Copenhagen, Denmark

The Economic History of Europe

online course
when 17 August 2021 - 27 August 2021
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 7.5 EC
fee DKK 2625

This comprehensive course offers theoretical and historical insights into the evolution of Europe. We start by tracing the continent’s emergence from being a technological and economic backwater at the end of the first millennium to being able to match the advanced Muslim and Chinese civilizations around 1500. We continue by following the economic advances as Europe forged ahead, becoming the leader of the Industrial Revolution and the source of numerous technological innovations, which were diffused internationally through trade and colonial domination, but with varying impact on the rest of the world. It is shown that Europe was unique in fostering a mentality of rational inquiry into the laws of nature which led to an industrial enlightenment. A special focus will be on the last 200 years of dramatic economic development, when a remarkable increase in income has been accompanied by recurrent crises and increased world inequality but decreasing domestic inequality. This has generated a variety of responses such as the modern macroeconomic stabilization policies, the Welfare State, and attempts to tame the disruptive impact of financial turbulence and unemployment. Although the last 150 years have been a period of remarkable growth, they have also been a period of recurrent crises which require explanation.

Target group

Bachelor and Master students

Course aim

After completing the course the student is expected to be able to:


- Identify, explain, and reflect upon the main topics within economic history.

- Account for the difference between the forces at work in the pre-industrial era, when division of labour and trade were major
factors in economic development, and science-based technological progress in the modern era.

- Evaluate the impact of the constraints of resources on economic growth and the determinants of population growth in the pre-
industrial as well as the modern era.

- Account for the institutional preconditions for transfer of knowledge and convergence of income levels across nations in Europe.

- Explain and reflect upon the economic history of money.

- Define the forces which shape trade policies (free trade vs. protectionism) and discuss the general outline of the phases of trade
regimes during the last 200 years.

- Account for the mechanisms and workings of international monetary orders such as the Gold Standard, the Bretton Woods system
and the euro.

- Describe the changes in inequality over time, and explain how to measure this.

- Describe and reflect upon the history of globalization and the challenges it presents.

- Discuss the role and impact of Europe in a global economy.


- Use simple data methods to analyse historical data

- Apply economic theory as it relates to economic history

- Read and report from scholarly journal articles


- Explain the main topics in economic history

- Apply models and theories related to economic history

- Work with and process historical time series such as wage, price, and population data

Fee info

DKK 2625: EU/EEA-citizens
EUR 1275: Non-EU/EEA citizens