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Financial history, banking and insurance

We provide systematic knowledge based on empirical research on both how finance spurs economic growth and development, and on crises and how such crises can be mitigated, or avoided.

Our research is divided into three main categories:

  1. Finance and the macro-economy
  2. Insurance and retirement systems
  3. The political economy of money and finance.

Finance and the macro-economy

Research on:

  • The causes and consequences of banking crises
  • Crisis management
  • Financial regulations
  • Financial and real macro-economic cycles
  • Central banking and monetary policy
  • Free banking
  • Different exchange rate arrangements
  • Public debt dynamics
  • Sovereign default and debt management
  • The role of finance for economic growth (on the international, national as well as national levels).

In our research, we have constructed many long-term databases for several countries, such as:

  • Banking data
  • Money supply
  • Sovereign debt
  • GDP
  • Industrial productivity indices
  • Nominal and real effective exchange rates etc.

Insurance and retirement systems

We are studying the role of early life insurances and retirement schemes for financial and economic development. Early retirement schemes are important as they historically contributed to the emergence of institutional investors.

Our research also provides knowledge on individuals’ saving behaviour and forecasting ability: to what extent could and did individuals save for misfortune or old age? How was risk handled? Early actuary science and the availability of demographic data were used to create insurance schemes that would allow suppliers of insurances to get the insurance premiums right.

The political economy of money and finance

We study the history of economic thought to understand the political economy of finance. This includes studying debates in newspapers, parliament and political publications concerning financial and monetary issues. We ask questions such as: How is financial and monetary theory used to legitimize implementations of policies and regulations? How does political insecurity affect finance and growth? How do regulatory regimes change over time and how are alternative monetary systems (such as cryptocurrencies) implemented?

We are also studying how financial and monetary theories are developing in relation to the economic context at the time the theory is accepted. 


Jaco Zuijderduijn
Senior lecturer
Associate professor