Jan Luiten van Zanden, Auke Rijpma and Jan Kok (eds.) recently released the book Agency, Gender and Economic Development in the World Economy 1850-2000, Routledge. This book is the culmination of the research project of the same name conducted at Utrecht University and Radboud University Nijmegen. Working with Selin Dilli, Lotte van der Vleuten and myself (Sarah Carmichael) the editors used various approaches to test Amartya Sen’s theories of agency as being key to development against the historical record. The opening chapter sets out a theoretical framework for introducing Sen’s ideas to economic history and introducing gender in a systematic way to the framework of New Institutional Economics.