Sharing Knowledge

We are keen to make our expertise in the field of economic and social history available to external organisations. We welcome commissions from businesses and institutions to carry out research into business history, but other activities are also possible. For more information please contact Dr Joost Dankers, +31 (0)30 253 9145.

Exampes of projects:

Heineken: 150 jaar. Brouwerij, merk en familie

History of Heineken

Commissioned by Heineken, Prof. Keetie Sluyterman and Dr Bram Bouwens produced a book on the company's 150-year history, also including the pre-history of the company from 1592. Using the themes of innovation, internationalisation, competition and collaboration, marketing, personnel and corporate governance, they explored the ways in which the company succeeded in reaching a top international position while maintaining its independence. The commission began in 2011 and was completed in 2014 with the publication of Heineken: 150 jaar brouwerij, merk en familie (Boom 2014).

Boek over SER: ‘Zestig jaar denkwerk voor draagvlak’

SER 1950-2010 Zestig jaar denkwerk voor draagvlak

To mark the sixtieth anniversary of the Social and Economic council of the Netherlands (SER) Dr Joost Dankers and Prof. Bas van Bavel were commissioned to produce a book on the history of this advisory body.
The resulting book SER 1950-2010 Zestig jaar denkwerk voor draagvlak explores the work of the SER and the way in which the council has dealt with sweeping economic, social and political change with regard to themes such as internationalisation, sustainability, work and social security. The authors, including Prof. Bas van Bavel, Prof. Keetie Sluyterman and Prof. Jan Luiten van Zanden, worked in an interdisciplinary team that also included legal experts and economists and are all affiliated to Utrecht University and the Strategic Theme Institutions for Open Societies.

Onderzoeksrapport How was Life? Global Well-Being Since 1820

How Was Life? Global Well-Being since 1820

The research report How Was Life? Global Well-Being since 1820 (2014) is the result of a collaboration between economic historians working on the Clio-Infra project and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It presents a huge quantity of new data on the welfare of people across the globe since 1820. By systematically charting the long-term development of a wide range of welfare indicators, the book creates a more nuanced view than the existing perceptions of the development of welfare based on income development at the national and individual level.

Het Spel van de Gouden Eeuw

Het Spel van de Gouden Eeuw

Het Spel van de Gouden Eeuw, (the Dutch Golden Age Game) developed under the leadership of Prof. Oscar Gelderblom and Dr Joost Jonker, is a game for tablets, smartphones and computers, with rules based on historical research.
Players take on the role of a young merchant in 17th-century Amsterdam and learn all about Amsterdam around the year 1600 in the course of the game. Accompanying lesson materials have been developed for use in economics lessons in the final years of HAVO or VWO streams (senior general secondary education and pre-university education). This material is available for teachers to freely use, reproduce and adapt to their own requirements.
The game Spel van de Gouden Eeuw was created with funding from the K.F. Hein Fonds, alumni from Utrecht University and The Young Academy of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).

Project 'Ja, ik wil!'

Ja, ik wil!

The aim of the project ‘Ja, ik wil!’ (I do!) is to make available for scientific research demographic and social-economic data from the Amsterdam registers of notices of intent to marry (1581-1811).
Not only do the Amsterdam registers of notices of intent to marry (1581-1811) form a unique source for scientific research, but the working method is also unusual in that the project is making use of a large number of volunteers attracted through (a crowdsourcing website for the cultural heritage sector). 

The size of the source (almost 500,000 registrations) and the many details in each notice of intent mean these registers offer a wealth of information about early modern betrothed couples and their social environment: how old they were, where they came from, their occupation, whether their parents were still alive, etcetera.

These data are used to carry out research into possible coherence between marriage patterns, the emergence of institutions such as guilds and beguinages and the striking economic advantage of the Low Countries in the early modern period. Average life expectancy throughout the centuries is also being studied.

The 'Ja, ik wil!' project is part of the research project United We Stand.

Institutions for Collective Action

Institutions for collective action

The research team ‘Institutions for collective action’ led by Prof. Tine de Moor is studying the emergence, development and impact of various forms of self-regulating institutions. This research includes a number of projects such as 'Ja ik wil!', and the team is collaborating with Genealogie Online, Kenniscentrum Wonen-Zorg and the Amsterdam City Archives among others. For more information see

Citizen collectives can be a more sustainable institutional form for the future.