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Joel Mokyr Economic historian

Joel Mokyr specializes in economic history and the economics of changes in technology and population. He is currently working on the intellectual and institutional origins of modern economic growth and the way they interacted with technological elements. Mokyr’s other research is an attempt to apply insights from evolutionary theory to long-term changes in technological knowledge and economic history.


Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association, 2018.

International Balzan Prize for Economic History, 2015.

Dr. A. H. Heineken Prize for History, the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences, 2006.

Don K. Price Award, American Political Science Association, 2003.

Joseph Schumpeter Memorial Prize, 1990.

Relevant Publications

J. Mokyr, "Intellectual Property Rights, the Industrial Revolution, and the Beginnings of Modern Economic Growth," Am. Econ. Rev., vol. 99, no. 2, pp. 349-355, May 2009.

J. Mokyr, “Precocious Albion: a New Interpretation of the British Industrial Revolution,” with Morgan Kelly and Cormac Ó Gráda. Annu. Rev. Econom., vol. 6, pp. 363-91, 2014.

J. Mokyr, “Technological Anxiety and the Future of Economic Growth: Is this time different?,” with Chris Vickers and Nicolas L. Ziebarth, J. Econ. Perspect., vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 31-50, 2015.


J. Mokyr, A Culture of Growth: Origins of the Modern Economy. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016.

J. Mokyr, The Enlightened Economy: An Economic History of Britain 1700-1850. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009.

J. Mokyr, The Gifts of Athena: Historical Origins of the Knowledge Economy. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002.

J. Mokyr, The Lever of Riches: Technological Creativity and Economic Progress, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990.



Advisory Committee Chair Institutions, Organizations & Growth


Northwestern UniversityDepartment of Economics


PhD (Economics) Yale University

M. Phil (Economics) Yale University

BA (Economics and History) Hebrew University of Jerusalem


United States

Ideas Related to Joel Mokyr

Announcement | Institutions, Organizations & Growth

Joel Mokyr awarded Balzan Prize for Economic History

The International Balzan Prize Foundation has awarded CIFAR Advisory Committee Chair Joel Mokyr (Northwestern University) the 2015 Balzan Prize for...