The economics of being jewish

Joel Mokyr*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In his Capitalism and the Jews, Jerry Z. Muller discusses the relationship between Jews and "usury"; explains how Jews have benefitted from capitalism; argues that most Jews are not on the left; and describes the relationship between Jews and nationalism. In covering this much ground in so compact a book, he naturally leaves out a great deal, such as the importance of ideology in issues of determining Jewish economic savoir faire, and why, despite their accomplishments in many fields, Jews are conspicuously underrepresented in the pantheon of great inventors before the modern industrial age. Jewish traditional culture was inherently backward-looking and conservative and thus did not encourage revolutionary ideas and thinking outside the box.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-206
Number of pages12
JournalCritical Review
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


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