Rea A. and Lela G. Axline Professor of Business Economics
Jean-Laurent Rosenthal is trying to understand what institutions encourage long-term economic growth and wealth formation. He has studied changes in property rights at the time of the French Revolution, credit markets in Europe, law and the organization of enterprises (in France, Germany, the United States, and the United Kingdom), and wealth inequality. Rosenthal is the author or co-author of several books including Before and Beyond Divergence: The Politics of Economic Change in China and Europe (with R. Bin Wong, Harvard University Press, 2011) and Dark Matter Credit: The Development of Peer-to-Peer Lending and Banking in France (with Philip T. Hoffman and Gilles Postel-Vinay, Princeton University Press, 2019).
Rosenthal holds a bachelor's degree in history from Reed College (1984) and a PhD in social science from Caltech (1988). His dissertation, which focused on why infrastructure investment was difficult under the old regime in France but was relatively easy after 1815, received the Milton and Francis Clauser Doctoral Prize from Caltech and the Alexander Gerschenkron Prize from the Economic History Association. From 1988 to 2006, he was a faculty member in the department of economics at UCLA. He was the co-editor of the Journal of Economic History (2010–2014). Rosenthal's honors include the Arthur H. Cole Prize for best article in the Journal of Economic History in 1991, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (2001–2002), a Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences Fellowship (1993–1994), a National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award (1992), and an Alfred P. Sloan Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship (1987–1988).
- Fellow Cliometric Society, October 2018
- Clio Can for exceptional support to the Field of Cliometrics, May 2018
- Gyorgy Ranki prize (Economic History Association) for outstanding book published in 1999 or 2000 for Priceless Markets, Fall 2001.
- J.S. Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, 2001-2002
- Arthur H. Cole Prize for best article in the Journal of Economic History, September 1991
- Alexander Gerschenkron Dissertation Prize (Economic History Association), September 1989
- Milton and Francis Clauser Dissertation Prize (Caltech), May 1988
- Co-editor, Journal of Economic History (2010–2014)
- Dark Matter Credit: the Devlopment of Peer to Peer Lending and Banking in France. with Philip T. Hoffman, and Gilles Postel-Vinay. Princeton University Press, 2019.
- Before and Beyond Divergence; Institutions and Prosperity in China and Europe 1000-1800. With R. Bin Wong. Harvard University Press, February 2011.
- Surviving Large Losses: Financial Crises, the Middle Class, and the Development of Capital Markets. With Philip T. Hoffman and Gilles Postel-Vinay. Harvard University Press. Spring 2007. Paperback edition Fall 2009.
- Finance, Intermediaries and Economic Development. Coedited with Stanley Engerman, Philip T. Hoffman, and Kenneth Sokoloff. Cambridge University Press, 2003.
- Priceless Markets: The Political Economy of Credit in Paris, 1662-1869. With Philip T. Hoffman and Gilles Postel-Vinay. University of Chicago Press, 2000. Translated in French as Des marchés sans prix : l'économie politique du crédit à Paris, 1662-1869. Presses de l'EHESS, 2001.
- Analytic Narratives. With Robert Bates, Avner Greif, Margaret Levi, and Barry Weingast. Princeton University Press, 1998. Chinese edition 2008.
- The Fruits of Revolution, Property Rights, Litigation and French Agriculture (1700-1860). Cambridge University Press, 1992.