International Society for Quantitative History

QH Webinar Series

Modern Library Holdings and Historic City Growth

16:00 | Thursday, March 11, 2021

Zoom Webinar

English

Eric Chaney

Eric Chaney

Associate Professor in Economic History, University of Oxford

Thomas Wyck, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Estimates of historical city sizes underpin our understanding of long-run economic development. For example, changes in urbanization rates are often used as a proxy for the evolution of economic prosperity in the past. Despite the widespread use of this proxy, researchers lack city size estimates for many historical regions. In search of a new proxy for pre-industrial economic activity, Eric Chaney of Oxford University has been working on a study that supplements over 30 million records from the union of the world’s largest library collections with 20,000 historical Islamic biographies. Changes in the number of authors affiliated with a city are found to be strongly correlated with existing growth estimates, providing a high-frequency measure of urban development. A statistical approach rooted in Stein’s Paradox exploits this correlation to improve upon existing city size estimates. In this Quantitative History Webinar, Eric explores how the data is used to revisit urban growth during the rise of the Atlantic trade and to investigate the impact of the Mongol invasions on the Eastern Islamic world.

Live on Zoom on March 11, 2021
16:00 Hong Kong/Beijing/Singapore
08:00 London | 17:00 Tokyo | 19:00 Sydney

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Zoom Webinar

Eric Chaney

English

The Quantitative History Webinar Series aims to provide researchers, teachers, and students with an online intellectual platform to keep up to date with the latest research in the field, promoting the dissemination of research findings and interdisciplinary use of quantitative methods in historical research. The Series, now in its third year, is co-organized by the International Society for Quantitative History, HKU Business School, and Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences. 量化歷史網上講座系列由香港大學陳志武和馬馳騁教授聯合發起,旨在介紹前沿量化歷史研究成果、促進同仁交流,推廣量化方法在歷史研究中的應用。本系列講座由國際量化歷史學會、香港大學經管學院和香港人文社會研究所全力支持和承辦。

Conveners: Professor Zhiwu Chen & Dr. Chicheng Ma (HKU Business School)

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