Economic History, University of Delhi, India


Octobre 2013 à Juin 2014


Om Prakash was born in Delhi and received his education in the same city. The fact that his training as an undergraduate and as a graduate student was on economics, rather than history, has helped him enormously in his career as an economic historian.

The principle areas of work that he has done over the last four decades or so, relate to intercontinental trade between Asia and Europe in the early modern period with a special reference to the implications of this trade for economic change in the Indian subcontinent.

In addition to being a Professor at Delhi School of Economics for a long period (1965-2005), Om Prakash has been a Visiting Professor in many universities in Europe, the United States, Australia and Asia.

In 1991, he was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences, Haarlem and in 2000 of the Royal Netherlands Academy Arts and Sciences, Amsterdam. In 2005, he was awarded the Royal Decoration “Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion” by Her Majesty, the Queen of the Netherlands.

Search project

The Indian economy in the 18th century: Stagnation or Growth?

The project aims to present an economic history account of eighteenth century India with special attention to diversity and segmentations within the subcontinent. The Mughal Empire and economy had created a rule of law and an enormous space for mercantile enterprise engaged in financing grain trade, production and trade of luxury manufactures located in the cities and banking financial services. Some of these institutions weakened or were lost in the eighteenth century. At the same time economic dynamism derived from new sources, namely textile exports, commercial accumulation, influx of New World silver, and cash crop production. Yet these institutional and commercial developments characterized well-defined deltaic and coastal regions, large though these were, whereas the other regions participated in these processes indirectly, at times in an unstable and contingent fashion.


PRAKASH, Om and CHATTOPADHYAYA, D.P. (ed.). The Trading World of the Indian Ocean, 1500-1800. New Delhi : Pearson, 2012, 720 p. (History of Science, Philosophy and Culture in Indian Civilization series, vol.3, part 7).

PRAKASH, Om. The Dutch Factories in India, 1624-1627. New Delhi : Manohar, 2007, 413 p.

PRAKASH, Om. Bullion for Goods : European and Indian Merchants in the Indian Ocean Trade, 1500-1800. Delhi : Manohar, 2004, 426 p.

PRAKASH, Om. European Commercial Enterprise in Pre-Colonial India. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1998, 377 p.

PRAKASH, Om. The Dutch East India Company and the Economy of Bengal, 1630-1720. Princeton : Princeton University Press, 1985, 291 p.