Economic History

Piketty and thinking about economics

There is a new economics rock-star touring the US by all accounts, and his name is Thomas Piketty. More precisely, the star of the show is Picketty's Capital in the Twenty-First century which is a 700-page volume on wealth distribution in 30 countries over decades and centuries of data. Read more

The Birth of the Schilling and Deutschmark: A History of Austrian and German Currency Reforms, 1947-1948

Project Leader: 

The aim of this project is to provide a better understanding of the processes that accompanied the reforms of the Austrian schilling in 1947 and the birth of the deutschmark in 1948. No historical accounts have yet merged archival sources with financial data from banks and markets, nor have any adopted a comparative approach that compares the two reforms.

A Short History of China’s Doubtful GDP

It is no secret that the quality of Chinese statistics, especially GDP, is far from perfect. Chinese GDP’s lack of volatility often looks surreal.

Along with many other China analysts, I often feel frustrated by this. Perhaps I feel even more strongly because it is somehow embarrassing when foreign investors and scholars always ask me how authentic my country’s data is. Read more

Orville Schell: Wealth and Power - China's Long March to the Twenty-first Century

Welcome to our new video series called “New Economic Thinking.” The series will feature dozens of conversations with leading economists on the most important issues facing economics and the global economy today. Read more

Rejuvenation: An Excerpt from “Wealth and Power: China’s Long March to the Twenty-first Century”

The following is an excerpt from the book, Wealth and Power: China's Long March to the Twenty First Century, which comes out tomorrow, July 16th. Written by Orville Schell, Director of the Asia Society's Center on U.S.-China Relations, and John Delury, the book provides a panoramic narrative of China's rise to prominence  as seen through the lives of eleven influential officials, writers, activists, and leaders, whose contributions helped create modern China. Read more

Dirtying White: Harry Dexter White and the History of Bretton Woods

Why does Benn Steil’s history of Bretton Woods distort the ideas of Harry Dexter White?

Originally appeared in The Nation

By James M. Boughton  Read more

The Transit Coup – How Robber Barons Got New York City to Bail Out Their Subway Lines

Since the Reagan/Thatcher era, it has been common to view politics vs. infrastructure as simply a battle between right wing forces attempting to privatize infrastructure and others trying to defend it. However, this is only the recent history of United States infrastructure policy. Read more