Joel Mokyr

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Joel Mokyr
Joel Mokyr.png
Born (1946-07-26) 26 July 1946 (age 72)
Nationality Israeli American
Spouse(s) Margalit
Institution Northwestern University
Field Economic history
Alma mater Yale University
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Awards Balzan Prize (2015)

Joel Mokyr (born 26 July 1946) is an American and Israeli economic historian.


Mokyr was born in the Netherlands. His parents were Dutch Jews who survived the Holocaust. His father, a civil servant, died of cancer when Mokyr was a year old and he was raised by his mother in Haifa, Israel. He is the Robert H. Strotz Professor of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University.

Mokyr holds a joint appointment in economics as well as a Sackler Professorial Fellow at the Eitan Berglas School of Economics at Tel Aviv University. He is particularly interested in the economic history of technology and population, but considers himself a general-purpose economic historian. A former editor of the Journal of Economic History and President of the Economic History Association, he served as the editor in chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History,[1] and continues to be editor in chief of a book series published by Princeton University Press, The Princeton University Press Economic History of the Western World.[2] A former chair of the Economics Department and President of the Economic History Association, he is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a number of comparable institutions in Europe.

He became a foreign member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001.[3]



  • 1976: Industrialization in the Low Countries, 1795–1850
  • 1983: Why Ireland Starved: An Analytical and Quantitative Study of Irish Poverty, 1800–1851
  • 1985: The Economics of the Industrial Revolution (ed.)
  • 1990: Twenty Five Centuries of Technological Change: An Historical Survey
  • 1990: The Lever of Riches: Technological Creativity and Economic Progress
    • Review article: "The Great Conundrum," The Journal of Modern History Vol. 62, No. 1, March 1990
  • 1991: The Vital One: Essays in Honor of Jonathan Hughes (ed.)
  • 1993: The British Industrial Revolution: an Economic Perspective (ed.)
  • 2002: The Gifts of Athena: Historical Origins of the Knowledge Economy
  • 2003: The Oxford University Press Encyclopedia of Economic History (Editor in chief)
  • 2009: The Invention of Enterprise: Entrepreneurship from Ancient Mesopotamia to Modern Times (Co-editor)
  • 2009: The Enlightened Economy: An Economic History of Britain 1700–1850
  • TBA: The Birth of Modern Europe: Culture and Economy, 1400–1800: Essay in Honor of Jan de Vries (Co-editor with Laura Cruz)
  • TBA: Neither Fluke nor Destiny: Evolutionary Models in Economic History


Mokyr is married to Margalit Mokyr and they have two daughters.


  1. Joel Mokyr (2003-10-16). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History (5Vols). Oxford University Press on Demand. ISBN 978-0-19-510507-0.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Princeton Economic History of the Western World, accessed 2009-09-08.
  3. "Joël Mokyr". Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 13 February 2016. Retrieved 13 February 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Joel Mokyr, Curriculum Vitae

External links