Professor Sheilagh Ogilvie FBA

Economic History (Economics); Western Europe; Central Europe; Eastern Europe

Elected 2004

UK Fellow
Economics, Education

Sheilagh Ogilvie grew up in the western Canadian city of Calgary, but has since lived in Scotland, Germany, England, the USA and the Czech Republic. She is currently based in the UK, where she is Professor of Economic History at Cambridge University. She explores the lives of ordinary people in the past and tries to explain how poor economies get richer and improve human well-being. She holds degrees from the University of St Andrews (1979), Cambridge (1985), and Chicago (1992), and has been successively Lecturer (1989), Reader (2000), and Professor of Economic History (2004) in the Faculty of Economics at the University of Cambridge. She has published on institutions and economic development, the economics of guilds, merchants, rural communities, serfdom, human capital, consumption, retailing, occupational structure, demography, proto-industry, banking, female labour force participation, regulation, the growth of the state, and social capital. She is the winner of the Gyorgy Ranki Prize (1999), the Anton Gindeley Prize (2004), the René Kuczynski Prize (2004), and the Stanley Z. Pech Prize (2008).

Current post

Professor of Economic History, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge

Past appointments

University of Cambridge Professor of Economic History

Jan 2004 -

University of Cambridge Reader in Economic History

Jan 1999 -

University of Cambridge Lecturer in Economics

Jan 1989 - Jan 1999


The Economics of Guilds Journal of Economic Perspectives 28:4 (2014)

Institutions and European Trade: Merchant Guilds, 1000-1800 2011

Does the European Marriage Pattern Explain Economic Growth? The Journal of Economic History 74:3 (2014)

State Corporatism and Proto-Industry: the Wurttemberg Black Forest 1590-1797 1997

A Bitter Living: Women, Markets and Social Capital in Early Modern Germany 2003

Germany: a new social and economic History, 1450-present (3 vols) 1995 1996, 2003

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