Economic history at Northwestern has a tradition that now dates back more than half a century, to the first years of the "cliometric revolution" that altered the field by combining conventional historical analyses of economic activity with both theoretical rigor and quantitative sophistication. For Ph.D. students interested in economic history as either their primary field or in combination with other fields, Northwestern's faculty, course offerings, and regular seminar series provide a unique preparation for research and teaching in this field. Only a small number of other elite economics departments have similar strength.
The economic history faculty at Northwestern includes a past president of the Economic History Association, and editor of the Journal of Economic History. Other Northwestern economic history faculty members include present or recent members of the editorial boards of all the leading economic history journals, the leading book series in economic history and all of them keep up high-visibility research profiles.
Northwestern currently has two full-time senior faculty members in the economics department specializing in economic history (both with joint appointments in Northwestern's History Department) and one full-time tenured faculty member in the History Department.
Northwestern offers a weekly economic history seminar, heavily attended by faculty and graduate students. In fact, the economic history seminar is the department's longest continuously-operating seminar, having been a staple of the department's diverse workshop schedule since the 1960s. The seminar meets 23 times each year, exposing faculty and students to the current research of scholars from throughout the world and providing students an opportunity to present their own research. The number of meetings and level of student and faculty involvement in the seminar are unequaled.
The placement record of Northwestern economic history students, which includes students who have gone on to tenured or tenure-track positions at top-five economics departments, demonstrates the value that the economics discipline has placed on the experience enjoyed by our students, many of whom came to Northwestern specifically to study economic history.