Conference -

What Drives Development?
Economic History meets Development Economics (PDF)

Organized by the Centre for Global Economic History
Utrecht University 

In cooperation with Pharmaccess, Amsterdam


Fundatie van Renswoude

Agnietenstraat 5

3512 XA Utrecht

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14.00 -17.30 (13.30: doors open, coffee)

On the 17th of June the Centre for Global Economic History at Utrecht University will organise a workshop on the theme: What Drives Development? Economic History meets Development Economics. Both groups – economic historians and development economists – have much in common: they study the process of (long-term) development, in many cases using the same theoretical approaches, the same methods and techniques and similar datasets. The question is how they can learn from each other; what, for example, the study of the emergence of ‘modern’ institutions and patterns of development in Western Europe can tell us about similar processes in other parts of the world in more recent times? Or: how can the long, historical view on African economic development, inform us about its present prospects? The aim of the workshop is to further intensify the discussion between economic historians and development economists. The workshop is organized together with Pharmaccess, an Amsterdam based NGO in the field of health care, which has developed a keen interest in the lessons that can be drawn from history.

The workshop is also the official launch of the Centre for Global Economic History (CGEH), which is the platform for pioneering research into the long term evolution of the world economy and its components at Utrecht University. Our key themes of research are institutions, economic growth and inequality. One of the main objectives of the CGEH is to attempt to quantify the long term changes in the world economy in order to test more carefully theories from social sciences about the causes behind the wealth and poverty of nations (see the overview of projects and conferences at

The programme and the papers to be discussed are as follows:

Discussant: Jan Willem Gunning (VU)

For more information and registration: please email