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    United Kingdom

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Supervision expertise in economic history, including topics in business history, financial history and social science history.


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Reader in Economic History, Department of Economics
Research Associate, Centre for Economic History (QUCEH) 
Associate Fellow, Institute of Irish Studies

Leadership roles:
Co-Director, Centre for Economic History (QUCEH)
Associate Director, Centre for Economics, Policy and History (CEPH)

Professional service:
Associate, The Economics Network
Editorial board member, Business History 
Editorial board member, Economics Observatory 
Editor, QUCEH Working Paper Series

External links:
Full academic CV
Personal website 
QUB Find an Expert profile


Research Focus

Chris Colvin combines economics and history to better understand the performance of firms, industries, economies and societies.

Chris is an expert on the interwar economy. His research addresses: the causes and consequences of banking crises; the formulation and implementation of monetary policy; the design and performance of cooperative organisations; famines, pandemics and sample selection; and the optimal design of patent systems.

Besides his disciplinary research, Chris is also very interested in pedagogical scholarship. He is particularly interested in ways of integrating economic history into economics teaching.

Chris has published in leading economic history field journals, such as The Journal of Economic HistoryThe Economic History Review and Business History Review. He is a member of the editorial board of Business History


Research Interests

  • Economics: banking and financial institutions; cooperative enterprises; business failure; patent system design; government policymaking processes; economics of religion; demographic change; anthropometrics
  • History: economic history; business history; financial history; social science history; the interwar period; famines; pandemics; the Netherlands; Ireland
  • 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 at Queen's University Belfast. He is an Associate of the Economics Network, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

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.



Current teaching duties:

  • ECO3020 Economic History (level-3 undergraduate economics module)

Current PhD students:




An Economist's Guide to Economic History
Editors: Matthias Blum and Christopher L. Colvin
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018
Available as an e-book on SpringerLink

Without economic history, economics runs the risk of being too abstract or parochial, of failing to notice precedents, trends and cycles, of overlooking the long-run and thus misunderstanding ‘how we got here’. This edited volume demonstrates the power of historical thinking in economic research with a collection of 50 short chapters that guide economics lecturers and their students through the field of economic history.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


  • HC Economic History and Conditions
  • HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
  • HG Finance
  • DH Netherlands (The Low Countries)
  • LB2361 Curriculum


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