Economic History

Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Economic History

Full Definition of Economic History

Economic history is studying the evolution of economic processes and related phenomena over a certain length of time. There are several processes that are used in studying economic history like combining statistical and historical methods. At times economic theories are applied to historical situations in order to study economic history.

Economic history is inclusive of subjects like business history. It is also interconnected with areas like labour history and demographic history. Quantitative economic history is referred to as cliometrics. Economic historians in the United Kingdom thought of economic history as an independent discipline. It was also thought of as a subsidiary subject of history.

In the United States of America economic history was regarded as a subsidiary discipline of economics. In France, there was a huge impact of Annales school of history in the decade of 1920s. This meant that demographics and economic theories had been assimilated into mainstream historiographical studies.

There has been much debate between Oxbridge and London School of Economics over the differentiation of economic theories and economics as a subject. Economists at Oxbridge were of an opinion that economics and economic history were interconnected. On the other hand, economists at London School of Economics were of the view that economics and economic history were separate disciplines because factors like course structure, study, program, and research were different for economics and economic history.


Cliometrics is a discipline whereby techniques of econometrics and economic theories are used in order to study economic theory. Stanley Reiter and Jonathan R.T. Hughes used this term originally in 1960. It is a reference to Clio, who was a muse of heroic poetry and history in Grecian mythology. Cliometrics is also used as a reference to counterfactual history.

Well-known Economic Historians

Following are some well known economic historians of present times:

  • Ram Sharan Sharma
  • Eric Hobsbawm
  • Moses Abramovitz
  • Leo Huberman
  • Dudley Baines
  • Edward Hunt
  • Maxine Berg
  • Paul Johnson
  • Stephen Broadberry
  • Charles P. Kindleberger
  • Greg Clark
  • Amartya Sen
  • Claudia Goldin

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Economic History. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. September 26, 2021
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Economic History. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: September 26, 2021).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Economic History. Retrieved September 26, 2021, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Economic History are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 29th March, 2020 | 2 Views.