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BIRTH OF THE PUBLIC UNIVERSITY: The impact of the First World War on British higher education

Date:
30 Mar 2016

Summary:

A meeting of senior government ministers and representatives of all British and Irish universities in November 1918 confirmed a new vision for higher education: the public university was born, increasingly dependent on public funding and focused on meeting public requirements for a skilled workforce and research of value to the economy and wider society.

That is the central finding of research by Professor John Taylor, to be presented at the Economic History Society’s 2016 annual conference in Cambridge. Based on detailed analysis of government papers and the archives of many British universities, his study traces the changes in funding arrangements for higher education and changing attitudes towards higher education in the course of the First World War.

RAILWAYS PROMOTE GROWTH BUT ALSO SPREAD DISEASE: Evidence from Japan’s industrialisation

Date:
30 Mar 2016

Summary:

New research highlights the potential downside of improved economic infrastructure in its threat to public health. In a study to be presented at the Economic History Society’s 2016 annual conference in Cambridge, Dr John Tang shows that the expansion of Japan’s railway network in the last three decades of the nineteenth century led to a significant rise in mortality through the spread of communicable diseases.

THE GOLDEN AGE OF LABOUR: New evidence of the dramatic improvement in British workers’ living standards, 1650-1850

Date:
30 Mar 2016

Summary:

The period between 1650 and 1850 was the ‘golden age of labour’ in Britain, according to research by Professors Jane Humphries and Jacob Weisdorf, to be presented at the Economic History Society’s 2016 annual conference in Cambridge. But although this was a golden age, because workers earned more per year than ever before in the history of labour, riches were largely achieved by one main means: hard work.

GREECE IN A MONETARY UNION: Lessons from 100 years of exchange rate experience

Date:
30 Mar 2016

Summary:

New research adds a historical and regional dimension to the current debate on the Greek debt crisis. In a study to be presented at the Economic History Society’s 2016 annual conference in Cambridge, Mathias Morys analyses 100 years of exchange rate experience – from the foundation of the National Bank of Greece in 1841 to the Second World War – of Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia/Yugoslavia.

BORING BANKS: Lessons from Britain’s uncompetitive but stable banking system from 1945 to the early 1970s

Date:
30 Mar 2016

Summary:

Competition in banking has not always been seen as an unalloyed good. Research by Linda Arch, to be presented at the Economic History Society’s 2016 annual conference in Cambridge, explores the highly ambivalent attitude towards competition in banking in the post-war period. She shows that although the ‘Big Five’ retail banks operated as a cartel, it was not obvious that customers were harmed, there was a high degree of compliance with regulation and this was a period of stability in banking.

INEQUALITY FUELS POPULATION GROWTH: New cross-national evidence 1870-2000

Date:
30 Mar 2016

Summary:

Growing inequality and overpopulation are not unrelated developments: rather, the huge differences in birth rates and population growth across countries are to a large extent driven by variations in income inequality. That is the central conclusion of new research by Marijn Bolhuis and Alexandra de Pleijt, to be presented at the Economic History Society’s 2016 annual conference in Cambridge.

WHAT WE COUNT COUNTS: Intellectual history and the National Accounts

Date:
30 Mar 2016

Summary:

Having failed to forecast GDP accurately in the run-up to the global financial crisis, now is the time to consider critically how we measure economic transactions at the national level. That is the conclusion of research by Matthew Fright, which investigates the way in which economists created new paradigms in response to the chaos of the 1930s and the British public’s desire for certainty in the face of a crisis. From this charged academic atmosphere, we saw the emergence of the National Accounts.

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