Digital Methods in History and Economics 2021

Digital workshop at Universität Hamburg, Germany, 14 - 15 October 2021

This workshop is organised by SPP-scholars Ulrich Fritsche, Lino Wehrheim and Jörg Döpke. Please also refer to the Workshops' Website at the university of Hamburg.


The application of digital methods is a fast-growing field in humanities, social sciences, and economics, influencing research practices within the different disciplines.

The workshop as an integral part of DFG priority programme 1859 “Experience & Expectation: Historical Foundations of Economic Behaviour” aims to bring together and to discuss different applications of digital methods from projects of the priority programme with external scholars from different disciplinary backgrounds with a special emphasis on “text as data”. The purpose of this interdisciplinary workshop is to foster the exchange between the different fields and the exchange between the researchers involved in the priority programme with external scholars.

We especially encourage scholars both from the “quantitative” and the “qualitative” world, i.e., (economic, social) historians and economists, but also scholars involved in social, political, or media studies to apply. Contributions from all fields are equally welcome.

Papers addressing the following topics are especially welcome:

  1. “Text-as-data” and respective digital methods, including methodological reflections, e.g., on the relation between digital and traditional approaches.
  2. Applications using large-scale textual sources, such as newspaper archives or political-speech corpora.
  3. The use of non-textual historical and/or unstructured ideally “BIG” economic data.
  4. Applications using digital methods to study questions related to the priority programme’s research agenda, i.e., historical foundations of economic behaviour.
  5. Applications using social media data.

Due the current pandemic, the workshop will be organized as a digital event using Zoom with parallel sessions and breakout-sessions to foster exchange and cooperation. A digital evening “come-together” is furthermore planned. If the pandemic conditions permit, the format will be changed into a hybrid format offering both in-person and virtual options.

Keynotes will be delivered inter alia by

  • Michael McMahon (University of Oxford, and CEPR, Director of the Research Policy Network on Central Bank Communication)
  • Melvin Wevers (University of Amsterdam)
  • Clemens Neudecker (Staatsbibliothek Berlin)