Rank #1: Rulers, Religion and Riches: Another Divergence...Between the West and the Middle East
In this episode, we discuss the subtitle of Professor Jared Rubin's book: 'Why the West got Rich and the Middle East did Not.' We consider the Golden Age of Islam against the Western European backwater, facing its long dark age. Jared offers an original political economy framework to help understand why the latter eventually pulled ahead, in terms of economic performance. We look at the context of the birth of both religions and their subsequent relationships with contemporary political elites and legal systems. We also review how the path dependent processes emanating from these had long lasting economic effects. Finally, we discuss the divergence in the political cultures of some Catholic and Protestant states in post reformation Europe and reflect on some current parallels in the Middle East.
Jan 19 2021
Rank #2: GDP- Great Difficulties in Producing
In this episode, we meet with the eminent Prof. Diane Coyle to discuss the evolution of measuring economic activity through time. When and why did the process begin and how did it evolve? What were the political motivations that drove the changes regarding how and what we recorded? How does it measure what we value and does it place appropriate value on what we measure?
Dec 22 2020
Rank #3: Why Economic History?
In this episode, we meet 'the guy who wrote the book on' why economists need economic history, Dr. Chris Colvin (Queen's University Belfast). We discuss the importance of the subject for policy makers, economists and the additional tools economic historians bring to their research. From panics to pandemics, we can only learn from the past.
Dec 15 2020
Rank #4: Germany's Regional Development: 30-150 Years Since Unification
In this episode, we meet Professor Nikolaus Wolf discuss Germany's economic development since the Napoleonic Wars with a particular focus on Regional development. We discuss trends in German economic integration, the division after World War II and the consider the regional economic differences since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 (Reunification in 1990).
Dec 01 2020
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Rank #5: India's Development Path, 1700-2010
In this episode we look at the long run development of India's Economy (1700-2010) with Professor Bishrupniya Gupta. We consider the institutional legacy of Colonialism on matters such as education and agricultural productivity. We also discuss the effects of economic policy shifts in independent India and consider some of the historical roots of sectoral productivity.
Nov 17 2020
Rank #6: Boom and Bust: Bubbles or Fires?
This week, we meet Professor John Turner to discuss his new book "Boom and Bust: A Global History of Financial Bubbles" with Will Quinn. We cover their original interpretation of historical bubbles using their newly developed concept of the bubble triangle. Among other things, we look at the railway and bicycle manias, the Wall Street Crash and two recent Chinese bubbles. We also contemplate the variety of costs of investment in Poyais bonds.
Nov 02 2020
Rank #7: The Great Divergence, Structural Change and Economic Shrinking
This week, Professor Stephen Broadberry shares insights from his extensive work in constructing national accounts over the very long run, to answer contemporary debates. When did the Great Divergence occur? Why does structural change matter and what did it imply for leading economies of the last century? Finally, we look at the implications of economic the frequency and magnitude of economic shrinking for developing countries.
Oct 19 2020
Rank #8: Women in the Workforce (Over the Very Long Run)
In this episode, we meet Prof. Jane Humphries and discuss her extensive research on women in the workforce. We discuss changes in the relative position of female casual workers and annually contracted workers and tackle hypotheses of the potential causes (and validity) of the "male breadwinner" model, before and after the Industrial Revolution. We also consider a reinterpretation of historical living standards, based upon using annual, rather than daily wage measures.
Oct 05 2020
Rank #9: Plagues, Pandemics, Policies and Perceptions
In this episode, we meet Prof. Patrick Wallis to discuss some of his previous work on pandemics and plagues. We look at the comparative magnitudes of some of the worst disease outbreaks and discuss how the perceptions of pandemics, the norms around personal responsibility and the nature of policy responses have all evolved over time. We also consider the nature of media reporting across cases and how government action may have been influenced by the socioeconomic status of the initial sufferers.
Sep 21 2020
Rank #10: The Political Economy of 'Poor (Development) Numbers'
This week, we chat with Professor Morten Jerven on the weakness of data in developing economies. We discuss the history of political machinery behind final economic statistics, the misaligned incentives facing data collectors and providers and the inconsistency between key international databases. We also discuss the comparative lack of funding for statistical agencies in developing countries, given the gigantic tasks facing them, and finish with how much it might cost to improve statistical capacity to a relatively acceptable level.
Sep 07 2020