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 most significant banking crisis in the Netherlands before 2008. I combined corporate financing data with 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 determined its performance during the crisis period.