headshot of Trevor Jackson

Research Expertise and Interest

inequality, financial crisis, central banking, economic history, early modern Europe

Research Description

Trevor Jackson is an economic historian who researches inequality and crisis, mostly but not exclusively in early modern Europe. His first book, Impunity and Capitalism: the Afterlives of European Financial Crises, 1690-1830, was published by Cambridge University Press in fall 2022​.  It examines how impunity has gradually shifted since the seventeenth century from the sole possession of a legally-immune sovereign to a functional characteristic of technically-skilled professional managers of capital, to an imagined quality of markets themselves, such that a constituent element of the modern economic sphere is that within it, great harm can and will happen to great many people, and nobody will be at fault.  His current research interests focus on the problem of gluts, overproduction, and overaccumulation since the seventeenth century, the problems of temporality and finitude in economic thought, and problems in the historical measurement and meaning of capital.  He also has an ongoing research interests in the histories of extinction and catastrophe, as well as early modern occupational health.

Dr. Jackson teaches courses on international economic history ranging from the early modern period to the twentieth century, as well as courses on capitalism and inequality, the history of economic crisis, and the history of economic thought. He has a joint appointment with the Political Economy program.  Prior to joining the faculty at UC Berkeley, he taught economic history at George Washington University, and was a faculty fellow on "Capitalism's Hardwiring" at the Charles Warren Center at Harvard University.  He sometimes writes about money, banking, and economic crisis for the popular press, at places like DissentThe Baffler, and the New York Review of Books.