Dr Quentin Outram

Dr Quentin Outram



BA (Hons.) and Ph.D. Economics, Cambridge University
BA Mathematics, Open University


I was brought up as an economist, trained at the University of Cambridge and the Open University, and I have taught economics to undergraduates at the University of Leeds since 1979 and economic history to them since 2014. 


  • I am Secretary of the Society for the Study of Labour History ...
  • ... and I am the Book Reviews editor of the Society's journal, the Labour History Review.

Research interests

The economic history represents a long standing interest.  My first book, Strikes and Solidarity: Coalfield Conflict in Britain, 1889-1966, published in 1998, was the fruit of a collaboration with Roy Church, Professor of Economic History at the University of East Anglia and author of the standard history of the Victorian coal industry in Britain.

As a result of an invitation from colleagues in the Centre for Development Studies at Leeds, I moved into another field, the economics of famine and food security and, later, the political economy of conflict. This involved research, fieldwork and consultancy in Mongolia, Eritrea and Liberia for organizations including the Department for International Development and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.  This area remains a key element in my teaching work. My country experience of Liberia enabled me to act as an expert witness in court cases concerning applicants for asylum from Liberia who had fled the country during and for some time after the 1989-1996 and 1999-2003 civil wars.

My research has now returned to the history of the UK coal industry and its people. In the background I have been working on a project concerning the nature and dynamics of class feeling in the industry in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  From time to time a variety of spin-offs emerge from this research.  The most recent include a video, Anger and Reason in the English Coal Lockout of 1893 which is available on the website of the Society for the Study of Labour History at Video: Anger and Reason in the English Coal Lockout of 1893 – Society for the Study of Labour History (sslh.org.uk)The Featherstone Massacre and the People’s Martyrology:  An Exploration of Christian Culture in British Coal Strikes (2018); Private Vices, Public Virtues and the Emergence of the Liberal Personality in Britain 1785-1914 (2016); Son Preference among the Edwardian Middles Classes (2015); The Historiography of the British Coal Industry (2015); and three biographies of prominent coal-owners and managers written for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography in 2014: Sir Adam Nimmo (1866-1939), Charles Augustus Carlow (1878-1954), and Robert W. Foot (1889-1973). All these latter are available on academia.edu.  Other recent publications include: Quentin Outram, ‘Margot Asquith and Jean Harlow’, Notes & Queries, New Series, 59 (3) (September 2012), pp. 425-8 (about the notorious but, as I show, fictional spat between the two);  Quentin Outram, ‘The Demand for Residential Domestic Service in the London of 1901’, Economic History Review, Volume 70, Issue 3 (2017), pp. 893-918 (an attempt to get a handle on how well-off late-Victorian coal-owners actually were); and Quentin Outram and Keith Laybourn (eds), Secular Martyrdom in Britain and Ireland: From Peterloo to the Present, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018,  pp. xvii+346, h/b, about £79 (slightly discounted copies are available online).  ISBN: 978 33196 29049.  For details see:  https://www.amazon. co.uk/Secular-Martyrdom-Britain-Ireland-Peterloo/dp/3319629042/. This includes a chapter about the Featherstone Massacre. Subsequent research is likely to appear mainly on the website of the Society for the Study of Labour History at www.sslh.org.uk.


  • BA (Hons.) Economics, University of Cambridge
  • Ph.D. Economics, University of Cambridge
  • BA Mathematics, Open University

Professional memberships

  • Society for the Study of Labour History
  • Royal Historical Society

Student education

I have taught a wide variety of modules in the area of micro-economics, applied economics, and economic history.

Research groups and institutes

  • Applied Institute for Research in Economics