Blick in die Lernzone beim D3 Gebäude.

Topics in Economic and Social History

a. What are the main topics of the specialization?

Economic and social history is relevant for economists, managers, and policy-makers for three reasons: First, past events are a repository of experiences in decision-making and their results at the level of firms, countries and on a global scale. This specialization investigates what can and cannot be learned from the past. Second, studying history helps us to understand how the past conditions the present and how we may address this long-run influence in decisions and policies. Third, history is a “laboratory” which allows us to test (the limits of) modern theories.

This specialization explores ‘topics in economic and social history’: It selects relevant and representative topics from the body of knowledge that economic and social history represents and studies them in depth. These can be, for example, experiences in (managing) past episodes of globalization and deglobalization (including trade policy, migration and the evolution and disintegration of global capital markets), the historical drivers of economic development and lack thereof (including the role of instutitutions, culture, geography, and [un]sustainable resource use) or the role of firms and regulation on the evolution of entrepreneurship and capitalism.

Students should be interested in empirical data analysis (in data scarce environments) as well as in theories of economic/social behaviour. However, above all, they should be curious about the repository of events and decisions history represents. The specialization requires an open mind, interest in tracking down patterns in unfamiliar settings (the past is a foreign country), and perseverance in making actual sense of these unfamiliar environments. For these reasons, economic and social history is sometimes called “the queen of social sciences”: it requires rigorous and creative practitioners and widens horizons.

b. How to get in?

Enrolment is possible in summer and winter semesters from winter semester 2020/21. Five places per semester for BBE students are reserved in this course. Unlike 20 ECTS specializations, 10 ECTS specializations do not have an “Access to” course to enroll in, but the courses (in this case, the 10 ECTS course “Topics in Economic and Social History) can be chosen directly from a drop-down menu in LPIS (the course registration application). Students can access this specialization therefore by enrolling into the course on a first come-first serve basis. Technical details on enrolment (and spots for BBE and Bawiso students) might be updated before the winter semester 2020/21 registration. Please note that 10 ECTS specializations in general (and this one especially) combine well with the 10 ECTS “Specialization Abroad”.

c. List of courses

This specialization consists of one course:

  • Topics in Economic and Social History (10 ECTS)

As outlined under “main topics” this course will explore historical experiences in globalization, economic development and/or the evolution of modern business, and therefore deepen the material covered in History of Economics and the Economy, but also of economics and socioeconomics, law and quantitative method classes to different degrees. The specific topics will be available in the syllabus prior to the enrolment period, and you might also just contact the specialization coordinator.

d. Which career prospects can graduates of the specialization expect upon completion?

There are specialized Master’s programs in Economic and Social History at leading universities for example in the UK (LSE, Oxford, Cambridge, St Andrews), Sweden (Lund, and others), Spain (University of Barcelona, Universidad Carlos III Madrid) and Germany (Bayreuth). Specialized PhD programs also exist. Most students, however, will use their experience to become fully fledged economists, business scholars and social scientists. They apply their skills and ability to combine perspectives in socially and economically relevant positions in the private and public sector.

e. Flyer from Specialization Fair 2019

Please find the flyer here


Univ.Prof. Dr. Markus Lampe

Univ.Prof. Dr. Markus Lampe

Head of the Institute for Economic and Social History