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Economic history

Economic / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Economic history is the academic learning of economies or economic events of the past. Research is conducted using a combination of historical methods, statistical methods and the application of economic theory to historical situations and institutions. The field can encompass a wide variety of topics, including equality, finance, technology, labour, and business. It emphasizes historicizing the economy itself, analyzing it as a dynamic force and attempting to provide insights into the way it is structured and conceived.

World GDP per capita, 1400–2003

Using both quantitative data and qualitative sources, economic historians emphasize understanding the historical context in which major economic events take place. They often focus on the institutional dynamics of systems of production, labor, and capital, as well as the economy's impact on society, culture, and language. Scholars of the discipline may approach their analysis from the perspective of different schools of economic thought, such as mainstream economics, Marxian economics, the Chicago school of economics, and Keynesian economics.

Economic history has several sub-disciplines. Historical methods are commonly applied in financial and business history, which overlap with areas of social history such as demographic and labor history. In the sub-discipline called New Economic History or cliometrics, economists use quantitative (econometric) methods.[1] In history of capitalism, historians explain economic historical issues and processes from a historical point of view.[2]