21 Apr 2016

Caroline Fohlin takes over Visiting Professorship of Financial History 2016

Professor Caroline Fohlin, Emory University, USA, takes over the Visiting Professorship of Financial History at Goethe University Frankfurt’s House of Finance this year. The professorship was endowed by Metzler Bank and the Edmond de Rothschild Group on the occasion of Goethe University's centennial in 2014.

Caroline Fohlin’s research blends historical analysis with current methods in financial economics, with an eye towards problems faced by contemporary policy makers. She investigates, for example, how financial markets, institutions, and systems have developed around the world over the long run, and how the organization of financial intermediaries influences their performance and potentially impinges on economic growth. She has also studied the German financial system. Based on extensive new data collection, her research has shown that securities markets played a much more critical and effective role in German economic development prior to World War I than had previously been thought and that interlocking directorates between banks and firms developed late in the process and did not heavily influence corporate performance. More recently, she has turned her attention to the development of the New York Stock Exchange before the Great Depression.

From 2005 to 2015, Fohlin was a Research Professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and, before that, she was at the California Institute of Technology. She earned her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California in Berkeley in 1994.

During her stay in Frankfurt in the summer term of 2016, Caroline Fohlin will give a seminar in the Ph.D. program of the University’s Graduate School GSEFM at the House of Finance. Also, as part of the visiting professorship, an international research conference on comparative financial system history will take place on 17 June 2016.

Fohlin is the second holder of the Endowed Visiting Professorship of Financial History. In the context of the professorship, distinguished experts in banking and financial history from Germany and abroad are invited to share their research insights and methods with researchers, students and the interested public in Frankfurt. Cooperation partners are the Research Center SAFE at the House of Finance and the Institut für bankhistorische Forschung. As first holder of the Professorship, Benjamin M. Friedman, William Joseph Maier Professor of Political Economy at Harvard University, visited Goethe University in 2015.