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Thread: Phd Economic History

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    Phd Economic History

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    Hey there,

    I write on behalf of a friend of mine who is kind of reluctant to post own profile and so on (don't know why).
    Since I managed to get in a program, and he's 1 year late wrt to me, I am to help him during application process for 2016 start.

    Now having some personal experience I suggested him to look for info far earlier than Fall.

    his interests are mainly economic history and history of economic tought.

    so my question to the community are:

    - so far I wasn't able to find a "phd in econ history" so I guess he would have to take a phd econ with econ history as field specialization, am I right? Any other options?
    - what are the best (if possible a rank) departments on terms of econ history?
    Last edited by Lacxa; 05-03-2015 at 12:43 AM.

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    Re: Phd Economic History

    Departments that immediately come to mind (in decreasing rank).

    Northwestern
    Boston University
    UC Davis
    University of Arizona
    WWCBD: What Would Colonel Blotto Do?

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    Re: Phd Economic History

    London School has a program in economic history Economic History - researchProgrammes2015 - Graduate - Study - Home

    I am not sure, but I think that more universities in UK have programs in economic history

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    Re: Phd Economic History

    There is almost zero overlap between economic history and history of economic thought.

    If he's interested in economic history, most mainstream PhD economics programs have a presence. If he's interested in intellectual history, he should pursue a degree in philosophy.

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    Re: Phd Economic History

    There are essentially no PhD programs in Economic History but most programs would have one or two economic historians. However, that means your friend needs to be super careful about where they apply. They need to research the professors at these schools and see if the kind of work they do is interesting to them.

    Here at Pitt we "kind of" have two historians, one whose work focuses on public health in history and another who examines racism, segregation, and urban development in US cities. John Wallis at UMD focuses on financial markets and banking history. Price Fishback at UofA mainly focuses on labor history.

    Lastly, your friend also need to realize that Economic History and History of Economic Thought are two completely different fields. One is essentially applied micro using historical data and the other is like philosophy, they require completely different skill sets. History of thought would be best studied in a Philosophy PhD or a PPE-style Econ program such as the one at GMU.

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    Re: Phd Economic History

    Currently enrolled in the MSc Economic History at the LSE, so I figured I'd chime in. As far as I know it's the only university with a stand-alone economic history department, and now offers postgraduate options in both "Economic History" and "Quantitative Economic History". The former is fairly flexible in terms of the course options you have, while the latter is built around the standard postgraduate economics core. Your friend could study both topics within the department (there's a pretty wide range of faculty, honestly), but, as chateauheart and tm_member pointed out, the necessary skill sets don't overlap all that well. Oxbridge has some programs as well, but I believe they are in "Social and Economic History" so you're looking at a slightly different environment.

    For the US, things are a bit trickier. Before applying, they'll really need to decide if their primary methodology will be economics or history, as both departments often have people doing related research. In terms of economics departments (adding to the earlier list), I know Yale does quite a bit on EH and I think Vanderbilt has it as a field option. I don't know anything about the program at Maryland, but they seem to offer a "Trade, Institutions, History, and Political Economy" field. In terms of history departments, there will be a scattering of folks at a good number of universities, but where they apply would depend much more heavily on the specific type/country/era of economic history in which your friend is interested. Temin has a working paper from 2013 on "The Rise and Fall of Economic History at MIT" that gives a good feel for the situation in the US.

    Overall rankings can be a bit difficult to make because, depending on how far they shift to the historical side, that can almost involve a completely different job market.

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    Re: Phd Economic History

    Just want to add that if his interests within economics are only economic history or HET, then he should try to pursue either a degree in history or a degree in philosophy, or perhaps a heterodox econ program (like GMU, UMass), because controlling for everything else 1. the admissions in these fields are drastically less competitive compared to mainstream economics doctoral programs, and 2. there is substantially more overlap in interests and methodology.

    Some students in mainstream economics programs that are interested in development or political economy may also specialize in "new" economic history, but the value and quantity of historical content present in this kind of research (compared to novel identification techniques and applied game theory models) are minimal.

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    Re: Phd Economic History

    Thanks everyone. Jack appreciated it.

    hope jack will become a user soon and join this community!

    everybody say "jack register on urch!" =D

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