4289 Economic History / Course V - Interactions of Economy and Society
Univ.Prof. Dr. Markus Lampe
Contact details
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
02/01/23 to 02/27/23
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Day Date Time Room
Thursday 03/02/23 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM TC.4.16
Thursday 03/09/23 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM TC.4.16
Thursday 03/16/23 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM TC.3.11
Thursday 03/23/23 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM D3.0.222
Thursday 04/13/23 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM TC.5.14
Thursday 04/20/23 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM D3.0.222
Thursday 04/27/23 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM TC.5.14
Thursday 05/04/23 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM TC.5.14
Thursday 05/11/23 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM D3.0.222
Thursday 05/25/23 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM TC.5.14
Thursday 06/01/23 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM TC.4.18

This course gives a comprehensive, thematically organized overview of economic history from the Middle Ages to the present. The focus is on Europe and its economic integration, both within countries and the continent and into the emerging world economy. The sequence of classes is more guided by topics than chronologically, although topics primarily important for preindustrial economies are treated before those that acquired prominence with industrialization and modern economic growth.

Some of the topics are: Economic history and the making of Europe; Market integration, urbanization and social and economic change; Population and resource constraints: the Malthusian model - an accurate description of preindustrial economies?; Industrialization, entrepreneurship and technology transfer; Money, credit and banking in history; Trade and growth (or not?); The rise of the welfare state; Inequality in history; Globalization and the challenges it entails.

Learning outcomes

- Understanding the evolution of the European economy in a global context
- Examining the causes and consequences of industrialization and market integration in history
- Understanding the role of institutions in the process of economic development and economic growth
- Understanding the structural transformations and social challenges that accompany economic growth and globalisation

Skills and competences: - The course trains the abilities to understand and analyse economic and social development processes with a special focus on their motors, patterns and forces of resistence.
- This will be done through assignments, presentations and questions to students on different levels of reflection, so basic knowledge on individual topics, the connection between different topics (and historical processes) and interpretation are rehearsed.
- Special attention is given to using basic tools of economics and other social sciences in interpreting history, and in contrasting the content of economic and social science theories with actual historical developments.
- Ultimately, the course aims to advance the students' ability to raise questions and answer them using the tools of analysis developed by economic and social sciences.

Attendance requirements

Continuous assessment courses (PI) are high-interactive courses. Students must attend at least 80% of all sessions. Should there be an important reason for a student's absence during a session of the course, a maximum of 20% of the entire course duration can be missed. For cumulative absences of more than 20%, the course must be repeated. A confirmation/justification (eg. a medical certificate) must be provided for the absence.

According to the examination regulations of the WU, important reasons are those which are outside the disposition of the student (illness, accident, death of a close relative). Professional obligations are not considered as an important reason within the meaning of the examination regulations, because they are in the disposition of the students.

Teaching/learning method(s)

Students will acquire the knowledge and skills through lectures, the handing of the work assigned by the instructors and its discussion in class. This will require individual and teamwork, performed by the students inside and outside the classroom, and their discussion in class or individual assessment by the instructor. We will work through the textbook and go through additional exercises based on text or empirical data (with the necessary introduction by the instructor). 

Students are required to participate in discussions and exercises in class and present the answers to questions based on the textbook or additional material to their fellow students in brief contributions.


One mid-term test and one final exam, which contribute 37% and 38% respectively, to the final mark.

Lectures, assignments and participation in class prepare students for these exams. They will be graded continuously, and such participation marks will count for 25% of the final mark.

Prerequisites for participation and waiting lists

None. Students not attending the first session (and not excusing themselves in advance) will be removed from the course list. The resulting spots will be filled with those students on the waiting last who are present in the first session in the order of their position on the waiting list.


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Availability of lecturer(s)

by email:; office hours, Friday 13-14h (and on appointment)


We will follow the logic of the textbook "An Economic History of Europe. Knowledge, Institutions and Growth, 600 to the Present", Cambridge University Press. The second edition is available at WU's library, but we will mainly work work with a draft version of the third edition, which will be made available via Learn@WU as the course advances. Students are encouraged to provide feedback on the text during the course.

Last edited: 2023-01-26