Economic history

Authored by: Mark Koyama

The Routledge Companion to Jewish History and Historiography

Print publication date:  October  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138193611
eBook ISBN: 9780429458927
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter surveys the economic history of Jewish people in a historiographical context. To do this, it is useful to define economic history and briefly describe its emergence as a distinct academic subfield. Many chapters in Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations (1776) comprise what we would recognize as economic history. Economic history as a distinct academic discipline, however, has its origins in the late nineteenth century with the work of scholars such as Arnold Toynbee and William Ashley in England and Gustav Schmoller, and the Historical School in Germany. Today, economic history is an important and flourishing field of study in economics in the United States, Europe, and East Asia. 1 While economic history, at least in the United States, resides largely in economics rather than history departments, as a subject matter (if not as a discipline) it has also come back in vogue among historians in recent years, after decades of comparative neglect. 2

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