The divergence of economic history from economics has impoverished our ability to explain the modern world. My research achievement is to show how these fields can be usefully combined to better understand the performance of firms, industries and economies.
My main research contribution has been to explore the causes, anatomy and consequences of the Dutch financial crisis of the 1920s, the last banking crisis to hit the Netherlands before 2008. I combined corporate financing data with other types of historical evidence, including qualitative evidence from business archives, to explain the behaviour of diverse banking organisations during this crisis. My research, which has been published in leading economic and business history journals, shows that the structure of the Dutch financial services sector before the crisis explains its performance during the crisis period.