Joel Mokyr

2015 Balzan Prize for Economic History

For his pioneering connection of economics and history with evolutionary and epistemological theory and the development of knowledge and technology; for permitting a new, comparative view of economic development and industrialization in particular in the West; for the variety of content, themes, and methods of his work, which ranges from the cliometrics of the New Economic History to the qualitative interpretation of ground-breaking texts, and avoids monocausal explanations.

Joel Mokyr, born in Leiden, the Netherlands, on 26 July 1946, is a US and Israeli citizen.
He is currently Robert H. Strotz Professor of Arts and Sciences (since 1994) and Professor of Economics and History (since 1981) at Northwestern University at Evanston, Illinois, and Sackler Professorial Fellow at the Eitan Berglas School of Economics at the University of Tel Aviv (since 2001).
He earned his BA in Economics and History in 1968 from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and his MPhil and PhD in Economics from Yale University in 1972 and 1974 respectively.
Before his present appointments at Northwestern University as the Robert H. Strotz Professor of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Economics and History, he taught there as Assistant Professor of Economics (1974-77), Associate Professor of Economics (1978-80) and Professor of Economics and History (1980-81).
He has been a Visiting Professor at Stanford University, the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Harvard University, the University College of Dublin, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the University of Manchester, the University of Tel Aviv and the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzlyia, Israel.
He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1995), Foreign Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (2001) and the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (2004). He serves as chair of the Advisory Committee to the Institutions, Organizations, and Growth Group of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), and is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
He is on several editorial boards of peer-reviewed journals, and continues to be Editor in Chief of the Princeton University Press series The Princeton University Press Economic History of the Western World.

Among his numerous publications, the following books as author or editor can be mentioned:

Industrialization in the Low Countries, 1795-1850. New Haven-London: Yale University Press, 1976.
Why Ireland Starved: An Analytical and Quantitative Study of Irish Poverty, 1800-1851 London and Boston: George Allen and Unwin, 1983. (Selected an outstanding publication in economics for 1983 by Choice Magazine). Revised paperback edition, 1985.
(Editor) The Economics of the Industrial Revolution. Totowa, N.J.: Rowman and Allanheld, 1985. Reprinted 1989 by Rowman and Littlefield.
Twenty Five Centuries of Technological Change: An Historical Survey. A Volume in the Economics of Technological Change Section, edited by F.M. Scherer. Part of the series “Fundamentals of Pure and Applied Economics” edited by Hugo Sonnenschein and Jacques Lesourne. Chur-London-Paris-New York- Melbourne: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1990.
The Lever of Riches: Technological Creativity and Economic Progress. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990, awarded the Schumpeter Prize by the International Schumpeter Society and the Ranki Prize by the Economic History Association.
Spanish translation: La Palanca de la Riqueza. Madrid: Alianza Editorial, 1993.
Italian translation: La leva della ricchezza. Bologna: Il Mulino, 1995.
Hungarian translation: A gazdagság gépezete, 2004.
Chinese translation forthcoming.
(Editor) The Vital One: Essays in Honor of Jonathan Hughes. Greenwood, CT: JAI Press, 1991.
(Editor) The British Industrial Revolution: an Economic Perspective. Boulder: Westview Press, 1993. Expanded and updated second edition, 1998.
The Gifts of Athena: Historical Origins of the Knowledge Economy. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002. Awarded the Donald Price prize by the American Political Science Association.
Italian translation: I doni di Atena. Le origini storiche dell’economica della conoscenza, Bologna: Il Mulino, 2004.
Spanish, Chinese and Japanese translations in progress.
(Editor in chief) The Oxford University Press Encyclopedia of Economic History. New York: Oxford University Press, 5 volumes, 2003.
(Co-editor) The Invention of Enterprise: Entrepreneurship from Ancient Mesopotamia to Modern Times (The Kauffman Foundation Series on Innovation and Entrepreneurship; with William J. Baumol and David S. Landes). Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009.
The Enlightened Economy: An Economic History of Britain 1700-1850. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009.
(Co-editor, with Laura Cruz) The Birth of Modern Europe: Culture and Economy, 1400-1800: Essay in Honor of Jan de Vries. Leiden: Brill, 2010.
A Culture of Growth: Origins of the Modern Economy. Princeton University
Press, forthcoming 2016.

For his full cv and bibliography, see:

(October 2015)

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