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Gelderblom, Oscar


Academic Title

Prof Dr.

Full Name

Oscar Gelderblom

Date of Birth



Professor of Financial History

Profile text

You can read my inaugural lecture (in Dutch) here :
Oscar Gelderblom is an economic historian whose main research interest is the history of Europe before the Industrial Revolution. His publications deal with financial markets, European and colonial trade, entrepreneurship, collective action, migration and political economy. In 2013 he published Cities of Commerce. The institutional foundations of long-distance trade in the Low Countries, 1250-1650 (Princeton University Press) . His current work is on the evolution of financial markets in pre-industrial Europe.



+31 (0) 30 253 15 71





Working Days


Office Hours

By appointment

Visiting Address

Drift 6, room 1.23

Post Address

Drift 6, 3512 BS, Utrecht

Curriculum Vitae

BA and MA in History, Erasmus University Rotterdam, June 1995
Thesis: 'Eentrepreneurs in the Sugar Industry of Bristol, Rotterdam and Antwerp, 1815-1860'
PhD in History, Utrecht University, May 8th, 2000
Thesis: 'Zuid-Nederlandse kooplieden en de opkomst van de Amsterdamse stapelmarkt (1578-1630)' ('Merchants from the Southern Netherlands and the Rise of the Amsterdam Market (1578-1630)')
Recent Academic Positions:
2014-present, Professor of Financial History, Utrecht University
2008-present: Associate Professor, Department of History, Utrecht University
2006-2013: Project-leader, with Joost Jonker, of the EURYI/VIDI Program, The Evolution of Financial Markets in Pre-Industrial Europe: A Comparative Analysis


A. Current working papers

  • 2013 (with Joost Jonker and Clemens Kool), “Banks versus Markets: The Character of the Amsterdam Financial System during the Seventeenth-Century”.
  • 2013 (with Giuseppe Dari-Mattiaci, Joost Jonker and Enrico Perotti) “The Emergence of the Corporate Form (February 25, 2013)”,  Available at SSRN:
  • 2011 (with Abe de Jong and Joost Jonker), “The VOC Insurance Contract of 1613”.    
  • 2011 (with Joost Jonker), “Alba's Irony. Urban autonomy and Public Finance in the Low Countries (1384-1713)”.

B. Contributions to journals

  • (with Heidi Deneweth and Joost Jonker), “Microfinance and the Decline of Poverty: Evidence from the Nineteenth-Century Netherlands”. Forthcoming in: The Journal of Economic Development, Vol. 39, No. 1)
  • (with Abe de Jong and Joost Jonker), “The Formative Years of the First Modern Corporation: Dutch East India Company, 1602-1623”, The Journal of Economic History 73-4 (2013), 1050-1076
  • (with Ruben Schalk and Joost Jonker),  “Schipperen op de Aziatische vaart. De financiering van de VOC kamer Enkhuizen, 1602-1622”, Bijdragen en Mededelingen betreffende de Geschiedenis der Nederlanden/The Low Countries Historical Review 127:4 (2012), 3-27.
  • (with Joost Jonker), “Public Finance and Economic Growth. The Case of Holland in the Seventeenth Century”, The Journal of Economic History, 71-1 (March 2011), 1-39.
  • (with Regina Grafe) “The Rise, and Fall of the Merchant Guilds: Re-thinking the Comparative Study of Commercial Institutions in Premodern Europe”, Journal of Interdisciplinary History 40:4 (Spring, 2010), 477-511.
  • (with Bas van Bavel) “The Economic Origins of Cleanliness in the Dutch Golden Age”, Past and Present, 205, November 2009, 41-69.
  • (with Joost Jonker), “Completing a Financial Revolution. The Finance of The Dutch East India Trade and the Rise of the Amsterdam Capital Market, 1595-1612”, The Journal of Economic History, 64-3, September 2004, 641-672.
  • “Coping with the Perils of the Sea: The Last Voyage of ‘Vrouw Maria’ in 1771”, International Journal of Maritime History, XV-2, December 2003, 95-116.
  • “From Antwerp to Amsterdam: The Contribution of Merchants from the Southern Netherlands to the Rise of the Amsterdam Market”, Review. A Journal of the Fernand Braudel Center for the Study of Economies, Historical Systems, and Civilizations, vol. XXVI-3 (2003), 247-282.
  • “The Governance of Early Modern Trade: The Case of Hans Thijs (1556-1611)”, Enterprise & Society 4-4 (2003), 606-639.
  • The Decline of Fairs and Merchant Guilds in the Low Countries, 1250-1650”, Jaarboek voor Middeleeuwse Geschiedenis 2004.
  • “Uitdagingen voor de vroegmoderne ondernemersgeschiedenis”, NEHA Bulletin voor de economische geschiedenis, 16-2 (2002), 69-81.
  • “Een Antwerpse ‘cruydenier’ in Amsterdam: Hans Martens (1555-1613)”, Jaarboek Oud Utrecht  (2002), 15-34.
  • (with Jan Luiten van Zanden) “Vroegmodern ondernemerschap in Nederland”, NEHA-Bulletin voor de economische geschiedenis 11-2 (1997), 3-15.


C. Books and edited volume

  • Cities of Commerce. The Institutional Foundations of International Trade in the Low Countries, 1250-1650,  Princeton: Princeton University Press  (September 2013).
  •  The Political Economy of the Dutch Republic, ed. Oscar Gelderblom. Ashgate: Farnham (2009).
  • Zuid-Nederlandse kooplieden en de opkomst van de Amsterdamse stapelmarkt (1578-1630) (Hilversum 2000).

D. Book chapters

  • (with Joost Jonker) ““Early Capitalism in the Low Countries.”, The Cambridge History of Capitalism, Vol. 1., The Rise of Capitalism, edited by Larry Neal and Jeff Williamson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. In press.
  • (with Joost Jonker), “Low Countries Finance, 1348–1700” In. Handbook of Key Global Financial Markets, Institutions, and Infrastructure, edited by Douglas W. Arner et al. (Elsevier 2013) 175-83.
  • (with Joost Jonker), “Mirroring different follies. The Character of the 1720 Bubble in the Dutch Republic”, forthcoming in The Great Mirror of Folly: Finance, Culture, and the Bubbles of 1720. In Press.
  • (with Abe de Jong and Joost Jonker), “An Admiralty for Asia. Isaac le Maire and conflicting conceptions about the corporate governance of the VOC”, in: Jonathan G.S. Koppell, ed., The Origins Of Shareholder Advocacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan 2011), 29-60.
  • “The Resolution of Commercial Conflicts in Bruges, Antwerp, and Amsterdam, 1250-1650”, in Debin Ma and Jan Luiten van Zanden, eds. Law and Economic Development: a Historical Perspective (Stanford: Stanford UP 2011), 244-276.
  • (with Dan Bogart, Mauricio Drelichman, and Jean-Laurent Rosenthal), “State and Private Institutions”, in S. Broadberry and K. O’Rourke, eds., Unifying the European Experience, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2010), 70-95.
  • “Entrepreneurs in the Dutch Golden Age”, in: W. Baumol, D. Landes, and J. Mokyr, eds. The Invention of Enterprise. Entrepreneurship from Ancient Mesopotamia to Modern Times (Princeton: Princeton University Press 2010), 156-182.
  • (with Joost Jonker), “With a view to hold. The emergence of institutional investors in the Amsterdam securities market during the 17th and 18th centuries”, in J. Atack and L. Neal, The Evolution of Financial Institutions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2009), 71-98.
  • “The Organization of Long-Distance Trade in England and the Dutch Republic, 1550-1650”, in: The Political Economy of the Dutch Republic, ed. Oscar Gelderblom. Farnham: Ashgate (2009), 223-254.
  • “Introduction”, in: The Political Economy of the Dutch Republic, ed. Oscar Gelderblom. Farnham: Ashgate (2009)”, 1-18.
  • (with Bruno Blondé and Peter Stabel), “Foreign merchant communities in Bruges, Antwerp, and Amsterdam (1350-1650) forthcoming in: S. Turk Christensen et al., eds., Cultural Exchange in Europe, 1400-1700. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2007), 154-174.
  • (with Joost Jonker), “Amsterdam as the Cradle of Modern Futures Trading and Options Trading, 1550-1650”, in: W.N. Goetzmann and K.G. Rouwenhorst, eds., The Origins of Value. The Financial Innovations that Created Modern Capital Markets, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2005, 189-206.
  • “De economische en juridische positie van buitenlandse kooplieden in Amsterdam in de zestiende en zeventiende eeuw”, in: Leo Lucassen (red.), Amsterdammer worden. Migranten, hun organisaties en inburgering, 1600-2000, Vossiuspers, Amsterdam 2004, 169-188.
  • “Antwerp Merchants in Amsterdam after the Revolt (1578-1630)”, in: P. Stabel, B. Blondé and A. Greve (eds.), International Trade in the Low Countries (14th-16th Centuries) (Leuven/Apeldoorn: Garant 2000), 223-242
  • “De deelname van Zuid-Nederlandse kooplieden aan het openbare leven van Amsterdam (1578-1650)”, in: Lesger, C.M. en L. Noordegraaf (eds.), Ondernemers & bestuurders. Economie en politiek in de Noordelijke Nederlanden in de late Middeleeuwen en vroegmoderne tijd (Amsterdam: NEHA 1999), 237-258.

F. Review articles

  • (with Manon van der Heijden), “Trends en perspectieven in internationale tijdschriften op sociaaleconomisch historisch gebied (2010 en 2011)”, Tijdschrift voor Sociale en Economische Geschiedenis. 9-2 (2012): 101-123.
  • “Continuïteit en verandering in de handelsgeschiedenis van Amsterdam”, in: Bijdragen en Mededelingen voor de Geschiedenis der Nederlanden, 118-1 (2003), 49-57 (Review article of C.M. Lesger, Handel in Amsterdam. Kooplieden, commerciële expansie en verandering in de ruimtelijke economie van de Nederlanden ca. 1550-ca.1630 (Hilversum: Verloren 2001).

G. Book reviews

  • Sheilagh Ogilvie, Institutions and European Trade. Merchants Guilds, 1000-1800. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2011.” Business History.
  • Menno Witteveen, Antonio van Diemen. De opkomst van de VOC in Azië. Amsterdam: Pallas Publicaties 2011. In Bijdragen en Mededelingen voor de Geschiedenis der Nederlanden/The Low Countries Historical Review 127:3 (2012), 50-2.
  • Ekkehard Westermann en Markus A. Denzel, Das Kaufmannsnotizbuch des Matthäus Schwarz aus Augsburg von 1548, Vierteljahrschrift für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte – Beihefte, Band 215. Stuttgart: Franz Stein Verlag 2011, Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis 125/3 (2012) 439-40.
  • Marjolein van Dekken, Brouwen, branden en bedienen. Werkende vrouwen in de Nederlandse dranknijverheid, 1500-1800 (Aksant; Amsterdam 2010). ISBN: 9789052603612, Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis.
  • Karel Davids, The Rise and Decline of Dutch Technological Leadership: Technology, Economy and Culture in the Netherlands, 1350-1800. 2 vols. (Brill Academic Publishers; Leiden 2008), Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis.
  • Margaret C. Jacob and Catherine Secretan, The Self-Perception of Early Modern Capitalists (Palgrave MacMillan 2008), Economic History Review; 62:4  (2009), 1025.
  • J.I. Israel, Diasporas within a Diaspora. Jews, Crypo-Jews and the World Maritime Empires (1540-1740) (Brill: Leiden-Boston-Koln 2002), NEHA Bulletin 17 (2003) 2, 49-51.
  • R. Harris, Industrializing English Law. Entrepreneurship and Business Organization 1720-1844 (Cambridge 2000), NEHA Bulletin 17 (2003) 1, 28-29.
  • M. Bulut, Ottoman-Dutch Economic Relations in the Early Modern Period 1571-1699. N.W. Posthumus reeks 11 (Hilversum 2001), NEHA Bulletin 16 (2002) 1, 26-27.
  • J. de Bruijn-van der Helm, F. van Buuren, M. van Donkelaar, G. Gerritsen-Geywitz, en O. Lie (red.) in samenwerking met R. Jansen-Sieben en J. van Aelst, Een koopman in Venetië. Een Italiaans-Nederlands gespreksboekje uit de late Middeleeuwen (Hilversum 2001), NEHA Bulletin 16 (2002) 1, 25.
  • J.W. Veluwenkamp, Archangel. Nederlandse ondernemers in Rusland 1550-1785 (Amsterdam 2000), NEHA Bulletin 15 (2001) 1, 59-60.
  • M. Leidelmeijer, Van suikermolen tot grootbedrijf. Technische vernieuwing in de Java-suikerindustrie in de negentiende eeuw (Amsterdam 1997), NEHA Bulletin 12 (1998) 2, 113-114.

H. Miscellaneous

  • (with Ruben Schalk) “De boedelinventaris van Olff Stevenszoon”. Kleio, December 2010, pp. 31-33
  • “Handel en instituties”, Aanzet, 24-1 (2008), pp. 5-
  • “Hollands welvaren. Immigratie in de Republiek (1585-1685)”, Spiegel historiael 37 (2002), aflevering 7-8, 292-296.









Themes of Education

Financial History
Early Modern History
History of Trade
Urban History

Current Education Activities

See course listings at:

Sideline Activities

Check out the Game of the Golden Age:

Interesting Links

This short video tells you about about our research, with Abe de Jong and Joost Jonker, on the Dutch East India Company (VOC). We have also worked with Joost on the public debt of the 17th century Dutch Republic, and somehow it reminds us of the current sovereign debt crisis.


Financial Markets, VOC, Economic History, Low Countries, Europe Before 1850

Working Papers

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link to open item(with Abe de Jong, EUR) Permanent capital and risk management: the case of the VOC insurance contract of 1613
link to open itemAlba's Irony, Urban autonomy and Public Finance in the Low Countries (1384-1713)

Research Projects

The development license for SharePoint Cascading Lookup Plus Field Type has expired, please contact in order to renew your development license.
link to open itemThe evolution of financial markets in pre-industrial Europe


The development license for SharePoint Cascading Lookup Plus Field Type has expired, please contact in order to renew your development license.
link to open itemEconomic and social history
link to open itemPreindustrial period


Oratie Oscar Gelderblom.pdf    
Created at 20-8-2008 11:23 by Luijt, M. van (Martin)
Last modified at 23-2-2015 18:10 by Gelderblom, O.C. (Oscar)
Department: Gelderblom, Oscar