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Groningen Growth and Development Centre

Faculty of Economics and Business
Historical Development Related Projects

Gauging Past Performance

Creating Financial Metadata for Economics, Finance, and Economic History in the Netherlands

A project subsidized by Platform Digital Infrastructure Social Sciences and Humanities, 2020-2024 (€ 830,000) Main applicant: Prof. Dr. Herman de Jong Co-applicants: Prof. Dr. Abe de Jong (Monash University and Erasmus University); Prof. Dr. Joost Jonker (UvA/IISG); Prof.Dr. Oscar Gelderblom (Utrecht University).

Finance teaching and research in the Netherlands relies entirely on US data, easily available but not very relevant for the country. To remedy this we build NEDHISFIRM, a comprehensive information system holding Dutch corporate and stock exchange data for the period 1796-1980. Historians and economists collaborate closely to provide new and vital data for understanding the long-term evolution of Dutch financial markets, firms and public finance in their societal context. Modelled closely on proven systems in Belgium and France, NEDHISFIRM supplies innovative standards of documentation bringing together metadata formats and an architecture facilitating the next generation of data-extraction and enrichment systems from historical sources.

We need this system because comprehensive Dutch data add significantly to current European efforts to provide a necessary corrective to dominant, US-derived, assumptions about modern finance and financial market evolution. Moreover, systems connecting long-term corporate and financial data facilitating in-depth analyses of a country’s financial system have been or are being made everywhere, so Dutch universities need urgently to catch up. NEDHISFIRM fills the rapidly growing demand for digital corporate information from economists and economic historians. Moreover, the project fits in EURHISFIRM, the H2020 consortium of top universities and institutes developing digitalisation of historical corporate and financial data, awarded by the European Commission in 2017.

Last modified:13 December 2021 08.59 a.m.