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Dr. Ludwig Pelzl

Visiting lecturer

E-Mail: Ludwig.Pelzl[at]ur.de

Sprechstunde: nach Vereinbarung per E-Mail





  • 6/2023: Defense of PhD thesis at the European University Institute, Florence
  • 2018-2023: Researcher at the European University Institute, Florence
  • 2017-18: Master of Sciences in Economic History at Lund University/Sweden
  • 2014-17: Master of Arts in Politial Science at Heidelberg University
  • 2011-14: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History at Erlangen University




My PhD thesis revolves around social mobility across the life cycle in 17th and 18th-century southern Germany. I argue that there was considerable downward mobility between middle and old age, as income opportunities dwindled with increasing age and physical decline. In particular, urban middle classes, such as artisans and their spouses, were at risk of losing their acquired standard of living in old age.

My postdoctoral project is devoted to 'calendar age' as a socio-political category in Italy and Germany between the 18th and 19th centuries. Contrary to popular belief that very few people knew their own age in the early modern period, I demonstrate that a significant proportion of the population did so and contextually reported it. Finally, with the introduction of conscription in the Napoleonic Wars, 'calendar age' became a tool states used to activate resources.




2023: Or do you prefer cash? Pensions in kind in pre-modern Germany and the Low Countries, Atti delle Settimane di Studi e altri Convegni, Istituto Internazionale di Storia Economica ‘F. Datini’ Prato [accepted, co-authored with J. Zuijderduijn].

2022: Saving the Best for Last? Old Age Retirement among the Urban Middle Classes in Leiden and Regensburg (c. 1650- c. 1800), in The History of the Family, 27/2, pp. 326-349  [co-authored with J. Zuijderduijn].

2021: The Deep Roots of Old Age Welfare, Blog post [https://www.eui.eu/news-hub?id=the-deep-roots-of-old-age-welfare].

2020: Altersvorsorge zwischen Politik, Caritas und Ökonomie – Verkauf und Preisgestaltung von Spitalpfründen im Regensburger Katharinenspital in der Frühen Neuzeit, in Dirmeier, A./Spoerer, M. (eds) Spital und Wirtschaft in der Vormoderne. Sozial-karitative Institutionen und ihre Rechnungslegung als Quelle für die Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte, Regensburg 2020, pp. 207-34.

2020: Running a Retirement Home Through an Early Modern Epidemic, article and Podcast episode in a blog on Covid-19 Experiencing Epidemics [https://experiencing-epidemics.org/ep-4-running-a-retirement-home-through-an-epidemic].




2018-2022: DAAD Four-Year PhD Grant (German Entity for International Academic Exchange)

2018: Håkan Lindgren Prize for the Best Thesis in Economic History in Sweden

2018: Prize for the Best Master’s Thesis in 2018 at the Department of Economic History at Lund University

2016: Baden-Württemberg-Stipendium (government grant) for exchange studies in St. Petersburg


  2. Department of History

Ludwig Pelzl

Chair for Economic and
Social History

Dr. Ludwig Pelzl

Postal address:
Universität Regensburg
D-93040 Regensburg
Universität Regensburg
Universitätsstraße 31
D-93053 Regensburg