WEHC 2018 Plenary Sessions

Opening Plenary Session
Monday, July 30th, 9:30-11:00am, Kresge Auditorium

Sevket Pamuk

Dr. Sevket Pamuk (Ataturk Institute for Modern Turkish History at Bogazici (Bosphorus) University)

Waves of Globalization and the Economic Historian

Comparative study of the different waves of globalization by economic historians can make significant new contributions to the current debates on globalization and its impact. It would be useful for economic historians to focus on some of the less studied but important aspects of the past waves. In addition to the exchange of commodities, labor and capital, as well as disease, fashions, ideas and culture, earlier waves of globalization led to changes in institutions in different parts of the world. At least equally important were the institutions and organizations associated with globalization itself and their enforcement which changed greatly over time. Economic historians can also provide new insights by focusing more on distributional issues and the uneven impact of the earlier waves on different groups and regions in addition to studying the impact of globalization on the aggregate.

About the Speaker: Sevket Pamuk is Professor of Economics and Economic History at Bogaziçi (Bosphorus) University. He has written books and published articles in leading journals on the economic history of the Ottoman Empire, Middle East and to a lesser extent of Europe from 600 to the present. He has worked on economic growth, institutions, state finances, money, prices, wages, standards of living, agriculture, trade and plagues. Pamuk has been President of European Historical Economics Society, President of Asian Historical Economics Society and Co-Editor of European Review of Economic History.

Keynote Lecture
Tuesday, July 31st, 5:30-7:00pm, Kresge Auditorium

Thomas Piketty

Dr. Thomas Piketty (Paris School of Economics and EHESS)


Rising Inequality and the Changing Structure of Political Conflict

In this lecture, Thomas Piketty will explore the relationship between rising inequality and the changing structure of political conflict. He will present new findings on long-run inequality dynamics from the recently-released World Inequality Report 2018 (wir2018.wid.world) and from his latest work on the interplay between multi-dimensional inequality and political cleavages (piketty.pse.ens.fr/conflict).

About the Speaker: Thomas Piketty is Professor at EHESS and at the Paris School of Economics. He is the author of numerous articles published in journals such as the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Journal of Political Economy, the American Economic Review, the Review of Economic Studies, Econometrica, Explorations in Economic History, Annales: Histoire, Sciences Sociales, and of a dozen books. He has done major historical and theoretical work on the interplay between economic development and the distribution of income and wealth. In particular, he is the initiator of the recent literature on the long run evolution of top income shares in national income (now available in the World Wealth and Income Database). These works have led to radically question the optimistic relationship between development and inequality posited by Kuznets, and to emphasize the role of political, social and fiscal institutions in the historical evolution of income and wealth distribution. He is also the author of the international best-seller Capital in the 21st century.

Closing Plenary Session
Friday, August 3rd, 5:00-6:30pm, Kresge Auditorium

The Role of Women in Economic Growth

Jane Humphries

Part 1: Jane Humphries (Oxford University)
“From the Wings to Centre Stage: Women and Economic Growth and Structural Change in Europe during the Pre-Industrial and Industrial Eras”

Dr. Humphries will speak on the implications of women’s work and family lives for economic growth and structural change in Europe during the pre-industrial and industrial eras.


Claudia Goldin

© Bryce Vickmark. All rights reserved.

Part 2: Claudia Goldin (Harvard University)
“A Long Road: The Quest for Career and Family”

Dr. Goldin will speak on the implications of economic growth for women’s careers and family lives in the US during the industrial and post-industrial eras.


Jan de Vries
Discussant: Jan De Vries (University of California, Berkeley)