In 2004 the Society established the Joseph J. Spengler Prize for the Best Book in the History of Economics. Beside the honor, the winner will receive a stipend of $500 plus travel expenses up to $500 to attend the 51st annual conference of the History of Economics Society (July 2024 in Santiago, Chile).

Rules and procedures for awarding the prize

  1. Eligibility: Original, authored (non-edited) books in the history of economics published, in English originally, during the three calendar years preceding the HES Meeting at which the award is presented may be nominated. Scholarly books and monographs are eligible, but neither textbooks, nor doctoral dissertations, are eligible. The History of Economics Society will meet on July 14-18 in Santiago, Chile.
  1. Nomination Process: Up to two nominations can be made per publisher for books published in the period of eligibility. Publishers should send a nominating note to the Secretary of HES , <>. The Secretary will provide the addresses of the members of the judging committee to whom copies should be sent. December 31 is the deadline for nominations.  This means that each member of the judging committee should have a copy of a nominated book by December 31 in order to ensure that the book can be considered.

Individuals may “self-nominate” by sending a nominating note to the HES Secretary. Similarly, HES members may nominate an eligible book by sending a note to the HES Secretary. The Secretary will provide addresses of members of the judging committee.  Again, each member of the committee should have a copy of a nominated book by December 31 in order to ensure that the book can be considered.   It is suggested that the nominator check with the Secretary to insure that the book has not already been nominated.  A nominator may also want to ask the publisher to provide copies of the book.  Books may be re-nominated in successive years while eligible. Please state the author(s), title of the book, publisher, and date of publication when making a nomination.

  1. Selection Process: The Selection Committee consists of three members of HES named by the President of HES in the months following the annual meeting. This year’s committee is formed by Laurie Bréban (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne), Alexandra Hyard (Université de Lille), and Stephen Meardon (Bowdoin College).
  1. Announcement: The Chair of the Selection Committee shall prepare a statement to be read at the HES Banquet announcing the Spengler Prize winner. The Prize shall be in the amount of $500.00 US, and the winner shall receive a suitable plaque at the banquet. In case of co-authored works, the money shall be divided equally, and multiple plaques shall be awarded.


Award Recipients

2023 Bruce Caldwell and Hansjörg Klausinger Hayek: A Life, 1899-1950 University of Chicago Press, 2022
2022 Erwin Dekker Jan Tinbergen (1903–1994) and the Rise of Economic Expertise Cambridge University Press, 2021
2021 William Deringer  Calculated Values: Finance, Politics, and the Quantitative Age Harvard University Press, 2018
2021 Caroline Oudin-Bastide and Philippe Steiner Calculation and Morality: The Costs of Slavery and the Value of Emancipation in the French Antilles Oxford University Press, 2019
2020 Janek Wasserman The Marginal Revolutionaries: How Austrian Economists Fought the War of Ideas Yale University Press, 2019
2019 Manuela Mosca Monopoly Power and Competition: The Italian Marginalist Perspective Edward Elgar, 2018
2018 Roger E Backhouse Founder of Modern Economics: Paul A. Samuelson Oxford University Press, 2017
2018 Ian Kumekawa The First Serious Optimist: A. C. Pigou and the Birth of Welfare Economics Princeton University Press, 2017
2017 Thomas “Tim” Leonard Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics and American Economics in the Progressive Era Princeton University Press, 2016
2016 Till Düppe and E. Roy Weintraub Finding Equilibrium: Arrow, Debreu, McKenzie and the Problem of Scientific Credit Princeton University Press, 2014
2015 none
2014 Jeremy Adelman Worldly Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O. Hirschman Princeton University Press, 2013
2013 Angus Burgin The Great Persuasion: Reinventing Free Markets Since the Depression Harvard University Press, 2012
2012 Sophus Reinert Translating Empire: Emulation and the Origins of Political Economy Harvard University Press, 2011
2011 Robert Leonard Von Neumann, Morgenstern, and the Creation of Game Theory: From Chess to Social Science, 1900-1960 Cambridge University Press, 2010
2010 Nahid Aslanbeigui and Guy Oakes The Provocative Joan Robinson: The Making of a Cambridge Economist Duke University Press, 2009
2009 Steven M. Teles The Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement Princeton University Press, 2008
2008 Thomas K. McCraw Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction Harvard University Press, 2007
2007 Istvan Hont Jealousy of Trade: Internatlional Competition and the Nation State Belknap, 2005
2006 Harro Maas William Stanley Jevons and the Making of Modern Economics Cambridge University Press, 2005
2005 E. Roy Weintraub How Economics Became a Mathematical Science Duke University Press, 2002
2004 D. Wade Hands Reflection without Rules: Economic Methodology and Contemporary Science Theory Cambridge University Press, 2001