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The Importance of Studying Economic History


Economic History…becomes a discipline that concerns itself with the economic ramifications of the past- looking in to different historic economic survival (concepts) like the cost of production, the process, the economic systems, theory, mode of production, the level of modernization and civilization, exchange of goods and services, distribution of goods and services and others in that line.

What is Economic History? | History Today

The history of Economic history as a discipline, though a recent one, has immense contributions in narrations and concepts.  Without economic history, neither the historians, mathematicians, sociologists, economists, nor the statisticians would function perfectly. Economic History is a mother and the basis of ideas to diverse professions.

Palao Tubaro differentiating Economic History from Economic thoughts shed more light on this concept;

Like economic history, the history of economic thought (HET) investigates economic issues in long-run perspective. Yet the two fields are distinct and should not be confounded: HET does not study economic facts such as the 1929 financial crisis but rather economic theories and economic literature (1).

            The knowledge of the economic past helps to shun errors of the present and the future. Economic history helps provide the needed insights for significant decision/policy makers, and this guides them from committing errors lying in history. By this, it is inarguably that economic history greatly fosters the standard of living and the overall development of a nation.

In an attempt to examine the concepts of economic development and economic history, Peter Temin further stressed the importance of economic history.

 According to him; Both Subfields (that is economic history and development) study economic development; the difference is that economic history focuses on high-wage countries while economic development focuses on low-wage economies (2).

            Also economic history helps a nation to assess and manage its natural resources. The assessment and management of natural resources are not only parts of the importance of economic history, it provides knowledge of the production and distribution of goods and services in the society.

      The knowledge of economic history helps a nation to choose the best economic system and thought. The knowledge of the economic history of a particular region would shed light on the right economic pattern to use. This by the way also solves basic economic questions. The reasons for the development and underdevelopment of the world polities can be understood with the knowledge of economic past. This immensely equips students of economic history the concept of international politics (the struggle for power among the world polities), the trade relations, polar system and other significant and notable concepts of academic importance.

      For a nation to develop, the knowledge of its economic past has to be assessed. To provide the right pattern to attempt a serious economic hangover in a country, in terms of debts, financial crisis, inflation and others, economic history is needed.

Lastly, economic history promotes research. Since both economic historians and historians are concerned about the survival of the men in the past, the works of both researchers are intertwined and concepts, ideas, theory and others are often borrowed from economic history to history and vice versa.

  1. Tadese Faforiji. Economic History: Conceptual Clarifications and Pragmatic Review. Retrieved from Tadexprof.
  • Palao Tubaro. HISTORY OF ECONOMIC THOUGHT. Rhona C. Free. 21st Century Economics: A Reference Handbook, 1, Sage, pp.3-11, 2010, 9781412961424. ￿hal-01372974. p3
  • Lectures from Ogunode, S.A Ph,D. A lecturer of Economic History, department of History and International Studies, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko


Tadese Faforiji

I am Tadese Faforiji, a history student of the prestigious Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State- 21st-century University, properly called. I am a blogger and an avid writer.