Research School for Economic and Social History


PhD position in historical household finance (University of Antwerp) – deadline 30 June 2022

The Department of History in the Faculty of Arts of the University of Antwerp is offering a full-time PhD position in historical household finance. The PhD position is linked to the research project The Social History of Finance.

As PhD candidate you will work on the creation of the Hisfindex – a historical version of the Global Findex that measures financial inclusion in the world today. The aim is to find out which financial services were used by households between 1920 and 2020, including for instance payment services, various types of savings, public and private insurance, consumer credit, mortgages, and other loans obtained with or without the intermediation of banks. Recently, a pilot study for the Netherlands has been carried out. The purpose of your project is first to validate and extend the Hisfindex to the case of Belgium and second to investigate how the increased access to financial services affected the financial situation of households. Did they become more financially resilient? Or did living conditions remain unaltered despite the shifting balance between the public and private supply of financial services? To answer these questions you will work in close collaboration with other team members of The Social History of Finance. Your research will result in the identification of key junctures in the long-term development of household finance in Belgium and The Netherlands. It will contribute to the historical financial literature as well as provide insights to key questions surrounding financial literacy and resilience today.

Applications are due by 30 June 2022, first interviews are scheduled for the week of 4 July 2022.