Historical Economics and Development Group (HEDG)

Research within HEDG

HEDG began its existence in 2011 when Economic Development was selected as a priority area by the Dean of the Faculty of Business and Social Sciences at the University of Southern Denmark.

Within Scandinavia, HEDG is the fastest growing group working on topics related to economic history. A central theme studied by the group is long run economic growth and development. HEDG members have contributed both empirically and theoretically to this literature.

The research on long run development begins with the observation that average income levels in the world’s richest and poorest nations differ by orders of magnitude. This naturally begs the question as to what accounts for such enormous differences and what can be done to foster development and eventually convergence between poor and rich countries.

Since 2011, the group has received a number of grants from the Danish Research Council which all relate to this theme; see the research project bar below. In 2016, Professor Paul Sharp received a prestigious Sapere Aude grant from the Danish Research Council on Rethinking the Danish Economic take-off.

The group also collaborates with other groups at the Department of Business and Economics and is part of the strategic initiative HeWI (Health, Wealth and Inequality) together with econometricians, health economists from the department and demographers at the Max O center.

Members of the group have published in journals such asReview of Economic Studies, Economic Journal, Journal of the European Economic Association, Review of Economics and Statistics, European Economic Review, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Economic History, Journal of Economic Growth, Journal of Public Economics andJournal of Urban Economics.

Selected publications since 2012

Ager, P., Brückner, M. (2013). Cultural diversity and economic growth: Evidence from the US during the age of mass migration. European Economic Review.

Ager, P., Hansen, C.W., Jensen, P.S. (2017). Fertility and early-life mortality: Evidence from smallpox vaccination in Sweden. Forthcoming in Journal of the European Economic Association.

Ager, P., Ciccone, A. (2017). Agricultural Risk and the Spread of Religious Communities. Forthcoming in Journal of the European Economic Association.

Aidt, T.S., Jensen, P.S. (2014). Workers of the world, unite! Extensions and the threat of revolution in Europe, 1820–1938. European Economic Review.

Andersen, T.B., Dalgaard, C-J. L., Selaya, P. (2016). Climate and the Emergence of Global Income Differences. The Review of Economic Studies.

Andersen, T.B., Bentzen, J.S., Dalgaard, C-J. L., Sharp, P.R. (2017). Pre-Reformation Roots of the Protestant Ethic. The Economic Journal.

Andersen, T.B., Bentzen, J., Dalgaard, C-J., Selaya, P. (2012). Lightning, IT Diffusion, and Economic Growth across US States. Review of Economics and Statistics.

Andersen, T.B., Jensen, P.S., Skovsgaard, C.V. (2016). The Heavy Plough and the Agricultural Revolution of the Middle Ages. Journal of Development Economics.

Boberg-Fazlic, N., Sharp, P. (2017). Does Welfare Spending Crowd Out Charitable Activity? Evidence from Historical England under the Poor Laws. Economic Journal.

Borowiecki, K.J. (2016). How Are You, My Dearest Mozart? Well-being and Creativity of Three Famous Composers Based on their Letters. Forthcoming inReview of Economics and Statistics

Borowiecki, K. (2013). Geographic Clustering and Productivity: An Instrumental Variable Approach for Classical Composers. Journal of Urban Economics.

Hansen, C.W., Jensen, P.S., Skovsgaard, C.V. (2015). Modern Gender Roles and Agricultural History: The Neolithic Inheritance. Journal of Economic Growth.

Hansen, C.W., Lønstrup, L. (2015). The Rise in Life Expectancy and Economic Growth in the 20th Century. The Economic Journal.

Henriksen, I., Hviid, M., Sharp, P. (2012). Law and Peace: Contracts and the Success of the Danish Dairy Cooperatives. Journal of Economic History.

Humphries, J., Weisdorf, J. (2015). The Wages of Women in England, 1260-1850. Journal of Economic History.

Møller, N.F., Sharp, P. (2014). Malthus in cointegration space: evidence of a post-Malthusian pre-industrial England. Journal of Economic Growth.

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