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World Economic History

Code: 102330 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2501572 Business Administration and Management FB 1 1
2501573 Economics FB 1 1
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


Nuria Mallorqui Ruscalleda

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
catalan (cat)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:


Alberta Toniolo
Anna Maria Aubanell Jubany
Lluís Virós Pujolà
Josep Lluís Martínez González
Facund Fora Alcalde


There are no prerequisites for taking the course successfully.
Nonetheless it would be desirable if students were familiar with basic knowledge of Global Contemporary History, Economics 
and Geography.

Objectives and Contextualisation

World Economic History is part of the group of the basic subjects in the first year for the studies of Economics and Business Administration. The objective of these subjects is for students to acquire the knowledge, analytical tools and basic methodology in order to develop the general and specific competencies of the degree programme.This course studies the development of the international economy since pre-industrial times up to the present day. It appraises the different phases of modern economic growth, the impact of major historical facts on the economy as well as the transformation of global economic institutions.


    Business Administration and Management
  • Capacity for oral and written communication in Catalan, Spanish and English, which enables synthesis and oral and written presentation of the work carried out.
  • Contextualise economic problems in historical terms.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the interrelationships between different economies, the role of national and international economies, their evolution and the consequences that may be produced for the company.
  • Identify the economic agents that make up an economy, understanding how they have been interrelated to date, how they are currently interrelated and forecast futures according to new circumstances and their influence on a specific company.
  • Organise the work in terms of good time management, organisation and planning.
  • Select and generate the information necessary for each problem, analyse it and take decisions based on that information.
  • Show motivation for carrying out quality work and sensitivity to the consequences for the environment and society.
  • Capacity for adapting to changing environments.
  • Capacity for independent learning in the future, gaining more profound knowledge of previous areas or learning new topics.
  • Demonstrate initiative and work individually when the situation requires it.
  • Identify the economic agents that make up an economy, understanding how they have been interrelated to date, how they are currently interrelated and forecast futures according to new circumstances and their influence on a specific company.
  • Value ethical commitment in professional practice.
  • Work well in a team, being able to argue proposals and validate or reject the arguments of others in a reasoned manner.

Learning Outcomes

  1. A capacity of oral and written communication in Catalan, Spanish and English, which allows them to summarise and present the work conducted both orally and in writing.
  2. Analyse the current economic problems in historical terms, to better assess the evolutionary possibilities of economic systems.
  3. Assess ethical commitment in professional activity.
  4. Capacity to adapt to changing environments.
  5. Capacity to continue future learning independently, acquiring further knowledge and exploring new areas of knowledge.
  6. Demonstrate initiative and work independently when required.
  7. Demonstrate motivation regarding the quality of the work performed and sensitivity regarding the consequences on the environment and society.
  8. Describe the dynamic aspects of economic activity, taking as a reference the main phases of contemporary economic growth, and identify the main factors that have conditioned it.
  9. Explain the theoretical models of the economy using different historical cases as a reference.
  10. Identify the problems faced by economic agents when making decisions in uncertain conditions, based on different historical experiences.
  11. Organise work, in terms of good time management and organisation and planning.
  12. Perform an integrated analysis of the financial, worker and physical flows of the economy, on the basis of different historical experiences.
  13. Select and generate the information needed for each problem, analyse it and make decisions based on this information.
  14. Work as part of a team and be able to argue own proposals and validate or refuse the arguments of others in a reasonable manner.


Topic 1. Industrial Revolution and Demographic Transition

1.1 Industrial Revolution and Demographic Transition

1.2 The diffusion of industrialisation: regional and national models

1.3 The new industrial powers outside Europe: USA and Japan

Topic 2. The International Economy Between 1870 and 1913

2.1 Transport and Communications Revolution

2.2 Regional and International Migrations

2.3 International Trade and Finance

2.4 The International Monetary System: the Gold Standard

2.5 The Great Divergence in Economic Development

Topic 3. The Crisis of Traditional Liberal Capitalism
3.1 World War I and the economic consequences
3.2 The Great Depression: origins and development
3.3 Second World War II
3.4 American financial intervention and European and Japanese economic recovery
Topic 4. The Golden Age of Capitalism
4.1 The Bretton Woods agreement and the new international relations
4.2 Advanced capitalist economies
4.3 Centralised planned economies
4.4 Decolonisation and the Third World
Topic 5. Structural Change and Globalisation
5.1 The 1973-84 crisis and the responses
5.2 New actors in the new growth model
5.3 The Third Technological Revolution and Globalisation


Teaching will be offered on campus or in an on-campus and remote hybrid format depending on the number of students per group and the size of the rooms at 50% capacity

The course will be structured as follows:

1. Lectures

The professor will develop an analytical conceptualisation and a synthesis for every topic in the programme. The aim is to facilitate the transmission of knowledge and to motivate the student in historical analysis.

2. Tutorials

The aim of tutorials is to help students to achieve the specific knowledge of the subject and acquire transferable skills. There will be questions set for each topic and it is expected that students will work on them before class with the help of the lectures and reading material.

3. Studying from lectures and readings

The work done in class has to be complemented by the student individually or in group work. The student should gain independence in the learning process and in the process attain the analytical tools to develop the critical thinking. This work should amount to hundred hours in addition to lectures and tutorials.

4. Office hours

Students can use the professor's office hours to solve specific questions. Office hours will be announced in the intranet, Campus virtual.

5. Campus Virtual

Campus Virtual is a useful tool to help students to get easy information about the logistics of the course and the basic materials that the professor considers essential for learning.


Please note that the proposed teaching methodology may undergo some modifications according to the restrictions imposed by the health authorities on on-campus courses


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Lectures 33 1.32 12, 2, 8, 9, 10
Tutorials 12 0.48 4, 1, 5, 6, 11, 13, 14
Type: Supervised      
Supervised activities 10.5 0.42 12, 2, 1, 5, 8, 9, 10, 6, 11, 13
Type: Autonomous      
Practical work 31.5 1.26 4, 1, 5, 6, 11, 13, 14
Reading and independent study 60 2.4 12, 2, 8, 9, 10


The assessment of the course will be based on three modalities:

- Classroom participation (worth 10% of the course mark).

- Participation in the practice exercise sessions in the classroom (worth 20% of the course mark).

Two midterm exams. Each one of them will be worth 35% of the course mark. They will consist on 20 multiple choice questions marking 0,5 if the answer is correct, -0,125 if the answer is incorrect, and 0 if there is no response (50% of the midterm exam mark) and two essay questions (50% of the midterm exam mark).

 Exam questions will be based on lectures (theory and practice exercise sessions) and all teaching material that the professor indicates.


Calendar of evaluation activities

The dates of the evaluation activities (midterm exams, exercises in the classroom, assignments, ...) will be announced well in advance during the semester.

The date of the final exam is scheduled in the assessment calendar of the Faculty.

"The dates of evaluation activities cannot be modified, unless there is an exceptional and duly justified reason why an evaluation activity cannot be carried out. In this case, the degree coordinator will contact both the teaching staffand the affected student, and a new date will be scheduled within the same academic period to make up for the missed evaluation activity." Section 1 of Article 115. Calendar of evaluation activities (Academic Regulations UAB). Students of the Faculty of Economics and Business, who in accordance with the previous paragraph need to change an evaluation activity date must process the request byfilling out an Application for exams' reschedule https://eformularis.uab.cat/group/deganat_feie/application-for-exams-reschedule

Grade revision process

After all grading activities have ended, students will be informed of the date and way in which the course grades will be published. Students will be also be informed of the procedure, place, date and time of grade revision following University regulations.

Retake Process

"To be eligible to participate in the retake process, it is required for students to have been previously been evaluated for at least two thirds of the total evaluation activities of the subject." Section 3 of Article 112 ter. The recovery (UAB Academic Regulations). Additionally, it is required that the student to have achieved an average grade of the subject between 3.5 and 4.9.

The retake exam will be based on four essay questions marking 2,5 each.

The date of the retake exam will be posted in the calendar of evaluation activities of the Faculty. Students who take this exam and pass, will get a grade of 5 for the subject. If the student does not pass the retake, the grade will remain unchanged, and hence, student will fail the course.

Irregularities in evaluation activities

In spite of other disciplinary measures deemed appropriate, and in accordance with current academic regulations, "in the case that the student makes any irregularity that could lead to a significant variation in the grade of an evaluation activity, it will be graded with a 0, regardless of the disciplinary process that can be instructed. In case of various irregularities occur in the evaluation of the same subject, the final grade of this subject will be 0". Section 10 of Article 116. Results of the evaluation. (UAB Academic Regulations).

Please note that the proposed evaluation activities may undergo somechanges according to the restrictions imposed by the health authorities on on-campus courses 

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Classroom activities 30% of the final mark 0 0 12, 2, 4, 1, 5, 8, 9, 10, 6, 7, 11, 13, 14, 3
Two exercises, with activities of theoretical and empirical topics, in a test and thematic form 35% and 35% each 3 0.12 12, 2, 4, 1, 5, 8, 9, 10, 6, 7, 11, 13, 14, 3


Aldcroft, Derek, The European Economy, 1914-1990. London (1993): Routledge.
Broadberry, Stephen & Kevin O’Rourke, (eds.): The Cambridge Economic History of Modern Europe. Cambridge (2010):Cambridge University Press. 
Feinstein, C.; P. Temin & G. Toniolo: The World Economy Between the World Wars. Oxford (2008): Oxford University Press. 
Livi Bacci, Massimo: A Concise history of world population. Malden (2001): Blackwell.
O’Rourke, Kevin & Williamson, Jeffrey G.: Globalization and history : the evolution of a nineteenth-century Atlantic economy. Cambridge (1999): The MIT Press.
Persson, Karl Gunnar: An Economic History of Europe. Cambridge (2010): Cambridge University Press.
Temin, Peter: Lessons from the Great Depression. Cambridge (1989): The MIT Press.
Di Vittorio, Antonio (ed.): An Economic History of Europe. London (2006): Routledge.