Task 2 : From Data to Research

Aim: to design and produce a “private” datascape for the usage of the members of the project.

In charge: Pierre Gervais

Deliverables: Specifications of the private datascape in mid-2014 / First release end of 2014 / Final version of the private datascape in mid-2015 / Methodology conference at the end of 2015

In the process of adapting the data to research questions, we will have the occasion of putting this database in relation with similar external trade databases for other European countries/regions – Great Britain and the Austrian Netherlands – and also with maritime and merchant databases like MARPROF, NAVIGOCORPUS and the Sound Toll Register databases. To do that, we will have to tackle a number of difficulties regarding comparing merchandise names, weights and measures. The main datascape methodolgy has already been described (see p. 17).

We will start by setting up the specifications of the datascape. That should be done both by social scientists (with a preeminent role for Pierre Gervais) and digital method specialists (Paul Girard and the person we will hire at Sciences-Po). It should be achieved by mid-2014. This will provide at least preliminary solutions to the issues of the specification of the datasources; the way collaboration between social scientists will be organized (e.g. how to organize off-line work) ; what will be the preliminary classification strategies? ; How will links between individual and collective classifications be organized? ; What can of use do we want to encourage? What kind of visualisation tools will be developed?

The datascape will then be developed to allow for a first release to the members of the consortium in the second half of 2014. In 2015, the merchandise datascape team will have to import materials from the transcribed trade database and monitor the use of the datascape by social science researchers. That will lead to changes in the original project. We plan a final release of the datascape in mid-2015.

A workshop centered on the datascape and its potential uses will be organized at the end of 2015.

Task 1 : Collecting the data

Aim: Build up a national and regional database of French trade, from 1716 to 1821

In charge: Loïc Charles

Deliverables: Exploration of the archives and gathering of digital copies of all the documents: end of 2014 / End of transcription: mid2015

The constitution of the French database will include three sub-tasks.

Loïc Charles and Guillaume Daudin have collected and copied documents from some archives with independent funding. With adequate funding, this task may be done by mid-2014.

The transcription will begin in parallel with the above sub-task and with adequate funding, we plan to complete it and have a cleansed Excel file by mid-2015.

Loïc Charles will be assisted by a hired staff working at INED. The latter’s job will be to the sub-contractors through O’Desk and their output, that includes reading the transcripts of the original documents made on Excel, correcting them and import Excel files in the database software we will use.

OFCE special issue and May 23rd 2014 workshop

I am delighted to announce that the OFCE (http://www.ofce.sciences-po.fr/en/) has accepted to publish a special issue (in English) of its in-house Journal about « 18th century European trade statistics, existing series and methodological issues ».

The Revue de l’OFCE is accessible online, referenced in Econlit and (for French scolars) in the CNRS ranking list, which makes it a very reasonnable outlet in terms of dissemination/reputation, especially as we will publish methodology papers that usually find no easy outlet.This will be the occasion to publish the papers and questionnaires prepared for past meeting of the 18th century trade group in Lille and various places. We hope this issue will establish itself as an important reference for all people interested in 18th century trade.
To prepare this issue, Loïc and myself would like to organize a one-day workshop to confront 18th century historian with statisticians working with current-day data (e.g. from the statistic department of the WTO). This will take place on May 23rd 2014 in Paris (with the firm belief that anything being organized in Paris in May can only gather crowds).

Meeting December 3rd 2013

Present : Loïc Charles, Guillaume Daudin, Béatrice Dedinger, Paul Girard

Points discussed :

– RICARDO advancement

– Link with the « Atelier de Cartographie » at SciencesPo and their Google project on representing flow data

– Long-term hosting of the database. Huma-Num seems more promising than the external alternatives. Maybe SciencesPo library in link with BE Quali ?

– Date choice for the 1st semester 2014 meeting (24/05/14)

– Discussion of the best way to do retranscribe the data. Waiting for some SMSI news.

– Discussion about how to include the primary data (pictures) in the datascape

– We will ask SciencesPo DSI for 150 Go of shared, backed up, server space for stockpile our data accessible by FTP.

– Planning of regular methodology meetings with at least Paul, Béatrice, Loïc and Guillaume : January 30th, March 6th, April 3rd, May 24th



Partners complementarity

Exploiting historical data to advance our knowledge in economy and history is obviously an inter-disciplinary task. All three partners are centres of research excellence and bring to the project economic historians used to working with both economists and historians. In addition, Paris-Dauphine brings its expertise in economics, the INED its knowledge of the treatment of large manuscript datasources and Sciences-Po its knowledge of dealing with databases through the Medialab.


The Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques (FNSP/Sciences Po) is a fully-fledged, self-governing, research university specialised in the social-economic sciences and the humanities which enrols some 9,600 students per year. Sciences Po is the leading research university in the social sciences in France with 50 full-time professors, 190 researchers, 80 foreign professors invited each year, nine research centres, five of which are closely linked to the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). Today, 15 of the research teams of Sciences Po have been involved in more than 35 European projects and 18 ANR projects. The Science Po team will gather researchers working at the médialab, the Center for History at Sciences Po.

Established in 2009 thanks to the support of the Île-de-France region, the médialab of Sciences Po is a laboratory of digital resources centred on all the new technologies of information and communication. The médialab has been created to explore how data and resources provided by information and communications technologies can be harnessed for the benefit of social sciences. The médialab is a site dedicated to digital research. It is a team of specialists bringing together social scientists, engineers and designers. It is a high-tech facility, a hub for vanguard research, a scientific toolkit at the disposal of the Sciences Po academic community and a platform for launching national and international collaborations.

The Center for History at Sciences Po (EA 113) is the contemporary history research laboratory of the Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques. The CHSP has existed since late 2004. Its research activities are in line with the research activities of the Center for Twentieth-Century European History, founded in 1984. It brings together 20 French and international permanent researchers and around 50 associate researchers, all renowned in political, cultural and economic history. The CHSP has a natural interest in the project as one of its main fields of research is international history, including international trade history, and the working on archives is a long tradition of the Center.




Founded in 1945, the role of the Institut national d’études démographiques (INED) is to « study demographic problems in all their aspects. To this aim, the Institute will collect the relevant documentation, conduct surveys, carry out experiments and follow experiments conducted abroad. » In 1986, INED became a public scientific and technological establishment (EPST). This status – identical to that of CNRS, INSERM and INRA – is a guarantee of scientific independence. Though demography is central to INED, the scope of its research covers very diverse fields of expertise, including sociology, economics, geography, history, political science, public health and statistics.
Since 1945, INED has played a pioneering role in developing household surveys as an instrument of sociological and demographic knowledge. For this purpose, INED has built up a specialized “Surveys department” which oversees data collection. The missions of the “Surveys department” have expanded and broadened in scope over recent years. Offering expert know-how at all stages of the data collection process, its members are closely involved in many large-scale projects both in France and abroad.
The research unit 11 “Histoire et populations” studies the history the development of demographic and economic knowledge from the 17th century up to the present day. It also develops and manages archives of past statistical surveys (Henry survey, TRA survey) and analyses the data they contain with a view to shedding light on past demographic trends.
The know-how of the “Surveys department” in data collection and that of Unit 11 in the developing and managing of past statistical survey is a major asset for TOFLIT18 and will guaranty that the hired staff who will oversee the digitizing and the encoding of the data will benefit from a context in which invaluable experience and expertise in these fields will be at hand.


Université Paris-Dauphine

Since its foundation in 1968, Université Paris-Dauphine has been committed to developing and furthering research in the organization and decision sciences. Its goal has always been to play a significant International role in furthering knowledge and understanding in the management and organization sciences, while contributing to our communities and promoting France as a center for scientific and academic excellence. Today, Dauphine is recognized as one of Europe’s leading research institutions in its field. In keeping with its goals and to strengthen our commitment to excellence, Dauphine co-founded PSL-Paris Sciences et Lettres, recognized in July 2011 as one of the 3 premier French initiatives for excellence.

L’UMR 225 DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation) includes the group “Développement et Mondialisation” from LEDa (Laboratoire d’Economie de Dauphine) and researchers from the IRD (Département Sociétés). It includes 11 researchers from IRD and 19 from Paris-Dauphine, around 10 associate researchers and around 40 PhD students. They research in numerous fields of development economics and international economics. Some of them are specifically interested in economic history, which is one the research axis of the lab for the period 2014-2018 (HECO). In addition to Guillaume Daudin, Philippe Chalmin, Denis Cogneau, Emmanuelle Lavallée and Sandrine Mesplé-Somps part of this axis. 


Pierrick Pourchasse (Dauphine team)

Personal history

Since Sept. 2004, Assistant Professor. University of Brest (UBO). History Department

Coordinator of “Navigocorpus” (with Silvia Marzagalli and Jean-Pierre Dedieu), a project which aims to create and put to public disposal an important set of data on merchant shipping between 1650 and 1850

Main publications

Pourchasse (Pierrick), Dedieu (Jean-Pierre) et Marzagalli (Silvia), « Navigocorpus at Work: a Brief overview of a Potential of a Database », International Journal of Maritime History, vol. XXIV, n° 1, juin 2012, pp. 331-359.

Pourchasse (Pierrick) et Andersen (Dan H.), « La navigation des flottes de l’Europe du Nord vers la Méditerranée (XVIIe-XVIIIe siècles) », Revue d’Histoire Maritime, 13, 2011, p.21-44.

Beaurepaire (Pierre-Yves) et Pourchasse (Pierrick) (dir.), Les circulations internationales en Europe années 1680-années 1780, Rennes, Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2010.

Pourchasse (Pierrick), « The “Information Problem” for French trade in the Northern Markets of the Eighteenth Century », in Ojala (Jari) & Müller (Leos), Information Flows. New approaches in the Historical Study of Business Information, SKS, Helsinki, 2007, p. 230-254

Pourchasse (Pierrick), Le commerce du Nord. La France et le commerce de l’Europe septentrionale au XVIIIe siècle, Rennes, Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2006

Ivan Ledezma (Dauphine team)

Personal history

Current position: Since Sept. 2009, Associate Professor (Maître de Conférences). University of Paris-Dauphine, France.

Previous position: Sept. 2007 – Aug. 2009, Lecturer & Research Fellow (Attaché Temporaire d’Enseignement et de Recherche), Université Paris 1 Panthéon – Sorbonne.


Main Publications

Ledezma I. (2013), “Defensive Strategies in the Quality Ladders”. Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control. Vol. 37, N° 1, pp. 176–194.

Amable B., L. Demmou and I. Ledezma (2013), “L’Impact de la Réglementation sur l’Innovation : une Analyse des Performances Selon la Proximité à la Frontière Technologique”. Economie et Prévision. A paraître, N°197-198, février 2012.

Amable B., L. Demmou and I. Ledezma (2010), “Product Market Regulation, Innovation and Distance to Frontier”, Industrial and Corporate Change, Vol. 19, N° 1, pp. 117-159.

Bas M. and I. Ledezma (2010), “Trade Integration and Within-Plant Productivity Evolution in Chile”, Review of World Economics/Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv , Vol. 146, N°1, pp. 113-146.

Ledezma I. (2009), “Intensité de R&D et Règlementation de Marché”, Revue Economique, Vol. 60, N° 3, pp. 797-806.



PhD in Economics. University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne & Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques. Defended on june 2008, Mention très honorable avec félicitations du jury, propositions pour prix de thèse et subvention pour publication.

MSc in « Institutional Economics » (EHESS, France). Defended on September 2004, Mention Bien.

MSc in « Applied Economics » (Université Paris XII, France). Defended on June 2003, Mention Bien.

Pierre Gervais (Dauphine team)

Personal history

Maître de conférences en histoire contemporaine, UMR 8533 Institutions et dynamiques historiques de l’économie, Université Paris VIII

HDR (2012)

Main publications

Crédit et filières marchandes au XVIIIe siècle”, Annales. Histoire, Sciences sociales, vol. 67 n° 4, décembre 2012, p. 1011-1048.

Article “Merchants”, Oxford Bibliographies Online, 2012, en ligne

A merchant ot a French Atlantic? Eighteenth-century account books as narratives of a transnational merchant political economy”, French History, March 2011, vol. 25 n°1, pp. 28-47

A game of claims and expectations : credit, failure, and personal relationships across the Atlantic”, Common-Place, vol. 10 no. 3, Avril 2010, en ligne

Neither Imperial, nor Atlantic : A Merchant’s Eye View of International Trade in the 18th Century”, History of European Ideas, vol. 34 n°4, décembre 2008, pp. 465-473

Béatrice Dedinger (SciencesPo coordinator)

Personal history

Researcher at the Centre d’histoire de Sciences Po, FNSP/Sciences Po Paris.

Main publications

« L’Allemagne et la France dans la mondialisation commerciale aux XIXe et XXe siècles », in J.-F. Eck, D. Hüser, eds., Deutschland und Frankreich in der Globalisierung im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert/L’Allemagne et la France dans la mondialisation aux XIXe et XXe siècles, Steiner Verlag, 2012, pp. 33-52.


« Le problème des statistiques allemandes du commerce extérieur avant 1871 », Histoire@Politique. Politique, culture, société, n° 17, mai-août 2012, www.histoire-politique.fr

« The Franco-German trade puzzle: an analysis of the economic consequences of the Franco-Prussian war », Economic History Review, 65, 3, 2012: pp. 1029-1054.

« Les orientations géographiques du commerce extérieur allemand depuis la fin du XIXe siècle : analyse d’un siècle de transformations », Revue d’Allemagne et des pays de langue allemande, 39(2), avril-juin 2007 : pp. 253-267.

« Le protectionnisme est-il la clef du succès commercial allemand à la fin du XIXe siècle ? », Revue d’Allemagne et des pays de langue allemande, 40(1), 2008 : pp.75-99.

« From virtual free-trade to virtual protectionism. Did protectionism have any part in Germany’s rise to commercial power? 1850-1913 » in J-P. Dormois, P. Lains, eds. – Classical Trade Protectionism, 1815-1914, Routledge, 2006: pp. 219-241.

«The Geographical Structure of Trade in Germany since the Late Nineteenth Century», The Journal of European Economic History, 3, 2006: pp. 551-583.

Loïc Charles (INED Coordinator)

Personal history

Since Sept. 2008, Full Professor. University of Reims. Economic department.

Since January 2005, fellow researcher at INED (French National Institute for Demographic Studies) and researcher at EconomiX (University of Paris Ouest and CNRS/UMR 7235).

Main publications (total number of publications in refereed international journals: 15)

The Colonial Machine Dismantled: Knowledge and Empire in the French Atlantic”, with Paul Cheney (University of Chicago), Past and Present, forthcoming 2012.

From Versailles to Paris: the Creative Communities of the Physiocratic Movement”, with Ch. Théré (Ined), History of Political Economy, 43: 1 (Spring 2011), p. 25-58.

Le cercle de Vincent de Gournay : savoirs économiques et pratiques administratives au milieu du XVIIIe siècle ed. with Ch. Théré et Fr. Lefebvre (Ined), Paris, Ined, 2011.

La collecte du chiffre au xviiie siècle : Le Bureau de la Balance du Commerce et la production des données sur le commerce extérieur de la France», avec Guillaume Daudin, Revue d’Histoire Moderne et Contemporaine, vol. 58, n°1, p. 128-155, 2011.

Le prix comme vecteur d’information dans la pensée économique française dans la deuxième moitié du XVIIIe siècle”, in Dominique Margairaz and Philippe Minard dir., L’information économique. XVIe-XIXe siècle, Comité pour l’histoire économique et financière de la France, 2008, p. 71-91.


2010 European Society for the History of Economic Thought’s Young Scholar of the Year.

2004 History of Economics Society’s Best Article Award.

1996 Grant Aguirre-Basualdo, Chancellerie des Université de Paris.


Transformations of the french economy through the lens of international trade, 1716-1821