Joel Mokyr is the Robert H. Strotz Professor of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Economics and History at Northwestern University. He specializes in economic history and the economics of technological change and population change.
He is the author of Why Ireland Starved: An Analytical and Quantitative Study of the Irish Economy, The Lever of Riches: Technological Creativity and Economic Progress, The British Industrial Revolution: An Economic Perspective, The Gifts of Athena: Historical Origins of the Knowledge Economy, and The Enlightened Economy: an Economic history of Britain, 1700-1850. His most recent book is A Culture of Growth, published by Princeton University Press in 2016. He has authored over 100 articles and books in his field.
He has served as the senior editor of the Journal of Economic History from 1994 to 1998, and was editor in chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History (published in July 2003), and serves as editor in chief of a book series, the Princeton University Press Economic History of the Western World. He served as President of the Economic History Association 2003-04, President of the Midwest Economics Association in 2007/08, President of the Atlantic Economic Association (2015/16), and is a director of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He serves as chair of the advisory committee of the Institutions, Organizations, and Growth program of the Canadian Institute of Advanced Research. He served as chair of the Economics Department at Northwestern University between 1998 and 2001 and was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford between Sept. 2001 and June 2002.
Professor Mokyr has an undergraduate degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a Ph.D. from Yale University. He has taught at Northwestern since 1974, and has been a visiting Professor at Harvard, the University of Chicago, Stanford University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the University of Tel Aviv, University College of Dublin, and the University of Manchester. In 2006 he was awarded the biennial Heineken Prize by the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences for a lifetime achievement in historical science. In 2015 he was awarded the Balzan Prize for Economic History awarded once every twenty years. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a foreign fellow of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences, the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, a corresponding fellow of the British Academy, and a Fellow of the Econometric Society and the Cliometric Society. In 2018 he was elected as a distinguished fellow of the American Economic Association. His books have won a number of important prizes including the Joseph Schumpeter memorial prize, the Ranki prize for the best book in European Economic history, the Donald Price Prize of the American Political Science Association, and the Allan Sharlin Prize of the Social Science History Association. He was made a doctor honoris causa by the National University of Uruguay in 2018. He was awarded the Jonathan Hughes Prize for excellence in the teaching of economic history by the Economic History Association in 2019.