Economic History Association 2023 Annual Meeting

Call for Papers and Meeting Information


Annual Meeting of the Economic History Association in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, September 8-10, 2023


Call for Papers: EHA 2023: Love and Toil, Care and Work



The theme for EHA 2023 is ‘Love and Toil, Care and Work’. While Adam Smith defined economics in terms of wealth creation and Lionel Robbins in terms of limited means and unlimited ends, Alfred Marshall thought of it as ‘…a study of men (sic) as they live and move and think in the ordinary business of life’. Nothing could be more ordinary than caring. It takes place all the time and all around us. It involves diverse tasks, which can be commercialised but are often unpaid, although sometimes very labour intensive. Care can be provided domestically, or in the community, but today it is increasingly globalised. Most importantly, care adds significantly to wellbeing, and simultaneously enhances productivity. However, (and here I build on last year’s theme), caring work is hidden in plain sight. Since it is often unpaid and performed in private households this is perhaps understandable, yet we recognise and impute values to other non-market activities. Moreover, commercialised caring is also neglected and undervalued, despite constituting a significant sector of most economies. It takes a pandemic of catastrophic proportions to reveal care’s importance. But while we applauded our carers not so long ago, they and their product are already fading from our economic consciousness. The program committee calls for papers that identify caring’s importance, not only to secure a more complete account of the ordinary business of life, but also to augment, perhaps even correct, standard interpretations of economic history framed in terms of Smithian enrichment or Robbinsian rational allocative order.


The Program Committee, chaired by Eric Schneider (London School of Economics), welcomes submissions on all subjects ineconomic 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 2022 meeting are not eligible for inclusion in the 2023 program. Papers and session proposals should be submitted online, with the following submission form: https://eh.net/eha/2023-eha-meeting-proposal/. The submission system will be available starting September 18, 2022. Paper proposals should include a 3–5-page proposal and a 150–word abstract suitable for publication in the Journal of Economic History. Paper proposals should be submitted by January 31, 2023, 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, and the association offers students subsidies for travel, hotel, registration, and meals, including a special graduate student dinner. A poster session welcomes work from dissertations in progress. The poster submission system will open on March 1, 2023. Applications for the poster session are due no later than May 21, 2023, online on the meetings website. The dissertation session, convened by Vellore Arthi (University of California, Irvine) and Patrick Wallis (London School of Economics), will honor six dissertations completed during the 2022-2023 academic year. The submission deadline is May 31, 2023. 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: varthi@uci.edu and the Gerschenkron prize submissions to: P.H.Wallis@lse.ac.uk. All submissions will be acknowledged by return email.


If you have any questions about the conference in general or you are a graduate student interested in the subsidies, please email the EHA Meetings Coordinator, Jeremy Land (jeremy.land@helsinki.fi).