Call for Papers

APEBH 2011: San Francisco Bay Area (USA), 18-20 February 2011
Asia-Pacific Economic and Business History Conference
Organised by the All-University of California Group in Economic History and the
Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand
18-20 February 2011, Hotel Shattuck Plaza, Berkeley, California, USA
Theme: The Great Divergence: Perspectives from the Pacific Rim

Call for Papers


**Please note: the due date for paper proposals has been extended to 17 December 2010**

Papers and proposals for sessions are invited for the 2011 APEBH conference. The main conference theme is ‘The Great Divergence: Perspectives from the Pacific Rim’ but the organisers are open to proposals for contributions on other topics in economic, social, and business history, as well as to proposals for sessions on particular themes. Researchers across a broad range of disciplines are warmly welcomed.  Early career researchers are encouraged to participate. The conference organisers are particularly interested in attracting papers that examine developments in countries and regions along the Pacific Rim and papers that provide an international comparative perspective. 

The past decade has seen a flurry of debate on the notion that Asia and Europe went different ways in economic development since the early nineteenth century because steam engines and access to colonial products enabled Europe to do so. Robert Allen and Kenneth Pomeranz simultaneously coined the phrase “The Great Divergence,” but others such as David Landes, Eric Jones and André Gunder Frank probed similar issues. Several authors and collaborative projects are now contributing to a broadened discussion with their own meta-histories, using comparative approaches, and the assembly and interpretation of new quantitative data on prices and living standards.  Some studies have challenged the relevance of the argument beyond the Yangzi Delta and England. The time has come to assess the debate, establish the arguments that withstood scrutiny, and ascertain the wider relevance of the debate for the economies of the Pacific Rim (including South and North America and Australasia) is the post-divergence era.

Our theme could be approached from a number of perspectives, including those of the cliometrician, the economic historian, the economic theorist, the business historian, as well as the social historian. There is scope for new interpretations, new findings, as well as syntheses of existing work.


Professor Richard Sutch, University of California: [Chair of the Committee]

Professor Peter H. Lindert, University of California:

Dr Martine Mariotti, Australian National University:

Dr John Wilson, University of South Australia:

Paper abstracts of one page may be submitted at any time up to the closing date of 30 November 2010. A decision on proposals will be made within a month of submission. Session proposals of one page may be submitted up to the same date, outlining the main objectives of the session and potential participants. You are not obliged to submit your full paper for refereeing. Complete versions of accepted papers should be sent to us by 4 February 2011 for posting on the conference website.

Some universities require staff attending conferences to have their papers refereed. If this is the case in your institution, please submit the full paper by the 30 November 2010 due date for the double blind refereeing process.

A conference paper prize will be awarded. A selection of papers (subject to the normal reviewing process and standards) may be published in Australian Economic History Review: An Asia-Pacific Journal of Economic, Business and Social History. Further details about the conference and the Call for Papers can be found at this web page:

The web page of the All-University of California Group in Economic History is:

The web page of the Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand is: