Education: PhD: Massachusetts Institute of Technology;
MA: BA: University of California - Berkeley
My interests center on what I have come to think of as the history of capitalism -- an amalgam of business history, the history of technology, labor history, legal history, and political economy, with healthy doses of (quantitative) economic, social, and cultural history. At heart, I am a comparativist with special interests in the U.S. and Europe (especially Germany) in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
A key theme motivating my research, writing, and teaching is the relationship between political and economic change -- in particular, understanding the manifold ways in which politics, broadly construed, has shaped economic change. Under the rubric of "politics," I include not only policymaking (regulation and promotion) but also the (largely overlooked) effects on capitalist activity of the overall structure of political institutions.
My current research interests include: the history of shareholder voting rights in the U.S., Britain, France, and Germany in the nineteenth century; the history of "economic history" since the turn of the the twentieth century; the history of chain stores in the U.S. and Germany, 1870s-1930s; and the standardization movement in the U.S. and internationally in the 1920s.