Jörg Baten

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Jörg Baten (born 24 June 1965 in Hamburg) is a German economic historian.


Baten received his doctorate from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich with his work about the biological standard of living in South Germany. Since 2001 he holds the chair of economic history at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen. In 2005 he was invited as a visiting professor at Yale University (Dept. Political Science) and was visiting professor at Pompeu Fabra University of Barcelona in 2006/07. Since 2006 Baten is Secretary General of the International Economic History Association.


Baten achieved prominence with his works about the long term development of human capital and living standards. In a global project he and his colleagues studied trends of numerical skills over centuries.[1] As an indicator for numeracy, the share of people being able to state their exact age was used, as well as consumption statistics of books. Baten drew the conclusion that early development of education in some countries caused today’s differences between poor and rich, whereas world trade played a rather marginal role.[2]

Jointly with Nikola Koepke, Baten studied the history of health and nutrition in Europe since the ancient world [3] and in joint work with other junior scholars (for example, Alexander Moradi), he explored other world regions such as Africa, the Middle East and Latin America using methods of anthropometric history.[4][5][6]

One fundamental achievement was that the health of historical populations depends on agricultural characteristics. A specialisation of animal husbandry, for example, reduces the catastrophal insufficiency of protein and calcium in preindustrial societies.


Jörg Baten (ed.): A History of the Global Economy. From 1500 to the Present. Cambridge University Press, 2016. ISBN 9781107507180.


  1. ^ A’Hearn, Brian; Baten, Jörg; Crayen, Dorothee (2009). "Quantifying Quantitative Literacy: Age Heaping and the History of Human Capital". Journal of Economic History. 69 (3): 783–808. doi:10.1017/S0022050709001120. 
  2. ^ Baten, Jörg; Luiten van Zanden, Jan (2008). "Book Production and the Onset of Early Modern Growth". Journal of Economic Growth. 13 (3): 217–235. doi:10.1007/s10887-008-9031-9. 
  3. ^ Koepke, Nikola; Baten, Jörg (2008). "Agricultural Specialization and Height in Ancient and Medieval Europe". Explorations in Economic History. 45: 127–146. doi:10.1016/j.eeh.2007.09.003. 
  4. ^ Baten, Jörg; Stegl, Mojgan (2009). "Tall and shrinking Muslims, short and growing Europeans: The long-run welfare development of the Middle East, 1850–1980". Explorations in Economic History. 46 (1): 132–148. doi:10.1016/j.eeh.2008.10.003. 
  5. ^ Baten, Jörg; Pelger, Ines; Twrdek, Linda (2009). "The Anthropometric History of Argentina, Brazil and Peru during the 19th and early 20th century". Economics and Human Biology. 7 (3): 319–333. doi:10.1016/j.ehb.2009.04.003. 
  6. ^ Moradi, Alexander; Baten, Jörg (2005). "Inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa: New Data and New Insights from Anthropometric Estimates". World Development. 33 (8): 1233–1265. doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2005.04.010. 

External links[edit]

  • Jörg Baten at the website of Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen.