Research School for Economic and Social History

Datini – ESTER Advanced Seminar 2022 on ‘Economic Innovations’

– Please note that, due to the current COVID19-pandemic, the Datini-ESTER Advanced Seminar has been moved to May 2022 –

View Call for Papers (pdf)    

The Fondazione Istituto Internazionale di Storia Economica “F. Datini” and the European School for Training in Economic and social historical Research (ESTER), in which the N.W. Posthumus Institute participates, announce their sixth jointly-organised Datini-ESTER Advanced Seminar for economic and social historians, to be held in May 2022 in Prato (Italy), replacing the 2021 Advanced Seminar that had to be rescheduled due to COVID-19.


The topic of the seminar is always closely related to the theme of the congress organized yearly by the “F. Datini” International Institute of Economic History, in 2022 devoted to ‘The Knowledge Economy. Innovation, Productivity and Economic Growth’.

The 2022 Datini-ESTER seminar will deal with ‘Economic Innovations’. We particularly welcome papers on technical and institutional innovations and their impact on the economic output. The seminar will not deal directly with the production factors, but with the effects on the productivity and efficiency of the economic system deriving from changes in the mix of the inputs. Our purpose is to clarify the role of technical and institutional changes in different economies and discuss the possibility of measuring their effects on gross product. Papers can cover any relevant aspect and any period from Antiquity until today.


The Datini-ESTER Advanced Seminar consists of two complementary parts:

  1. Participation in the international Datini Study Week (LIII Settimana di Studi), devoted in 2022 to ‘The Knowledge Economy. Innovation, Productivity and Economic Growth, 13th to 18th Centuries’, and to be held in Prato, Italy, on 8-11 May 2022.
  2. Participation in a two-day workshop, to be held on 12-13 May 2022 in a reserved room of the Datini Palace in Prato, Italy.

The workshop will bring together a number of senior researchers from different countries. Prior to the workshop, students will be asked to prepare a paper. They will have the opportunity of presenting their research project dealing with one or more core problems of their research field and discussing them with both senior researchers and other fellow students. Each paper will be presented by the author during the seminar and then examined and discussed by one of the participating students and by one of the instructors, after which a general discussion among all participants will take place.

Students will be guests of the Istituto Internazionale di Storia Economica “F. Datini” 8-14 May 2022. On 13 May, at the end of the seminar, the students will receive diplomas attesting their participation in the Datini-ESTER seminar and Datini Study Week. Please note however that diplomas will only be delivered to those  students who will take part both in the seminar as well as in the Datini Study Week.


Besides providing a feedback opportunity for ongoing projects on income, wealth and inequality and the opportunity to attend the international Datini Study Week, the aim of the workshop is also to foster cooperation between economic and social historians coming from different countries.


The seminar is jointly organised by the members of the board of the Datini-ESTER Seminar, who will also (together with other colleagues who are experts in the field) participate in the seminar as instructors:


The “F. Datini” International Institute of Economic History was founded in 1967 by Federigo Melis and Fernand Braudel. The aim of the Institute is the study of pre-industrial economic history (13th-18th centuries) and the creation on the topic of a space for historical culture, making comparison between different methodologies and schools of research easier and supporting young scholars during their formative years.

ESTER, established in 1991, is an international postgraduate network incorporating more than 60 European Universities. ESTER organises research training in the form of both the annual Research Design Course for starting PhD-students and a series of Advanced Seminars on special themes within economic and social history.

How to apply

First round – Application (deadline 15 October 2021)

Students should apply online, and submit an abstract (max. 800 words) of the content of their dissertation project on the theme of ‘Economic Innovation’. On basis of the abstracts, the organisers will make a first selection of students. Applicants will be informed about the outcome by 31 October 2021.

Second round – Research Paper (deadline 15 March 2022)

Students eligible for acceptance will be asked to draft and submit their research paper (in English).

Criteria for final admission will be:

    • the selected student must meet the deadline for submission of the research paper, and
    • the research paper must be of sufficient academic quality, and
    • the level of the English used in the paper must be sufficient.

Research Paper Guidelines (PDF)  


July 2021 Call for Applications
15 October 2021 Deadline Applications
30 October 2021 Selection completed, applicants informed
15 March 2022 Deadline paper submission
31st March 2022 Papers online for reading
8 May 2022 Arrival in Prato
8-11 May 2022 International Datini Study Week
12-13 May 2022 Advanced Seminar
13 May 2022 Delivery of diplomas
14 May 2022 Departure

Practical issues


Costs for accommodation and catering will be covered by the organisers. The organisers will not cover travel costs (possibly covered by students’ home institutions). For inquiries concerning the hospitality in Prato, the students have to contact the secretary of the Datini Institute on the dates of their arrival and departure:

Letizia Finocchiaro
Istituto Internazionale di Storia Economica “F. Datini” di Prato


Travel arrangements to and from Prato have to be organised by the selected participants themselves.


The workshop is funded by the Istituto Internazionale di Storia Economica “F. Datini” and by the ESTER Graduate School.


For inquiries concerning this course, please contact ESTER:

ESTER/N.W. Posthumus Institute
att. René van Weeren BA, Office Manager
Utrecht University, Dept. of History & Art History
Drift 6, 3512 BS, Utrecht
The Netherlands
Phone: +31 (0)30 253 63 28

For inquiries concerning the hospitality in Prato, the students have to contact the secretary of the Datini Institute on the dates of their arrival and departure:

Letizia Finocchiaro
Istituto Internazionale di Storia Economica “F. Datini” di Prato