Research School for Economic and Social History


20 - 21 October 2023
University of Antwerp

Workshop ‘Towards a Comparative History of Household Finance Before and After the Industrial Revolution’

In the Fall of 2023 the Department of History at the University of Antwerp will host the workshop ‘Towards a Comparative History of Household Finance Before and After the Industrial Revolution’. The central questions in this workshop are very simple and empirical questions: how did households in the past organize their finances? How did people pay for food, clothing and housing? What did more affluent households do with the money they earned beyond what was needed for primary consumption? And for households living on the edge of subsistence: could they complement financial support from within their social networks with public welfare, private insurance, or more or less costly forms of credit?

The organisers welcome any and all papers that analyse the financial behavior of households in the past and have a special interest in papers that explore continuity and change in financial arrangements across preindustrial and industrial societies. In Europe that would be the period of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries; in the world outside Europe it would probably be later. Both descriptive papers that show what households and the suppliers of financial services did, and more analytic ones that try to determine the effect of socio-economic, political, cultural, or technological developments on the financial behavior of households are welcome.

If you are interested in participating, send a 300 to 500-word abstract with your affiliation and contact details by e-mail to the organisers. The deadline for submission is 10 May 2023.