Jared Rubin headshot

Congratulations to Jared Rubin, Ph.D., Professor of Economics and Co-Director of the Institute for the Study of Religion, Economics and Society. Dr. Rubin’s book Rulers, Religion, and Riches won the Lindert-Williamson Prize by the Economic History Association for Outstanding Book in Global Economic History. The Lindert-Williamson Prize is awarded every third year for the best book in the world economic history published in the preceding three years.

Rulers, Religions, and Riches examines why the modern economy was born in Europe, despite the Middle East being far ahead of Europe for centuries following the spread of Islam. Dr. Rubin’s book argues that the religion itself is not to blame; the importance of religious legitimacy in Middle Eastern politics was the primary culprit. Muslim religious authorities were given an important seat at the political bargaining table, which they used to block important advancements such as the printing press and lending at interest. In Europe, however, the Church played a weaker role in legitimizing rule, especially where Protestantism spread. It was precisely in those Protestant nations, especially England and the Dutch Republic, where the modern economy was born.

Rulers, Religions, and Riches was published in 2017 by Cambridge University Press and was already an award-winning text before winning the Lindert-Williamson Prize. In 2018 Dr. Rubin was recognized by the Society of Institutional and Organizational Economics with the Douglass North Best Book Award, for having the best research in institutional and organizational economics published during the previous two years.

“It is an incredible honor to have my book awarded twice by my peers. I poured a lot into the book, and I am so delighted and grateful that it had been received so positively,” said Dr. Rubin.

Rulers, Religions, and Riches Why the West Got Rich and the Middle East Did Not