Beatrice Dedinger

Research assistant
Quantification of the geopolitical entities of the world, Historical trade statistics, History of trade globalization, German trade history

An economist by training, Béatrice Dedinger turned to economic history by devoting her PhD thesis to German trade history. She used to teach economics, economic history and European economy. For the last ten years or so, her research has extended to the building and exploitation of a historical trade database of all of the world’s countries, and more recently, to the creation of a data set of the geopolitical entities of the world. The two data sets are available in open access on the RICardo website and the GeoPolHist website.

Research projectS

Béatrice Dedinger is the scientific director of the RICardo and the GeoPolHist projects.

RICardo (Research on International Commerce) 

RICardo was launched at the beginning of the 2000s with the aim of providing the scientific international community with a trade database covering bilateral trade of all of the world’s countries over the period 1800-1938.
In 2017, more than ten years after its launching, the project led to the opening of the RICardo website that provides free access to a bilateral trade data set and visual exploration of these data. The RICardo data set is being built from primary and secondary sources (!/sources_glossary). Two versions of the database are available on the website: a complete version includes all the data collected since the start of the project (640,000 in 2023); another version excludes duplicates resulting from successive collections (550,000 in 2023).

From 2024, the RICardo team plans to focus on using data to analyze the structure of trade globalization over the last two centuries.
The GeoPolHist project was created in 2021 following an in-depth study of the commercial entities (!/entities_glossary) identified in the RICardo data set.
Initially conceived as a tool for adding a political dimension to the trade database, GeoPolHist has become a fully-fledged project whose aim is to explore the world’s geopolitical entities over time through precisely defined characteristics.
GeoPolHist proposes a data set and a visual exploration tool. The 2023 version of the database lists more than 1,200 GPH entities whose political status has been codified every year since 1816. It is planned to develop this project to extend the temporal coverage of the database, add new variables to characterize the entities, and create new visualizations on the website.


  • 2019-2022 : RICardo project funded by a grant from the Del Duca Fundation
  • 2015-2017 : SAB Sciences Po project in collaboration with Médialab de Sciences Po: “Viewing trade globalization in the long run: the RICardo project
  • 2013-2014 : SAB Sciences Po project “Historical Trade Statistics Database
  • 2011-2012 : SAB Sciences Po project “Histoire commerciale de l’Allemagne
  • 2007-2010 : ANR project “Understanding trade globalization 1830-2005” (coordinated by M. Flandreau)

Selective bibliography

  • (2023) "Exploring Political Globalization: A Multidisciplinary and Quantitative Analysis of Countries Throughout History", Global Journal of Human-Social Science, D: History, Archeology & Anthropology, 23:5, 9-23.
  • (2021): How many countries in the world? The geopolitical entities of the world and their political status from 1816 to the present, in collaboration with P. Girard, Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, DOI:10.1080/01615440.2021.1939826
  • (2017) “Exploring Trade Globalization in the Long Run: the RICardo Project”, in collaboration with P. Girard, Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, 50:1, 30-48. , DOI: 10.1080/01615440.2016.1220269
  • (2015) “Trade Statistics of the Zollverein, 1834-1871”, in L. Charles and G. Daudin, eds., Eighteenth-Century International Trade Statistics. Sources and Methods, Revue de l’OFCE, 140.
  • (2014) “L’Allemagne et l’Euro : les enseignements de la balance des paiements allemande”, Revue d’Allemagne et des Pays de langue allemande, T.46, pp. 261-274.
  • (2012) “The Franco-German trade puzzle: an analysis of the economic consequences of the Franco-Prussian war”, Economic History Review, 65, 3: pp. 1029-1054. 
  • (2006) “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: pp. 219-241.

Last Publications

Last Publications

Back to top