Auke Rijpma

About me

I’m an economic and social historian at Utrecht University. I’m interested in long-run economic growth, but above all in how economic growth results in widely shared gains in wellbeing. To do this I take a quantitative and computational approach to the historical record, and track how things like income, health, work, and inequality changed as economies grew and stagnated. I work historically because it provides the diverse cases we need, and the necessary long-term view at which many of these processes operate. A big-data approach is needed to make the most out of new large-scale historical microdata becoming available, and to be able to have a “broad wellbeing” perspective, which takes into account the multidimensional character of wellbeing. I construct and analyse such datasets in diverse team of historians, social scientists, and computer scientists in projects like the Historical Income Panel of the Netherlands, CLARIAH, and the Cape of Good Hope Panel.