Stef Espeel

Stef Espeel
University of Antwerp | UA · Department of History

Doctor of Philosophy


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Citations since 2017
5 Research Items
1 Citation
I am currently working on a PhD on grain prices, grain markets, grain economy of large landlords and which effects harvest failures, war and epidemics had on the functioning of the grain market and the behaviour of grain prices. Case-study: 14th-century Flanders For more information, feel free to explore the project website:
Additional affiliations
October 2018 - September 2019
University of Antwerp
  • Co-tutor Bachelorpapers
  • I co-tutored a group of 13 students who has to write their BA-thesis on the topic of medieval food prices and practices. I was the contactperson for the group and helped them through the difficult process of writing a scientific paper.
November 2016 - present
University of Antwerp
  • PhD
  • Working on the FWO-funded project "Shock Cities. Food Prices and Access to Food in Flemish Cities during the Age of Shocks (1300-1400)" (Supervisors: prof. dr. Tim Soens & prof. dr. Alexis Wilkin)
September 2011 - June 2016
Ghent University
Field of study
  • History


Publications (6)
Full-text available
This dissertation focuses on the occurrence of food shocks by investigating both the frequency and intensity of ‘price shocks’ on the grain market in fourteenth-century Flanders, as well as questioning its origins and consequences. The basis is formed by new price series for grain, which were drawn up using a combination of data from both original...
Full-text available
In contrast to the debates of the past, which focused mainly on income inequality and the related elements of injustice, the recent interest in economic inequality focuses on its effects on economic growth and social development. New research is an important element of these recent debates: a historical approach that contextualizes inequality with...
Full-text available
Recent research once again framed the fourteenth century as the century of environmental shocks and systemic transitions. This article will focus on the grain market during the rapid succession of urban 'food shocks' before, during and after the 1348 Black Death. The major Flemish Cities provide a unique context to investigate the origins, impact a...


Cited By


Project (1)
Focussing on the economic history of late medieval Flanders, this project studies the evolution of food prices and food access within the Flemish county in times of crisis. Did the inhabitants of the major Flemish cities escape the "food shocks" of the period 1280-1370 and the Malthusian assumptions on the link between population densities and resources, by their advanced degree of market integration, or because of protection against the violent behavior of the markets? Or did Flemish urban food markets just disintegrate as violently as the English ones during the heaviest shocks? At a time when resilience to exogenous shocks is at the heart of scientific and social debate this research projects uses the unique test-case of the 14th century crisis in the most urbanized region north of the Alps to analyze the differential resilience of urban populations to food shortages.