Institute for Religion, Politics & Society

Meet the team

Professor Simon Ville


Simon Ville is Professor of Economic and Business History, School of Humanities and Social Inquiry in the Faculty of Law, Humanities and Arts. Since joining the University of Wollongong in 2001 he has variously served terms as Head of School of Humanities and Social Inquiry in the Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts, Head of School of Economics, Associate-Dean Research, and Acting Dean in the Faculty of Business.

He previously worked at the Australian National University, and the universities of Auckland and Manchester, with visiting positions at Harvard Business School, University College London, London School of Economics, the Universities of Glasgow and Melbourne, and the Australian National University.

Research interests

Simon’s main research areas are Australian and international economic and business history, comparative economic development, and international business. He has written widely on big business, industry associations, innovation, social capital, the Vietnam War, and the rural and resource industries for major publishers such as Cambridge, Oxford and Melbourne University Presses and leading international journals including American Economic Review, Industrial and Corporate Change and Journal of Management Studies. He collaborates with scholars from USA, Norway, Britain, and Japan and is currently editing the Cambridge Economic History of Australia to be published in 2014.

Current research projects

A History of the Global Wool Trade, with Professor D. Merrett University of Melbourne

Business performance, public policy and the drivers of structural change, with Professor D. Merrett University of Melbourne. ARC Discovery project. And an international collaboration with Prof Y Cassis of Montpelier and LSE.

Industry associations: Rent-seeking or marketing strengthening, with Professor D. Merrett University of Melbourne. ARC Discovery Project.

Cambridge Economic History of Australia. Editing this pioneering work, with Professor Glenn Withers and a team of distinguished contributors from Australia and overseas.

Social capital

  • Impact of social capital on retention rates of female immigrants. with Prof S. Dolnicar and Office of Women’s policy, NSW Government, ARC Linkage grant;
  • Role of social capital in disaster management, an international collaboration with Prof Y. Ueda, Senshu University.

Institutions and national innovation systems in resource-based economies: a comparison of Australia and Norway. An international collaboration: Prof O. Wicken, University of Oslo, Professor V. Pinilla, University of Zaragoza

The Long Term Causal Effects of Vietnam War Era Conscription on the Economic and Social Outcomes of Australian Conscripts, with Dr Peter Siminski and Dept of Veteran Affairs. ARC linkage. And an international collaboration with Prof J. Angrist, MIT, USA.

Business Groups in the West: The Evolutionary Dynamics of Diversified Big Busines. An international collaboration with Professors Asli M. Colpan and Takashi Hikino, Kyoto University.


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