Anne E. C. McCants
Ann F. Friedlaender Professor of History
MacVicar Faculty Fellow
Director of the Concourse Program
President, International Economic History Association
Anne McCants is Professor of History and Margaret MacVicar Faculty Fellow at MIT, where she directs the Concourse Program for the integration of humanistic study with the science core. She currently serves as the President of the International Economic History Association and as a co-editor for both Social Science History and The Journal of Interdisciplinary History.
Her research and teaching interests lie in the economic and social history of the Middle Ages and Early Modern Europe, as well as in the application of social science research methods across the disciplines. She is the author of Civic Charity in a Golden Age: Orphan Care in Early Modern Amsterdam (1997); co-editor of the three-volume Railroads in Historical Context: Construction, Costs, and Consequences, (2011-2013); and author of numerous articles that range across her research interests in historical demography, material culture, early modern trade and consumption, the provision of charity, and the relationship between economic growth and the standard of living. This work has appeared in many venues, including the Economic History Review, Explorations in Economic History, Family History, Historical Methods, the Journal of Economic History, the Journal of Interdisciplinary History, the Journal of World History, Social Science History, and the Oxford Handbook of Early Modern European History.
Anne’s research projects span multiple centuries of European economic development but are all grounded in a common concern to better understand the standard of living in the past and those features of economic and social life that contribute to human welfare.
Her current work includes a study of medieval building technology in its social and economic context, an examination of the role of gender norms and marriage systems in long-run economic growth, and problems in measuring and modeling institutional and economic development. Her long-standing inventory-based research in the origins and the socio-economic scope of the consumer revolution in the Dutch Republic continues, now extended to a comparative project using Cape Colony sources for South Africa.