Professor Andrew J. Seltzer


I am an economic historian with an interest in 19th and 20th century labour markets. His current research looks at 1) the impact of early minimum wage laws on Australian labour markets (with Jeff Borland) 2) the impact of public transportation on 1930s London labour markets (with Jonathan Wadsworth and Jessica Bean) 3) academic tenure, effort, and information provision (with Steffen Huck and Bjoern Hartig) 4) school bombings and educational attainment in northwest Pakistan (with Sarah Khan). 

I hold a B.A. from Colby College and an M.Sc. and Ph.D. from University of Illinois. Prior to coming to Royal Holloway he was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Sydney and a lecturer at the University of Melbourne.

I also am Visiting Professor of Economic History at the London School of Economics, Fellow at IZA, Fellow at The Institute for Compensation Studies (Cornell), and Fellow of the Centre for Economic History (Australian National University)


 My CV.



Recent Papers (under construction)



“The Impact of the 1896 Factory and Shops Act on the Labor  Market in Victoria, Australia” (co-author Jeff Borland), Journal of Economic History, forthcoming. (IZA Working Paper Link)


“The Impact of Female Employment on Male Salaries and Careers: Evidence from the English Banking Industry, 1890-1941”, Economic History Review, 66, 4 (2013), pp. 1039–1062. (IZA Working Paper Link)


“Female Salaries and Careers in British Banking, 1915-41”, Explorations in Economic History, 48, 4, (2011), pp. 461-477. (Science Direct Link)


“Deferred Compensation in Multi-Period Labor Contracts: An Experimental Test of Lazear’s Model” (co-authors Steffen Huck and Brian Wallace), American Economic Review, 101, 2 (2011), pp. 819-43. (AEA Web link to paper and data here)



Did Firms Cut Nominal Wages in a Deflationary Environment?: Micro-Level Evidence from the Late 19th and early 20th Century Banking Industry”, Explorations in Economic History, 47, 1 (2010), pp. 112-125. (Science Direct Link)



Other Research News

I am co-editor of the Australian Economic History Review. The Journal homepage is here.


I recently co-organised the Royal Holloway, Department of Economics 20th Anniversary Academic Conference. Speakers will include: Nicolas Crafts, Omer Moav, Dan Hamermesh, Dirk Engelmann, Hans-Theo Norman, and Joel Sobel. Watch this page for more details.

The 2017 Economic History Society Conference was held at Royal Holloway. I was the local organizer. It is the second time that the conference has been held in London, and set the record for largest attendance at an EHS conference. Details here.

I have created several large data sets of personnel records of English and Australian banks. Some of this data can now be made freely available. Please contact me directly about the data sets. The codebook for the Union Bank of Australia data set is available here. The codebook for the Williams Deacons’ Bank data set is here.


Links to former PhD students

Sarah Khan (Gottingen), Andre Sammartino (Melbourne), Edwyna Harris (Monash), Ben Jensen  (CEO, Learning First); Konstantinos Mersinas (Royal Holloway)




EC3342 International Economic History (not taught for the past couple of years, the most recent outline is here)


EC1103 Economics Workshop (no longer taught)

An Introduction to Economic History here

What is Personnel Economics? here


EC2215 Personnel Economics (course outline)



Just for fun

My friend Robert Dixon at the University of Melbourne has written a history of thought quiz that is excerpted here.


Some Cool Links

Economics - Economic History Resources, Economics Resources,

Fun Stuff - Cycling News, Cycling in the Alps, Groucho Marx, Jonathan RichmanHistory of the Blues, The Best Store in the World, A Quick Game of Chess, Cryptozoology