• Room 01.024 - Riddel Hall Block 3

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am keen to supervise research projects across the fields of economic history and historical economics, including topics in business history and financial history.


Research output per year

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Personal profile


Appointments at Queen's University Belfast:
Senior Lecturer in Economics, Queen's Management School
Research Associate, Centre for Economic History 
Associate Fellow, Institute of Irish Studies

Administrative duties:
Programme Director, BSc Economics
NINE DTP Coordinator, Economic & Social History Pathway

Professional service:
Associate, The Economics Network
Committee member, Economic and Social History Society of Ireland 
Board member, Frontier Research in Economic and Social History
Editorial board member, Business History
Editor, QUCEH Working Paper Series
Webmaster, Money Macro and Finance Society

Office hours:
Please email to arrange online meeting

External links:
Full academic CV
Personal website 


Research Focus

Chris Colvin is an economic historian with research interests in historical banking crises, cooperative organisations, culture and religion, famines and sample selection, patents and innovation, and macroeconomic policy formulation and implementation. His research addresses issues in the business and financial history of the Netherlands in the early twentieth century, and the economic and social history of Ireland in the second half of the nineteenth century.

Chris has published in The Journal of Economic HistoryThe Economic History Review and Business History Review, among others. He has co-edited a book published by Palgrave Macmillan. He is a member of the editorial board of Business History.


Research Interests

  • Economics: banking and financial institutions; cooperative enterprises; competition and innovation policy; macroeconomic policymaking process; economics of religion; demographic economics; anthropometrics
  • History: economic history; financial history; business history; penal and prison history; the Netherlands in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries; Ireland in the nineteenth century
  • Pedagogy: curriculum and syllabus design; research-led teaching practices



Chris holds a BSc in Economics from the University of Bristol, and an MSc and PhD in Economic History from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He also completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Teaching from Queen's University Belfast. He is an Associate of the Economics Network, the UK's learned society for university-level pedagogy in economics.

Before joining Queen's in 2012, Chris was a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute, Florence. He has spent time as a visiting fellow at Erasmus University Rotterdam, the University of California at Davis, and Utrecht University. In 2019 he was a Fellow of the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Amsterdam.



Chris subscribes to the view that economic history is integral to the study of economics and economies. He leads a pedagogical research project aiming to introduce concepts and approaches from across the field of economic history into mainstream economics curricula. The first output of the project is a multi-authored edited volume (Blum and Colvin, 2018) written for both university students and their educators.

Current teaching:

  • Communicating Economics (ECO1014, introductory-level UG economics module)
  • Economic History (ECO3020, advanced-level UG economics module)
  • Making Sense of a Complex World: The Global Economic Environment (MBA7172, MBA economics module)



Chris supervises PhD students in the fields of economic history and historical economics, broadly defined. Find out more about his supervision profile here.

Current PhD students:

  • Paul Winfree (part-time; expected completion in 2024), as co-supervisor (with John Turner)
  • Homer Wagenaar (expected completion in 2021), as primary supervisor (second supervisor: Norma Dawson)

Former PhD students:


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  • Research Output

  • Open Access
  • 174 Downloads (Pure)

    An Economist's Guide to Economic History

    Blum, M. (ed.) & Colvin, C. L. (ed.), Dec 2018, Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. 459 p. (Palgrave Studies in Economic History)

    Research output: Book/ReportAnthology

  • Open Access
  • 277 Downloads (Pure)


    NIAS-KNAW Individual Fellowship

    Chris Colvin (Recipient), 15 Mar 2018

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

  • The Economics Network Best New Lecturer Award

    Chris Colvin (Recipient), 05 Sep 2013

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • European Business History Association Dissertation Prize

    Chris Colvin (Recipient), 2012

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Arthur H. Cole Grant-in-Aid of Research

    Chris Colvin (Recipient), 2012

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

  • Associate of the Economics Network

    Chris Colvin (Recipient), Sep 2019

    Prize: Election to learned society


    Koninklijke Brill (Publisher)

    Chris Colvin (Peer reviewer), Homer Wagenaar (Peer reviewer)
    2020 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activity

    Business History (Journal)

    Chris Colvin (Editorial board member)
    Jan 2020 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activity

    Economic History Brown-Bag Seminar

    Chris Colvin (Invited speaker)
    30 Jan 2020

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    History and Economics Workshop

    Chris Colvin (Invited speaker), Michael Aldous (Contributor), David Paulson (Contributor)
    24 Jan 2020

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    Financial history PhD colloquium

    Chris Colvin (Advisor)
    17 Apr 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

    Press / Media

    Op-ed about coronavirus and the 1918 influenza pandemic

    Chris Colvin & Eoin McLaughlin


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Expert Comment

    Op-ed about economic history pedagogy

    Chris Colvin


    1 item of Media coverage, 1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Expert Comment

    Television interview about prison research

    Christopher L. Colvin & Elaine Farrell


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Expert Comment


    Historical Reflections on Religion, Finance and Economic Development

    Author: Henderson, S. S. J., Oct 2017

    Supervisor: Colvin, C. L. (Supervisor), Fernihough, A. (Supervisor) & Turner, J. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Industrialisation, Politics, and Banking Instability in Late Imperial Russia

    Author: Lychakov, N., Mar 2018

    Supervisor: Colvin, C. L. (Supervisor) & Turner, J. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Patents, Machine Learning, and War: Invention during the British Industrial Revolution

    Author: Billington, S., Dec 2019

    Supervisor: Colvin, C. L. (Supervisor) & Coyle, C. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy