Call for Papers

 CALL FOR PAPERS: The Lessons of Economic History

Annual Meeting of the Economic History Association in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, September 11 -13, 2020


The theme for EHA 2020 is “The Lessons of Economic History”. The theme for EHA 2020 is “The Lessons of Economic History.” The Spanish-American philosopher George Santayana famously told us that, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This aphorism crystallizes one of the principal missions of economic history. We study the past so that we can determine which policies are likely to work in the future: which monetary and fiscal policies produce macroeconomic stability, which forms of social insurance protect human welfare, which patent laws spur innovation, and so on. Not all economic historians study past policy interventions directly. Some create data sets or examine chains of causation that contribute indirectly to the mission of discovering which policies work. Proposals that address the theme of the conference are encouraged, but proposals on all topics are welcome.


The Program Committee, chaired by Eugene White (Rutgers University), 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 2019 meeting are not eligible for inclusion in the 2020 program. Papers and session proposals should be submitted online: . The submission system is now available. Paper proposals should include a 3-5 page proposal and a 150 –word abstract suitable for publication in the Journal of Economic History. Papers should be submitted by January 31, 2020 to ensure consideration. 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, 2020 online on the meetings website. The poster submission system will open on March 1, 2020. The dissertation session, convened by Zorina Khan (Bowdoin College) and Michael Edelstein (The Graduate Center, CUNY) will honor six dissertations completed during the 2019-2020 academic year. The submission deadline is May 15, 2020. 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.