Brian A’Hearn




Pembroke College                                           phone: +44 01865 276 435

Oxford                                                             e-mail:

OX1 1DW                                                      web:

United Kingdom                                





Ph.D., Economics; University of California, Berkeley CA, Dec. 1994.


B.A., summa cum laude, Economics and International Relations;

The American University, Washington DC, Aug. 1986.

Minors in Russian language and Soviet Studies.



Academic Employment


2008 – pres.        Fellow and Tutor in Economics, Pembroke College, University of Oxford.


2005 – 08:       Associate Professor (’07-’08 chairman); Dept. of Economics, Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA.


1999 – 2005:       Assistant Professor; Dept. of Economics, Franklin & Marshall



1996 – 99:       Lecturer; Departments of Economics and Economic & Social

History (joint appointment), University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, UK. (Equivalent to an assistant professor position.)


1994 – 96:       Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter;  Seminar für

Wirtschaftsgeschichte, Ludwig-Maximilians Universität, Munich, Germany. (Equivalent to a post-doc position.)


1989 – 94:       Graduate Student Instructor, Graduate Student Researcher;

Dept. of Economics, Dept. of Public Policy, University of California - Berkeley.


Visiting Positions


       2006:        Visiting professor; Dept. of Economics and Institutions, University of Rome  “Tor Vergata” (Jan-July).


Publications and papers


Published Articles


“Quantifying Quantitative Literacy: Age Heaping and the History of Human Capital,” forthcoming, Journal of Economic History, vol. 69, no. 4 (2009).

With Jörg Baten and Dorothee Crayen,


“Height and the Normal Distribution: Evidence from Italian Military Data,” Demography, vol. 46, no. 1 (2009). With Franco Peracchi and Giovanni Vecchi.


“Russian Living Standards Under the Tsars: Anthropometric Evidence from the Volga,” Journal of Economic History, vol. 68, no. 3 (2008), pp. 900-929. With Boris Mironov.


“Remapping Italy’s Path to the 19th Century: Anthropometric Signposts”, Journal of European Economic History, vol. 35, no. 2 (2006), pp. 349-392.


“Finance-led Divergence in the Regions of Italy,” Financial History Review, vol. 12, no. 1 (2005), pp. 7-41.


“A Restricted Maximum Likelihood Estimator for Historical Height Samples,” Economics and Human Biology, vol. 2, no. 1 (March 2004), pp. 5-19.


“Il benessere dell’Italia settentrionale nel secolo e mezzo precedente l’unitą,” Rivista di Storia Economica, vol. XIX, no. 3 (December 2003), pp. 297-314.


“Anthropometric Evidence on Living Standards in Northern Italy, 1730-1860,” Journal of Economic History, vol. 63, no. 2 (June 2003), pp. 351-381.


“More International Evidence on the Historical Properties of Business Cycles,” Journal of Monetary Economics, vol. 47 (2001), pp 321-346, with U. Woitek.


“Could Southern Italians Cooperate? Banche Popolari in the Mezzogiorno,” Journal of Economic History, vol. 60, no. 1 (March 2000). pp 67-93.


“Institutions, Externalities, and Economic Growth in Southern Italy: Evidence from the Cotton Textile Industry, 1861-1914,” Economic History Review, vol. LI, no. 4 (November 1998). pp 734-762.


“The Antebellum Puzzle Revisited: A New Look at the Physical Stature of Union Army Recruits during the Civil War,” in Studies on the Biological Standard of Living in Comparative Perspective, J. Komlos and J. Baten, eds., Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1998. pp. 250-267.


Book Reviews


Von der Autarkie zum Wirtschaftswunder: Wirtschaftspolitik und industrieller Wandel in Italien 1935-1963, by Rolf Petri. Journal of Economic History, v. 63, no. 1 (March 2003), pp. 261-62.


The Growth of the Italian Economy 1820-1960, by Jon Cohen and Giovanni Federico., Sept. 2002.


Italian Industrialists from Liberalism to Fascism, by Franklin Adler. Journal of Economic History, v. 57 n. 4 (Dec. 1997), pp. 736-38.


Awards and External Grants


2005 Italian Fulbright Commission senior researcher grant no. 5318, awarded to support visiting the University of Rome “Tor Vergata,” Department of Economics and Institutions, during the 2005-06 academic year.


2005 University of Rome “Tor Vergata” visiting scholar grant.


2003 National Endowment for the Humanities summer seminar fellowship, American Academy of Rome.


1999 T.S. Ashton Prize for the best article submitted to the Economic History Review by a scholar under 35 during the biennium 1998-99.


Research Interests


Causes and distributional consequences of long run economic growth in Europe, particularly Italy: institutions, human capital and education, technology, business cycles, banking, cities and regions, anthropometrics, living standards and inequality.


Current projects:


Agricultural Credit and Southern Italy’s Contratto alla Voce: Efficiency or Exploitation?


The Roots of Regional Disparities in Human Capital: the Political Economy of Primary Education in Liberal Italy.


Teaching Experience


Intermediate Macroeconomics, Introduction to Macroeconomics, Economic Statistics, Econometrics, Introduction to Economic Principles, History of the International Economy, U.S. Economic History, European and Chinese Economic Development 900-1900, supervision of independent studies and honors theses.

(Franklin & Marshall)


History of the International Economy - Master’s in International Economics Program (Rome – Tor Vergata).


A New Institutional Economics Approach to Economic History, Quantitative Methods for MRes in Social Science Research / Postgraduate Research Training Certificate, Contributions to MPhil in Economic History, Non-honours Research Training, MSc in Development Economics dissertation supervision.



Survey of European Economic History, Seminar in Economic History, Contributions to General Economics for Business Students.



Other Professional Activities


Referee for Journal of Economic History, Economic History Review, Explorations in Economic History, European Review of Economic History, Labour, Journal of International Economics, Bulletin of Economic Research, Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Financial History Review, Economics and Human Biology, and Oxford Economic Papers.




Italian, German, Russian, French




Born 1964 in Madison, Wisconsin, USA; US citizen.

Hometown: Washington DC area.

Family: married to Zlata Solovova, children Sean (19), Brendan (13), and Marie (7).