Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - UEE (Unifying the European experience: historical lessons of Pan-European development)

This network launched in October 2004 with a goal to establish a more 'presentist' economic history and to further advance Economic History scholarship in Europe. Research of the network was subdivided into five distinct themes:
1) the development of pan-European database;
2) pan-European growth from the mid-nineteenth century;
3) the very long history of growth;
4) the history of European integration;
5) Europe's changing position in the world; with underpinning goals to develop a pan-European database, which has required a major cooperative effort across countries and provided enormous training opportunities, and to write a book on economic history of Europe, a project initially not in the work programme. The network achieved significant results, both regarding in the areas of research as well as hiring and training of young researchers coming from various European universities.

The RTN has played a very important role in the consolidation of a European network of economic historians, which began with the formation of the European Historical Economics Society in 1991 and the launch of the European Review of Economic History in 1997. The RTN has brought in a new generation of European economic historians taking a pan-European perspective. The outstanding scientific achievement of the network is one which will also have a significant education benefit: the two-volume 'Unifying the European experience: An economic history of modern Europe', co-edited by Stephen N. Broadberry and Kevin H. O'Rourke, is now in press with Cambridge University Press. The books contain many chapters by network members, including young researchers, and will make it much easier for university professors to teach courses in European, as opposed to national, economic history. We thus anticipate that it will go a long way to meeting one of the network's main goals, namely the promotion of a pan-European approach to European economic history. This project was completed during the fourth reporting period.

The UEE network proved to be remarkably popular among young researchers and managed to attract high calibre students and engage young researchers of great economic history research potential. Almost all young researchers were offered a very interesting job opportunity mainly in academia.

The PhD thesis of Peter Koudijs supervised by Hans Joachim Voth is making a breakthrough in the field. Koudijs won the Young Researcher Prize at the Economic History Society Conference (EHS) in Nottingham in March 2008. Koudijs explores whether markets react efficiently to news, using a unique, hand-collected dataset that is more than 200 years old. In his study, titled 'The boats that did not sail: Evidence on the sources of asset price volatility from an 18th century natural experiment' (please see online), he examines the prices of three English stocks - the East India Company, the Bank of England and the South Sea Company that were being traded in Amsterdam during the period 1771 to 1777. His research on stock market efficiency has also been profiled in the Financial Times.

Two former UEE young researchers, Paul Sharp and Jacob Weisdorf, have set up a series of pan-European research workshops Future research in economic and social history (FRESH) for young researchers in economic history, open to all young researchers. Full details of FRESH and the full list of meetings can be found at

Throughout the duration of the project UEE network organised four conferences hosted by the University of Warwick, University of Lunds, CEPR and by the Jagiellonian University. In addition, a number of summer schools was organised for the young researchers hosted by the EUI, University of Tartu and CNRS. These summer schools were co-sponsored by another network in economic history, GLOBALEURONET, run by Stefano Battilossi in Madrid. The summer schools had very high profile lecturers - both from the United States (US) and Europe.
UEE webiste:

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United Kingdom
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