Call for Papers: EHA 2018: ‘From Plague, Famine, and War, Save us, O Lord’:

Shocks and Disasters in Economic History


Annual Meeting of the Economic History Association, in Montreal, Canada, September 7 -9, 2018


The theme for EHA 2018 is “‘From Plague, Famine, and War, Save us, O Lord’ Shocks and Disasters in Economic History”. The age-old prayer refers to disasters that have blighted lives throughout history. The theme is an invitation for papers on the broader economic-historical aspects of such crises—environmental, climatic, humanitarian, economic, and other. Plagues and famines kill few nowadays, and deaths from state-based conflicts are also in decline. But they still matter, not least because may well threaten again as global warming intensifies. The theme of the 2018 meetings embraces topics such as the economic causes and consequences of wars and of other disasters; comparative and interdisciplinary analyses of famines and plagues from classical antiquity to modern times; analyses of the institutions that attempted to counter them; of their proximate and remoter causes (e.g. climate change); of their changing incidence over time; of the welfare gains from their eradication; and of their short- and long-run economic, demographic, and political consequences. Proposals on macroeconomic and financial crises and, indeed, on any other topic, are also welcome.


The Program Committee, consisting of Ralf Meisenzahl (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System) (chair), together with Mauricio Drelichman (University of British Columbia), Guido Alfani (Bocconi University), and Hoyt Bleakley (University of Michigan) welcomes submissions on all subjects in economic history, though some preference will be given to papers that fit the theme of the conference. Papers should be submitted individually, but authors may suggest to the Committee that three particular papers fit well together in a panel. Papers should in all cases be works in progress rather than accepted or published work. Submitters should let the program committee know at the time of application if the paper they are proposing has already been submitted for publication. Individuals who presented or co-authored a paper given at the 2017 meeting are not eligible for inclusion in the 2018 program. Paper proposals should include a 3-5 page proposal and a 150 –word abstract suitable for publication in the Journal of Economic History. THE SUBMISSION SYSTEM IS NOW CLOSED! Please note that at least one of the authors needs to be a member of EHA.


Graduate students are encouraged to attend the meeting. The association offers subsidies for travel, hotel, registration, and meals, including a special graduate student dinner. A poster session welcomes work from dissertations in progress. Applications for the poster session are due no later than May 21, 2018 online on the meetings website. The poster submission system will open on March 1, 2018. The dissertation session, convened by Carola Frydman (Northwestern University) and Mark Koyama (George Mason University) will honor six dissertations completed during the 2017-2018 academic year. The submission deadline is May 15, 2018. The Allan Nevins and Alexander Gerschenkron prizes will be awarded to the best dissertations on North American and non-North American topics respectively. Dissertations must be submitted as a single PDF file.  Files of less than 5 MB in size may be sent directly to the conveners as an email attachment. To submit a file over 5 MB, please supply a download link in an email message. The Nevins prize submissions should be sent to:, and the Gerschenkron prize submissions to: All submissions will be acknowledged by return email.