My research concentrates on European economic and social history and political economy. I am interested in why some regions of the world are comparatively wealthy and why other parts of the world are relatively poor as well as process of growth and decline. My research explores how the growth of industries and economies are shaped by, and intersect, with institutions.
My current research explores the growth and decline of Holland's brewing industry between 1500 and 1800 in the context of the economic, political, and institutional factors that shaped the region’s economic development. This project explores how guild organization, technological change, and political processes impacted the industry’s structure and growth. I also explore the ways in which the market for beer changed over time, as consumers switch to “new” beverages including distilled liquor, tea, and coffee. This study in political economy contributes to our understanding of the long-term processes that fostered the development of market economies, capital¬ism, and industrializa¬tion in Europe.
I teach courses that explore how European society and culture changed in the context of World History. I teach courses in Medieval, Renaissance and Reformation, and Early Modern European History as well as courses on the Industrial Revolution and the development of global capitalism in the 19th and 20th centuries. I also teach in a number of other programs at Otterbein, including Integrative Studies, the First Year Experience, and the Senior Year Experience programs
- “The Union of Utrecht, Tariff Barriers and the Interprovincial Beer Trade in the Dutch Republic.” In The Political Economy of the Dutch Republic edited by Oscar Gelderblom (Ashgate, 2009) pp. 255-290.
- “Political Power and Economic Policies in Habsburg Holland: The Decline of Gouda’s Brewing Industry, 1510-1568.” In Power and the City edited by Wayne TeBrake and Willem Klooster (Leiden: Brill, 2006) pp. 123-148.
- “Entrepreneurship and Technological Change in Holland's Brewing industry, 1500-1580.” In Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship in Early Modern Times: Merchants and Industrialists Within the Orbit of the Dutch Staple Market edited by L. Noorde-graaf and C. Lesger (Den Haag: n.p., 1995) pp. 185-201.
- “A Capital Industry: Brewing in Holland, 1500-1800.” In Beer! The Story of Holland’s Favourite Drink edited by. R. E. Kistemaker and V. T. van Vilsteren, trans. Shaffer’s English, (Amsterdam: De Bataafsche Leeuw, 1994) pp. 72-81. Originally published in R. E. Kistemaker and V. T. van Vilsteren, eds, Bier! Geschiedenis van een volksdrank(Amsterdam: De Bataafsche Leeuw, 1994).
- “Beer in Abundance. Distribution and Consumption in Early Modern Holland.” In Beer! The Story of Holland’s Favourite Drink, edited by R. E. Kistemaker and V. T. van Vilsteren, trans. Shaffer’s English, (Amsterdam: De Bataafsche Leeuw, 1994) pp. 82-95. Originally published in R. E. Kistemaker and V. T. van Vilsteren, eds, Bier! Geschiedenis van een volksdrank (Amsterdam: De Bataafsche Leeuw, 1994).
- “The Welfare of the Brewers. Guilds and Confraternities in the Brewing Industry.” InBeer! The Story of Holland’s Favourite Drink, edited by R. E. Kistemaker and V. T. van Vilsteren, trans. Shaffer’s English, (Amsterdam: De Bataafsche Leeuw, 1994) pp. 118-131. Originally published in R. E. Kistemaker and V. T. van Vilsteren, eds, Bier! Geschiedenis van een volksdrank (Amsterdam; De Bataafsche Leeuw, 1994).
Recent Book Reviews
- Review of In het kielzog van moderne markten : handel en verkeer op de Rijn, Waal en IJssel, c. 1360-1560 by J. B. Weststrate. Hilversum: Verloren, 2007 in the International Journal of Maritime History.
- Review of Beer and Brewing in Pre-Industrial Denmark by Kristoff Glamann. Translated by Geoffrey French. Odense: University Press of Southern Denmark, 2005 in The Social History of Alcohol and Drugs: An Interdisciplinary Journal.
Recent Conferences and Seminars
- “Bad beer and beer debts: asymmetries of information, trade credit, and guilds in early modern Holland “ to be presented at the conference on “Design and Dynamics of Institutions for Collective Action,” University of Utrecht, 29 November -1 December, 2012.
- “Brewers, franchising, and capital intensive brewing in the Dutch Golden Age,” presented at the CHORD CONFERENCE- Food and Beverages: Retailing, Distribution, and Consumption in Historical Perspective, University of Wolverhampton, UK, 7-8 September 2011.
- “Financing Industry in the Dutch Republic: Capital and Credit in Holland’s Brewing Industry,” presented at the Seminar in Social and Economic History, Utrecht University, Netherlands, 18 November 2010.
- “Amsterdam as a Regional and World Market,” presented at The Crossroads of Amsterdam: A Late-spring Faculty Weekend Seminar held at the Folger Institute, Washington, D.C., 21-22 May 2010.
- “Financing Industry in the Dutch Golden Age: Sole Proprietors, Partnerships, and the Early Modern Capital Market” presented at The Fifth Flemish-Dutch Conference: Economic and Social History of the Low Countries before 1850 with the theme of “The Funding of Business in the Low Countries,” Antwerp University, 29 January 2010.
- “Regulations and Economic Policy in Haarlem’s 15th Century Brewing Industry,” presented at Global Approaches: The 4th International Conference on the History of Drugs and Alcohol in Guelph, Canada, August 10-12, 2007.