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Economist elected to British Academy

Joel Mokyr recognized for outstanding contribution to research

  • Mokyr has authored more than 10 books on a variety of economic history topics
  • Focuses on impact of industrialization, economic progress on economic welfare
  • British Academy seeks to support high achievement in the humanities, social sciences

EVANSTON - Joel Mokyr, who studies economic history, is one of 66 distinguished corresponding and honorary fellows recently elected to the British Academy at its annual meeting.

Mokyr, the Robert H. Strotz Professor of Arts and Sciences and professor of economics and history in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University, was elected as a corresponding fellow -- one who lives outside of the U.K. at the time of his or her election.

Fellows are elected for their outstanding contribution to research. The research areas span the breadth of the humanities and social sciences, including law, linguistics, economics and history.

Established by the Royal Charter in 1902, the British Academy seeks to inspire and support high achievement in the humanities and social sciences throughout the U.K. and internationally.

Mokyr, who has appointments in Northwestern’s economics and history departments, works on the economic history of Europe, specializing in the period 1750 to 1914. Among his books are “The Lever of Riches,” “The Gifts of Athena,” “The Enlightened Economy” and most recently, “A Culture of Growth” -- all books that focus on changes in technology and economic growth.

He is concerned with understanding the economic and intellectual roots of technological progress and the growth of useful knowledge in European societies. His research also focuses on the impact that industrialization and economic progress have had on economic welfare.

Mokyr is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Econometric Society, as well as the Dutch Royal Academy and the Italian Accademia dei Lincei.

He has been the president of the Economic History Association and a co-editor of the Journal of Economic History. He was the 2006 winner of the biennial Heineken Prize awarded by the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences for lifetime achievements in historical science. In 2015, he was awarded the International Balzan Prize for economic history (awarded every 20 years) for his groundbreaking work on the economic history of Europe and roots of technological change.

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