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Topics in Economic History - ECO00036I

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  • Department: Economics and Related Studies
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Matthias Morys
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

This module is an applied economics module that provides empirical and theoretical insight into specific content topics that typically transcend one particular historical period

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

Module aims

Topics in Economic History is a second year module in applied economics. In this module, we avoid a chronological approach but delve into economic history from a content perspective instead. E.g., does monetary history suggest that fixed exchange-rates have worked better than floating rates or vice versa? In other words, we let a specific analytical question dominate the lectures rather than structure the course around conventional chronology.

Exchange-rate systems and monetary unions

Two (?) centuries of central banks

Centrally planned economies and state socialism

The economics of the European Union

Transition vs. emerging economies

The course will also feature recent examples of how history has allowed us to increase our understanding of how the economy works today. To do so, we will review different pieces of evidence from academic books to quantitative studies, and learn how to assess the quality of research.

Apart from the module content itself, this module is aimed at helping you to develop the following skills that are essential for the rest of your studies: To apply economic theory to real-world examples; to evaluate the quality of different sources; to gain a basic understanding of quantitative economic research; to establish and defend a point of view based on scientific evidence; to discuss a given research question in a well-structured and convincing way; to present ideas to others.

Module learning outcomes

After this module, you will have an overview of a range of important economic history topics that have also played an important role in economics as a discipline. Upon completion of the module, you will know how to discuss general questions in applied economics in a structured way, both written and in presentations; you will be able to assess the quality of literature; you will have a good understanding of world economic history from the beginning of time to recently.

Indicative assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Topics in Economic History
3 hours 100

Special assessment rules


Indicative reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Topics in Economic History
3 hours 100

Module feedback

Feedback will be provided in line with University policy

Indicative reading

S. Broadberry & K. O’Rourke (eds.), The Economic History of Europe. Vol. 2: Since 1870, Cambridge University Press 2012.

P. de Grauwe, Economics of Monetary Union, Oxford University Press 2022.

B. Eichengreen, Globalising Capital: A History of the International Monetary System, Princeton University Press 2022.

M. Morys (ed.), The Economic History of Central, East and South-East Europe from 1800 to the present day, Routledge 2021

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University constantly explores ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary. In some instances it may be appropriate for the University to notify and consult with affected students about module changes in accordance with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.