Public Choice

, Volume 163, Issue 3–4, pp 397–399 | Cite as

Avner Greif, Lynne Kiesling, and John V. C. Nye (eds.), Institutions, Innovation, and Industrialization: Essays in Economic History and Development

Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2015, 430 pp., USD 49.50 (cloth)
  • Douglas W. Allen
Book Review

This edited volume arose from a 2011 conference held in honor of Joel Mokyr’s sixty-fifth birthday. Almost all of the fifteen chapters are written by former students of Mokyr, many formidable economic historians in their own right. As a result, the book generally has the stamp of Mokyr’s scholarship: heaps of historical narrative, empirical details, and interesting facts, contexts, and episodes.

There is a wide range of topics covered in the book, making a discussion of each chapter impossible in a short review. My strategy, therefore, is to give a broad description of the book, and then discuss the parts that I particularly liked.

Of the fifteen chapters, only four are general discussions related to economic history. These chapters include Mokyr’s on “useful knowledge” and the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution, Avner Greif’s model of the emergence of markets, Rick Szostak’s methodology chapter arguing for an inter-disciplinary agenda for economic history, and Eric Jones’ chapter...


  1. Allen, D. W. (2012). The institutional revolution: Measurement and the economic emergence of the modern world. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsSimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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