European Historical Economics Society 2011

There were some excellent presentations at the EHES this year, where some of the worlds leading historians, economists and economic historians gathered to share their thoughts.

The first video is excellent, Bob Allen of Oxford talks about why the Industrial Revolution was (in his opinion) a result of high wages and lower energy costs – which lead to a preference for technical innovation. Deirdre McCloskey of Chicago University offers excellent criticism in the questions at the end. Apologies for the sound quality, Bob had a tendency to move away from the mic and I wasn’t using a remote one.

In the next video Branko Milanovic talks about income distributions in the Mediterranean countries 2,000 years ago, and using very sparse data creates a compelling view of income from that time, what I took from this one was that income inequality has always been alive and well, a Roman Senator made about 500 times the wages of a regular worker (watch the video!).

Then there is a Roundtable discussion featuring the ‘who’s who’ of economic history

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The Meltdown should have surprised no one

The 2009 Henry Hazlitt Memorial Lecture, presented by Peter Schiff. Recorded at the annual Austrian Scholars Conference, Ludwig von Mises Institute, 13 March 2009. Austrian economists tend to have some very conservative views, and while many of them are unpalatable there are many that are equally pragmatic, Keynesian economics are definitely the popular choice as of late, but the free marketers still have valid points and Peter Schiff has a way of describing the economy and the situation in a very simple manner. He shot to fame for being one of the first practitioners in the USA to say that they were in a bubble and how the fallout would begin and what to expect when it did, his vision was almost 20/20.

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