Associate Professor, Economic and Environmental History, Wageningen University (WUR)
Research Coordinator, Economics Section, Wageningen University (WUR)
Research Affiliate, Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), London
I work at the Economic and Environmental History Group of Wageningen University. I studied economic and social history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the London School of Economics, Harvard University and Utrecht University. I received my MA from Utrecht University in 2010 (cum laude) and my PhD in 2015 (cum laude). In my dissertation I examined the Dutch East India Company’s intercontinental trade and its effects on living standards in Southern Africa and Asia, c. 1600 – c. 1800. My thesis won the Economic History Society’s Thirsk-Feinstein Prize for Best Dissertation in Economic and Social History in 2016.
My research deals with the consequences of international trade for the distribution of income and well-being in developing countries in the colonial era. In 2017 I was awarded a NWO Veni grant (€250,000) for a research project entitled “Unfair Trade? Globalization, Institutions and Inequality in Southeast Asia, 1830-1940” in which I examine the inequality effects of trade in Southeast Asia in the age of high imperialism. In 2018 my latest book, entitled The Origins of Globalization (with Jan Luiten van Zanden) and which deals with the rise of world trade and its implications for economic and social development across the globe between 1500 and 1800, appeared with Cambridge University Press.
Together with colleagues from TU/e and UGent, I am director of the research programme “Globalization, Inequality and Sustainability in Historical Perspective” of the Dutch-Flemish research school of economic and social history, the N.W. Posthumus Institute. I am a Research Affiliate of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR). Between 2017 and 2021 I sat on the editorial board of the Research Data Journal in the Humanities and Social Sciences, and since 2018 I am a member of the editorial committee of the International Review of Social History.