Call for papers: Knowledge diffusion and the emergence of modern economic growth

Call for papers: Knowledge diffusion and the emergence of modern economic growth

There is an increasing attention in the literature on the role of useful knowledge in fostering innovation in the initial phases of the industrial revolution (Mokyr, 2002; Mokyr, 2005; Squicciarini and Voigtlaender, 2015; Kelly et al. 2020). Understanding how, in historical perspective, useful knowledge was elaborated, transmitted and successively adopted would add an important piece to explain how economies transitioned to a path of modern economic growth. Furthermore, it is important to get a better understanding of how culture and institutions interacted for the generation and diffusion of knowledge (Mokyr, 2016). In this context, the Rivista di Storia Economica will host a special issue dedicated to the study of causes and consequences of knowledge diffusion in eighteenth and nineteenth century Europe. However, submissions of articles on other time periods or continents are also welcome. 

In particular, the special issue welcomes contributions on the following topics: 

  •  Knowledge diffusion and innovation 
  • The role of cultural elites in the diffusion of useful knowledge 
  • The role of physical infrastructure in the diffusion of knowledge 
  • Learned societies and academies as catalyst for knowledge diffusion 
  • On the relationships between cultural elites and higher education institutions 
  • The role of migrants in the diffusion of specific knowledge 
  • On the relationship between religion and useful knowledge 
  • On the diffusion of cultural norms 


All submissions will go through standard blind peer-review process. Submission can be made at


Deadline for submissions: 31 January, 2021 

Planned publication: 2021 


Enquiries regarding this call for papers should be directed to: or

Call for papers