Alberto Gamboa


Ph.D Student

Financial History, Business History, Global/Transregional History, Late Modern Iberian American History

I am interested in Law, in Economics, in History, and in their interplay. I studied a joint B. A. in Economics and Law in Madrid (Spain) at the University Carlos III. In Geneva (Switzerland), I received my M. A. in International Economics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID). My research at UPenn is focused on the legal and economic history of commercial, industrial and financial capitalism during the age of revolution (ca. 1770-1860).

Broadly, my focus is on the role played by intermediaries in the economy and on how (legal, economic, scientific, social...) institutions interact with processes of capital accumulation. More precisely, my Ph.D dissertation project studies the history of two generations of a global business family through their litigation records. The topics the dissertation touches on are as varied as the diversified portfolio of the family, ranging from slave trade, sovereign debt, industrial development, and business strategies to humanitarianism, international law, family relations, and scientific expertise.

My Ph.D is funded by a Benjamin Franklin Fellowship (UPenn).

I'm a father of one. 


Dissertation Committee:

Marc Flandreau (advisor)

Sophia Rosenfeld

Antonio Feros


M. A. in International Economics, The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Geneva, 2013-2015).

Joint B. A. in Economics and Law, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (Madrid, 2007-2013)

Research Interests
  • History of capitalism
  • Litigation & Jurisdiction
  • Intermediation and Information
  • Portfolio Management
  • Sovereign debt 
  • Industrial inventions
  • Slave trade
  • Humanitarianism
  • International Law
  • Family & Business
  • Forensic psychiatry
  • Age of Revolution
  • Transregional & Transdisciplinary research
Courses Taught

Hist 131: Financial Meltdowns, Past and Present (T.A., Fall 2017; Fall 2018)

Hist 071: Modern Latin America, 1801-Present (T.A., Spring 2019)

Hist 076: Africa since 1800 (T.A., Fall 2019)