. Yet somehow it is easy to stay engaged throughout, even if you are performing another task like driving, cooking, or cleaning.