Jan de Vries

Ehrman Professor Emeritus

Professor of the Graduate School


A.B., Columbia University
Ph.D., Yale University

Research Interests

European economic history

Representative Publications

Edited Books

with Ad van der Woude and Akira Hayami, Urbanization in History (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1990)

with David Freedberg, Art in History, History in Art: Studies in Seventeenth Century Dutch Culture (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1991)

with Philipp Robinson Rössner and Markus A. Denzel, Small is Beautiful? Interlopers and Smaller Trading Nations in the Pre-industrial Period (Stuttgart, Franz Steiner Verlag, 2011).


The Industrious Revolution: Consumer Demand and the Household Economy, 1650 to the Present. (Cambridge, Cambridge Univ. Press, 2008). Winner: Georgy Ranki Prize, best book in European Economic History, 2007-09; Spanish translation, 2009.

The Dutch Rural Economy in the Golden Age, 1500-1700 (New Haven, Yale University Press, 1974)

The Economy of Europe in an Age of Crisis, 1600-1750 (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1976); Spanish translation, 1979; Portuguese translation, 1983; Catalan translation of selections, 1993. Retrospective review: http://www.eh.net/project2000/

Barges and Capitalism: Passenger Transportation in the Dutch Economy, 1632-1839 (A.A.G. Bijdragen no. 21; Wageningen, The Netherlands, 1978; reissued: Utrecht, Hes Publishers, 1981; "on demand" publication, Amsterdam University Press, 2006)

European Urbanization, 1500-1800 (London, Methuen and Co.; Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1984; Spanish transl. 1987.

with A.M. van der Woude, The First Modern Economy. Success, Failure, and Perseverance of the Dutch Economy from 1500 to 1815 (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1997) Dutch edition: Nederland, 1500-1815: De eerste ronde van modern economisch groei (Amsterdam, Uitgeverij Balans, 1995). Winner: Georgy Ranki Prize, best book in European Economic History, 1997-99; Japanese translation, 2009.


"How Did Pre-Industrial Labor Markets Function?" in George Grantham and Mary MacKinnen, eds., The Evolution of Labour Markets (London, Routledge, 1994), pp. 39-63.

"Population," in Thomas A. Brady, Heiko A. Oberman, and James Tracy, eds., Handbook of European History, 1400-1600, Vol. 1, (Leiden, E.J. Brill, 1994), pp. 1-50.

"The Industrial Revolution and the Industrious Revolution," Journal of Economic History, 54 (1994), 249-70.

"Great Expectations: History and the Social Sciences," Early Modern History and the Social Sciences, Review 22 (1999), 121-49.

"Dutch Economic Growth in Comparative Historical Perspective, 1500-2000," De Economist, 148 (2000), 443-67.

"Economic Growth before and after the Industrial Revolution: a modest proposal," in Maarten Prak, ed., Early Modern Capitalism (London, Routledge Publishers, 2000), pp. 177-94

"Connecting Europe and Asia. A Quantitative Analysis of the Cape Route Trade, 1497-1795," in Dennis Flynn, Arturo Giraldo, and Richard von Glahn, eds., Global Connections and Monetary History, 1470-1800 (London, Ashgate, 2003), pp. 35-106.

"The Political Economy of Bread in the Dutch Republic," in Oscar Gelderblom, ed., The Political Economy of the Dutch Republic (Ashgate Publishers, 2009).pp. 85-114.

"The Economic Crisis of the Seventeenth Century after Fifty Years," Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 40 (2009), 151-94.

"The Limits of Globalization in the Early Modern World," Economic History Review, 63 (2010), 710-33.