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Summer school: Historical Perspectives on Current Economics Issues: Big Data and Applications HEDG and Department of Economics, University of Southern Denmark 12–22 August 2024

Historical Perspectives on Current Economics Issues: Big Data and Applications

HEDG and Department of Economics, University of Southern Denmark

12–22 August 2024

Course topic

This year, following success of the previous year, the course will again feature lectures from Professor Gregory Clark, a leading economic historian. The focus will be the dynamics of social status determination over multiple generations, and the ability of a variety of social interventions to change social outcomes. The lectures on long-run social mobility and its determinants will constitute the main theme of the summer school.

The idea of the course is to provide understanding of the world economy and population today in connection to their historical roots and enable to understand how credible these connections are from the causal perspective. The course is designed to (i) introduce frontier methods in economics and economic history (panel and cross-sectional data methods of causal inference and machine learning methods) that are widely used in understanding causality in economic history and other disciplines, and (ii) present the selection of themes from economics and economic history that apply these methods. For example, only history based on econometric methods can teach us why economic disparities across and within countries persist. As another example, certain questions, such as how mobile a society is across generations or how fast immigrants assimilate over time, can only be answered using big data (for example, complete micro census records). The aim is also to prepare students for writing a masters’ (PhD) thesis which explicitly recognizes the role of history for current economic outcomes and debates, as well as the importance of frontier quantitative methods. Additional lectures will be given by local faculty and will explore other themes in economic history and economics.
The course is open for PhD students and early-career researchers in economic and social history, economics and related fields.

Course Procedure

The course is provided during the SDU International Summer School 2024 and consists of 2 weeks of classes (9 days). The course will be held physically. Living costs are at the student’s expense.



The leading lecturer – Gregory Clark (Professor), University of Southern Denmark
Giovanni Mellace (Professor), University of Southern Denmark
Torben Skov Dyg Johansen (Assistant Professor), University of Southern Denmark


Paul Sharp (Professor), University of Southern Denmark
Volha Lazuka (Associate Professor), University of Southern Denmark


The exam will consist of two parts: (1) preparing a critical review of the empirical article that uses the methods discussed in the course and communicating it to the instructor and other course participants in the form of the presentation (Students will receive the list of empirical articles to choose from); (2) a home assignment, which can be done individually or in groups of up to three students (72 hours will be given for completion). The student must submit the slides of the presentation and participate in all classes for the course to be credited.


Upon completing all course activities, participants will be awarded 7.5 ECTS credits and a course certificate.

Course Fees

The course is free of charge for students studying in Denmark in an Economics Department (AAU, AU, KU, CBS, SDU). For other participants, the course fee is EUR 300 (charged in Danish Kroner, DKK 2.250).


Deadline for registration: The deadline is on the 1st of July 2024.