Vacature: PhD position in Social History of Finance (UAntwerpen)

The Social History of Finance

Hisfindex Project

The Department of History in the Faculty of Arts is offering a full-time (100%) PhD position in historical household finance. The PhD position is linked to the research project The Social History of Finance.

The Social History of Finance project explores why in Western economies banks only began to reach deep into society during the 1960s and 1970s. The half century that passed between their creation in the late 19th and early 20th century and the widespread use of their services by households suggests that, for a very long time, many households managed their finances differently. But which services did they use, and when, how and why did the providers of those alternatives make way for banks? What drove this fundamental change in household finance and why did it not come earlier? Current research on financial development has no answers to these questions.

As PhD candidate you will work on the creation of the Hisfindex - a historical version of the Global Findex that measures financial inclusion in the world today. The aim is to find out which financial services were used by households between 1920 and 2020, including for instance payment services, various types of savings, public and private insurance, consumer credit, mortgages, and other loans obtained with or without the intermediation of banks. Recently, a pilot study for the Netherlands has been carried out. The purpose of your project is first to validate and extend the Hisfindex to the case of Belgium and second to investigate how the increased access to financial services affected the financial situation of households. Did they become more financially resilient? Or did living conditions remain unaltered despite the shifting balance between the public and private supply of financial services? To answer these questions you will work in close collaboration with other team members of The Social History of Finance. Your research will result in the identification of key junctures in the long-term development of household finance in Belgium and The Netherlands. It will contribute to the historical financial literature as well as provide insights to key questions surrounding financial literacy and resilience today.

Deadline: 30 june 2022

More info on the website of the UAntwerpen.