CLIO-INFRA. Research Infrastructure for the study of Global Inequality


Executive summary

Global inequality is one of the key problems of the contemporary world. Some countries have become quite rich in the relatively recent past, others have remained poor. New theoretical insights in economics, such as new institutional economics, new economic geography and new growth theory, as well as the rise of global economic and labour history, mean that these processes can and should be studied on a world scale. These issues can only be tackled on the basis of global datasets for analysing patterns of economic performance and their causes. These global datasets are lacking. Moreover, the data that are available are not always based on state-of-the-art information on the countries and regions involved. This makes the data at times unreliable, and even misleading. To address this situation, economic and social historians must come together to gather and share knowledge, in order to create reliable global datasets of the most relevant indicators of economic performance and its causes. This knowledge needs to be pooled and sharing protocols have to be set. To develop this collaboration, we will draw on the expertise in collaboratories of the International Institute of Social History (IISH) and other organisations (VKS, DANS, UU). Teams of scholars working on different regions and/or time periods will come together to share their expertise to construct the necessary global datasets. This way of working, called a collaboratory, plays an important role in CLIO-INFRA. It will ensure that the most urgently-needed datasets on global inequality in the period after 1500 are produced and made accessible.
CLIO-INFRA is a cooperation between four Dutch institutes with ample experience and expertise in this field, and two partners from abroad. It brings together a number of specialised collaboratories organised by different partners on key topics: GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and its components: University of Groningen; Institutions, Quality of Life, Geography and Environment, and Inequality Indicators: Utrecht University; Global Labour Relations, Wages and Prices, and Demography and Gender: IISH; Human capital formation: University of Debrecen; Standard of Living: University of Tübingen. These pooled resources form datasets that are accessible via a central portal, hosted by IISH. The portal and archiving of the data are provided by DANS. The portal also provides visualisation tools to explore the pooled data. On the basis of software from StatPlanet and Gapminder, visualisation of the data will provide a means of exploration and dissemination. The unique global datasets will enable new opportunities for data analysis and the testing of hypotheses from new economic theories. CLIO-INFRA will greatly enhance our understanding of the origins, causes and character of the process of global inequality.
CLIO-INFRA is embedded in the European Commission initiative Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH), through one of the partners, DANS. DARIAH is on both the ESFRI Roadmap and the Dutch national roadmap for large-scale research facilities (?Nederlandse Roadmap Grootschalige Onderzoeksfaciliteiten?). At present the possibility of a close cooperation with the World Bank is also under consideration. Members of staff of that institution have already expressed their interest in joining the programme and contributing to the data collection and analysis, in particular for the most recent period. The total required budget is €4.2 M. The participating institutions provide matching funding at the level of 25% plus the costs of the management team; the requested funding is €2.8 M.



Chapter in book

  • T. De Moor, S.G. Carmichael, J.L. van Zanden(2011): Levenslopen in Transformatie; liber amicorum bij het afscheid van prof. dr. Paul M.M. Klep pp. 208 - 221
  • K. Klein Goldewijk(2013): Encyclopedia of Biodiversity pp. 555 - 568
  • C. Smith, M. Timmer, M. Mira d'Ercole, J. Baten, J.L. van Zanden, C. Smith, M. Mira d'Ercole, J. Baten, M. Timmer, A. Rijpma, J.L. van Zanden, A. Rijpma(2014): How Was Life?: Global Well-being since 1820 pp. 23 - 36 , Parijs
  • A. Rijpma, J.L. van Zanden, M. Timmer, L. van der Vleuten, J. Kok, J. Baten, M. Mira d'Ercole, C. Smith(2014): How Was Life? Global Well-being since 1820 pp. 37 - 56
  • A. Rijpma, C. Smith, S. Carmichael, A. Rijpma, S. Dilli, J. Baten, M. Timmer, J.L. van Zanden, M. Mira d'Ercole(2014): pp. 217 - 148
  • M. Timmer, A. Rijpma, B. van Leeuwen, M. Mira d'Ercole, J.L. van Zanden, P. Foldvari, C. Smith, M. Moatsos, J.L. van Zanden, J. Baten, J. Baten(2014): How Was Life? Global Well-being since 1820 pp. 199 - 216
  • C. Smith, J. Baten, M. Mira d'Ercole, M. Timmer, M. Blum, J.L. van Zanden, A. Rijpma, J. Baten(2014): How Was Life? Global Well-being since 1820 pp. 117 - 138
  • J. Bolt, C. Smith, M. Mira d'Ercole, J. Baten, J.L. van Zanden, J.L. van Zanden, M. Timmer, M. Timmer, A. Rijpma(2014): How Was Life? Global Well-being since 1820 pp. 57 - 72
  • M. Timmer, J. Baten, J.L. van Zanden, A. Rijpma, A. Rijpma, M. Mira d'Ercole, C. Smith(2014): How Was Life? Global Well-being since 1820 pp. 249 - 269
  • A. Rijpma, J. Baten, J.L. van Zanden, M. Timmer, P. Foldvari, K. Buzasi, C. Smith, M. Mira d'Ercole(2014): pp. 159 - 178
  • J. van Leeuwen-Li, J.L. van Zanden, P. de Zwart, M. Timmer, B. van Leeuwen, A. Rijpma, J. Baten, M. Mira d'Ercole, C. Smith(2014): How Was Life? Global Well-being since 1820 pp. 73 - 86 , Parijs
  • M. Mira d'Ercole, A. Rijpma, C. Smith, M. Timmer, J. Baten, K. Klein Goldewijk, J.L. van Zanden(2014): How Was Life? Global Well-being since 1820 pp. 179 - 198
  • J. van Leeuwen-Li, B. van Leeuwen(2014): How Was Life? Global Well-being since 1820 pp. 87 - 100 , Parijs
  • J. Baten, A. Rijpma, P. Foldvari, M. Mira d'Ercole, M. Timmer, J.L. van Zanden, C. Smith, J. Baten, W. Bierman, J.L. van Zanden(2014): How Was Life? Global Well-being since 1820 pp. 139 - 158
  • A. Rijpma, F. Ribeiro de Silva, J. Baten, M. Mira d'Ercole, M. Timmer, R.L. Zijdeman, C. Smith, J.L. van Zanden(2014): How Was Life? Global Well-being since 1820 pp. 102 - 116 , Parijs
  • A. Schrikker, P. de Zwart, J. Touwen, J.L. van Zanden, D. Marks, A.M. de Pleijt(2015): Promises and Predicaments. Trade and Entrepreneurship in Colonial and Independent Indonesia in the 19th and 20th Centuries pp. 61 - 79 , Singapore
  • J. Baten, J. Baten(2016): A History of the Global Economy: 1500 to the Present pp. 310 - 315
  • J. Baten, J. Baten(2016): A History of the Global Economy: 1500 to the Present pp. 163 - 164
  • J. Baten, S.G, Carmichael, A. Rijpma, S. Dilli(2016): A History of the Global Economy: From 1500 to the Present pp. 240 - 247
  • J. Baten, J. Baten(2016): A History of the Global Economy: 1500 to the Present pp. 158 - 162
  • J. Baten, J. Baten(2016): A History of the Global Economy: 1500 to the Present pp. 279 - 281
  • J. Baten, J. Baten(2016): A History of the Global Economy: 1500 to the Present pp. 42 - 73
  • J. Baten, R. Ghanem, J. Baten(2016): A History of the Global Economy: 1500 to the Present pp. 208 - 239
  • J. Baten, J. Baten(2016): A History of the Global Economy: 1500 to the Present pp. 74 - 78
  • J.L. van Zanden, J. Baten(2016): A History of the Global Economy: 1500 to the Present pp. 13 - 34
  • K. Inwood, J. Baten, J. Baten(2016): A History of the Global Economy: 1500 to the Present pp. 274 - 278
  • J. Baten, J. Baten(2016): A History of the Global Economy: 1500 to the Present pp. 1 - 12

Scientific article

  • P. Foldvari, B. van Leeuwen(2008): How much human capital does Eastern Europe have? Measurement methods and results Post-Communist Economies pp. 189 - 201
  • B. van Leeuwen, P. Foldvari(2008): Human Capital and Economic Growth in Asia 1890-2000: A Time-series Analysis Asian Economic Journal pp. 225 - 240
  • P. Földvári(2009): Average Years of Education in Hungary: Annual Estimates, 1920-2006 Eastern European Economics pp. 5 - 20
  • K. Klein Goldewijk, P. Janssen, A. Beusen(2010): Long term dynamic modeling of global population and built-up area in a spatially explicit way, HYDE 3 .1 The Holocene pp. 565 - 573
  • T. De Moor, J.L. van Zanden(2010): Girlpower. The European Marriage Pattern (EMP) and labour markets in the north sea region in the late medieval and early modern period Economic History Review pp. 1 - 33
  • J.L. van Zanden, T. De Moor(2010): "Every woman counts": A Gender-Analysis of Numeracy in the Low Countries during the Early Modern Period Journal of interdisciplinary history pp. 179 - 208
  • D. Niyogi, R. Betts, M. Reichstein, R. Mahmood, P. Kabat, U. Nair, C. McAlpine, A. Pitman, S. Fall, F. Hossain, R.A. Pielke, K. Klein Goldewijk, N. de Noblet(2011): Land use/land cover changes and climate: modeling analysis and observational evidence Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change pp. 828 - 850
  • B. van Leeuwen, P. Foldvari(2011): Capital accumulation and growth in Hungary Acta Oeconomica pp. 143 - 164
  • E.C. Ellis, K. Klein Goldewijk, K.M. Krumhardt, J.O. Kaplan, W.F. Ruddiman(2011): Holocene carbon emissions as a result of anthropogenic land cover change The Holocene pp. 775 - 791
  • M. Blum, J. Baten(2011): Anthropometric within-country Inequality and the Estimation of Skill Premia with Anthropometric Indicators Review of Economics -- Jahrbuch fuer Wirtschaftswissenschaften pp. 107 - 138
  • J.L. van Zanden(2011): The Malthusian intermezzo: Women's wages and human capital formation between the late Middle Ages and the demographic transition of the 19th century The History of the Family pp. 331 - 342
  • Y.P. Wang, A.C. Janetos, K. Riahi, P. Thornton, K.A. Hibbard, A. Thomson, G.C. Hurtt, T. Kinoshita, E. Shevliakova, J.J. Feddema, S. Smith, D. van Vuuren, C. Jones, E. Stehfest, R. Betts, L.P. Chini, K. Klein Goldewijk, G. Fischer, G. Kindermann, S. Frolking(2011): Harmonization of land-use scenarios for the period 1500-2100: 600 years of global gridded annual land-use transitions, wood harvest, and resulting secondary lands Climatic Change pp. 117 - 161
  • G. van Drecht, A. Beusen, K. Klein Goldewijk, M. de Vos(2011): The HYDE 3.1 spatially explicit database of human induced land use change over the past 12,000 years Global Ecology and Biogeography pp. 73 - 86
  • P. de Zwart(2011): South African Living Standards in Global Perspective, 1835-1910 Economic History of Developing Regions pp. 49 - 74
  • B. van Leeuwen, P. Földvári(2011): Should less inequality in education lead to a more equal income distribution? Education Economics pp. 537 - 554
  • S.G. Carmichael(2011): 'Marriage and Power: Age at first marriage and spousal age gap in lesser developed countries The History of the Family pp. 416 - 436
  • J.L. van Zanden(2012): 'In Good Company: About Agency and Economic Development in Global Perspective Economic History of Developing Regions pp. 16 - 27
  • P. de Zwart(2012): Population, Labour and Living Standards in Early Modern Ceylon: a Contribution to the Divergence Debate Indian Economic and Social History Review pp. 365 - 398
  • M. Blum, J. Baten(2012): An Anthropometric History of the World, 1810-1980: Did Migration and Globalization Influence Country Trends Journal of Anthropological Sciences pp. 221 - 224
  • J. Baten, G. Austin, B van Leeuwen(2012): The Biological Standard of Living in Early 19th Century West Africa: New Anthropometric Evidence for Northern Ghana and Burkina Faso Economic History Review pp. 1280 - 1320
  • J. Baten, R. Hippe(2012): The Early Regional Development of Human Capital in Europe, 1790 – 1880 Scandinavian Economic History Review pp. 254 - 289
  • J. Baten, M. Blum(2012): Growing Taller, but Unequal: Biological Well-Being in World Regions and Its Determinants, 1810-1989 Economic History of Developing Regions pp. S66 - S85
  • J. Baten, K. Manzel, Y. Stolz(2012): Convergence and Divergence of Numeracy: The Development of Age Heaping in Latin America, 17th to 20th Century Economic History Review pp. 932 - 960
  • B. Li, J.L. van Zanden(2012): Before the Great Divergence? Comparing the Yangzi Delta and the Netherlands at the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century The Journal of Economic History pp. 956 - 989
  • J.L. van Zanden, T. De Moor, C.J. Zuijderduijn(2012): Small is beautiful: the efficiency of credit markets in the late medieval Holland European Review of Economic History pp. 3 - 22
  • J. Reis, Y. Stolz, J. Baten(2013): Portuguese Living Standards 1720-1980 in European Comparison – Heights, Income and Human Capital Economic History Review pp. 545 - 578
  • P. Foldvari, B. van Leeuwen(2013): Capital Accumulation and Growth in Central Europe, 1920-2006 Eastern European Economics pp. 69 - 93
  • A.F. Bouwman, A.H.W. Beusden, K. Klein Goldewijk, K.W. van der Hoek, J. Willems, M.C. Rufinod, D.P. van Vuuren(2013): Livestock and Global Change Special Feature: Exploring global changes in nitrogen and phosphorus cycles in agriculture induced by livestock production over the 1900–2050 period Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) pp. 20882 - 20887
  • P.H. Verburg, K. Klein Goldewijk(2013): Uncertainties in global-scale reconstructions of historic land use: An illustration of the HYDE 3.1 data base Landscape Ecology pp. 861 - 877
  • E.M. Bosker, E. Buringh, J.L. van Zanden(2013): From Baghdad to London: Unraveling Urban Development in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, 800–1800 Review of Economics and Statistics pp. 1418 - 1437
  • B. van Leeuwen, P. Foldvari, D. Didenxo(2013): The spread of human capital in the former Soviet Union area in a comparative perspective: Exploring a new dataset Journal of Eurasian Studies pp. 123 - 135
  • J. Baten, D. Juif(2013): On the Human Capital of ‘Inca’ Indios before and after the Spanish Conquest. Was there a “Pre-Colonial Legacy"? Explorations in Economic History pp. 227 - 241
  • J. Fourie, J.L. van Zanden(2013): GDP in the Dutch Cape Colony: The National Accounts of a Slave-Based Society South African Journal of Economics pp. 467 - 490
  • P. de Zwart(2013): Real Wages at the Cape of Good Hope: a Long-Term Perspective, 1652-1912 Low Countries Journal of Social and Economic History pp. 28 - 58
  • J. Baten, Mojhan S., P. van der Eng(2013): The Biological Standard of Living and Body Height in Colonial and Post-colonial Indonesia, 1770–2000 Journal of Bioeconomics pp. 103 - 122
  • A. Plopeanu, J.L. van Zanden, B. van Leeuwen, P. Foldvari(2014): Where Do Ideas Come from?: The Relation between Book Production and Patents from the Industrial Revolution to the Present European Journal of Science and Theology pp. 131 - 147
  • H. Coffe, S. Dilli(2014): The gender gap in political participation in Muslim-majority countries International Political Science Review pp. 526 - 544
  • M. Blum, J. Baten(2014): Why are you tall while others are short? Agricultural production and other proximate determinants of global heights European Review of Economic History pp. 144 - 165
  • P. Folvari, J. Baten, J.L. van Zanden, B. van Leeuwen(2014): The Changing Shape of Global Inequality 1820-2000. Exploring a New Dataset Review of Income and Wealth pp. 279 - 297
  • H. de Jong, J.L. van Zanden(2014): Debates on Industrialisation and Economic Growth in the Netherlands Tijdschrift voor sociale en economische geschiedenis pp. 85 - 110
  • P. Földvári, B. van Leeuwen(2014): Educational and income inequality in Europe, ca. 1870–2000 Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History pp. 271 - 300
  • J.L. van Zanden, J. Bolt(2014): The Maddison Project: collaborative research on historical national accounts The Economic History Review pp. 627 - 651
  • P. de Zwart, J.L. van Zanden(2015): Labor, Wages and Living Standards in Java, 1680-1914 European Review of Economic History pp. 215 - 234
  • D. Didenko, P. Foldvari, B. van Leeuwen(2015): Inspiration vs. perspiration in economic development of the Former Soviet Union and China (ca. 1920–2010) The Economics of Transition pp. 213 - 246
  • P. Földvári, D. Didenko, B. van Leeuwen(2015): Capital formation and economic growth under central planning and transition: A theoretical and empirical analysis, ca. 1920–2008 Acta Oeconomica pp. 27 - 50
  • J. Fourie, J. Baten(2015): Numeracy of Africans, Asians, and Europeans during the Early Modern Period: New Evidence from Cape Colony Court Registers Economic History Review pp. 632 - 656
  • S.G. Carmichael, S. Dilli, A. Rijpma(2015): Achieving Gender Equality: Development versus Historical Legacies CESifo Economic Studies pp. 301 - 334
  • S. Dilli(2016): Family Systems and the Historical Roots of Global Gaps in Democracy Economic History of Developing Regions pp. 82 - 135
  • A. Rijpma, S.G. Carmichael(2016): Testing Todd and Matching Murdock: Global Data on Historical Family Characterist Economic History of Developing Regions pp. 10 - 46
  • J.L. van Zanden, S.G. Carmichael, S. Dilli(2016): Introduction: Family Systems and Economic Development Economic History of Developing Regions pp. 1 - 9
  • A.M. de Pleijt, J.L. van Zanden, T. De Moor, S.G. Carmichael(2016): The European Marriage Pattern and its measurement Journal of economic history pp. 196 - 204
  • L. van der Vleuten(2016): Mind The Gap! The Influence of Family Systems on The Gender Education Gap in Developing Countries, 1950–2005 Economic History of Developing Regions pp. 47 - 81

Publication meant for a broad audience

Publications for the general public


Project number


Main applicant

Prof. dr. J.L. van Zanden

Affiliated with

Universiteit Utrecht, Faculteit Geesteswetenschappen, Letteren


01/01/2011 to 31/12/2015