David Landes#

Harvard University
Phone: (617) 495-8326
Department of Economics
Fax : (617)495-8570

Professional Preparation
  • City College of New York A.B. 1942
  • Harvard University A.M. 1943
  • Harvard University Ph.D. 1953

Academic Appointments

Harvard University
Coolidge Professor of History and Professor of Economics, Emeritus 1996 - Present


Harvard University
Junior Fellow of the Society of Fellows, Senior 1950 -1953
Fellow of the Society of Fellows 1984-1992

  • 2000 First Laureate, Prix European du Livre d’Economie, for The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor
  • 2004 Leonardo da Vinci Prize, Society for the History of Technology, for research in the history of technology and engineering

Synergistic Activities

Professor Landes’ scholarship is inherently interdisciplinary: he has examined critical issues in international economic development through the lens of a historian over the course of his long and distinguished career. His pivotal work, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations (published in 1998, after his retirement) takes on the timely question of why some societies experienced a period of explosive economic growth, while others did not. Other projects address the role that clocks; culture; and technological change have played in the trajectory of economic development and success.

The relevance of Professor Landes’ contributions has been recognized by numerous honorary degrees and memberships, including the following:

Honory Degrees
  • Docteur honoris causa, Universite de Lille 1973
  • Docteur es Sciences economiques et sociales, honoris causa Universite de Geneve 1990
  • Doctor, honoris causa, Universiy of Ancona 1990
  • Docteur es Sciences economiques, Uniersite de Neuchatel 1991
  • Docteur honoris causa, Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule, Zurich 1993
  • Doctor honoris causa, Bard College 1999
  • Professor honoris causa, Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales, Jouy-en 2000

Honorary Memberships, Learned Societies

National Academy of Science; American Academy of Arts and Sciences; American Philosophical Society; British Academy; Royal Historical Society; Koninklijke Academie van Belgie; Accademia dei Lincei
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