Robert Allen

Professor of Economic History

Research Interests

Economic history

Summary: My research aims to understand the process of economic growth. Why are some countries rich and others poor? This research is focused on measuring changes in living standards across Europe and Asia between 1600 and 1900, measuring and explaining productivity growth in English agriculture between 1300 and 1800, understanding the origins of modern technology and research and development in the industrial revolution, and studying the impact of imperialism on Asian economic growth between 1870 and 1940. I am also investigating the environmental sustainability of economic growth. I am engaged on a project to explain why bowhead whales in the eastern Arctic were hunted to extinction between 1600 and 1800.


  • MPhil Economic History 1: the Great Divergence (Convenor)