Business History versus Economic History in the Netherlands

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Business history is often seen as a subfield of economic history. A later addition and, a younger field of research. This chapter will argue the opposite: when economic history developed in the Netherlands as a specialisation within the academic field of history at the start of the twentieth century, it placed great emphasis on business history. As the discipline of economics changed during the twentieth century, so did economic history, with the consequence that interest in business waned. The content of economic history changed, although the name remained the same. As a consequence, business history had to reinvent itself by focusing on the history of individual businesses. In linking up with commissioned history, the field became mostly concentrated on the nineteenth and twentieth century. In the twenty-first century, economic and business history have grown closer again through their shared interest in institutions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-64
JournalTijdschrift voor Sociale en Economische Geschiedenis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • business history, economic history, The Netherlands


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