Info: In 2021 the Myrdal EAEPE book prize was renamed to the Joan Robinson prize. For the recipients of the prize prior to 2021, either the original name of the prize was retained or the name prize changed to the Joan Robinson one.

The 2021 EAEPE Robinson Prize went ex aequo to (1) Isabella Weber for her book titled How China escaped shock therapy.The market reform debate, Routledge (2021), (2)  Franklin Obeng-Odoom for his book titled Property, Institutions and Social Stratification in Africa, Cambridge University Press (2020), and (3)  Jean-Christophe Graz for his book titled The power of standards. Hybrid authority and the globalisation of services, Cambridge University Press (2019).

Isabella Weber

Winning the Joan Robinson Prize for my first book is a tremendous honor. Spending the first years of my research career as an economist working on a book on the history of non-Western economic thought was a bolt choice in a Eurocentric discipline structured around journal articles. I hope that the recognition of my book can encourage other young scholars to take up projects that are grounded in ethnographic work, cut across fields and aim to take up daring questions. Joan Robinson was bolt. Her brilliance and courage defied the sexism and orthodoxy of her day. Robinson was a theoretical economist but she was also a scholar with a deep concern for practical questions of development. She got carried away during the Cultural Revolution, but she tried to understand China until the end of her life when economic reforms were just beginning. My book takes us back to this moment, the crossroads of the 1980s that marks the divergence between Russia’s fall and China’s rise and the beginning of a new convergence in terms of economic power between China, Europe and the US. By asking How China Escaped Shock Therapy, I try to unpack the intellectual foundations of China’s economic rise. I center my investigation on the battle among economists over the right reform approach. Rather than treating ideas in isolation, I trace their historical, intellectual and material origins: I go back to China’s long history; connect the Chinese market reform debate to the question of post-war transition in the US and Europe; and through oral history interviews, link the economic arguments to personal histories and political constellations. The logic of shock therapy grounded in standard neoclassical models suggests that the state has to withdraw to make space for the market. The economics of China’s reform, in contrast, ultimately followed a logic of state market-creation and -participation that brought about a process of institutional innovation. Economists in China played a key role in defending a gradualist, experimentalist path. They shared the spirit and pluralist outlook of EAEPE. Their contributions at a fateful moment in China’s recent history underscore the importance of an institutionalist approach to economic research; and challenges us to rethink the role of prices as a core economic mechanism, to revisit our understanding of inflation, and to reconsider the role of markets and states in development – issues of great relevance in face of current global challenges.

Franklin Obeng-Odoom

I feel encouraged by this recognition.  My work is in original institutional economics, but I have been trying to develop this tradition in three ways by: (i) trying to demonstrate the centrality of land economics to socio-ecological and political-economic problems; (ii) emphasising urban and regional political economy; and (iii) embracing stratification economics. These are quite germane to the mission of EAEPE, but they tend to be on the margins. I hope this award is also a nod to these subfields in our field of evolutionary political economy, and a nudge to others. For, as they say, the harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few. Thank you very much.

Jean-Christophe Graz


It is a great honour and pride to receive EAEPE’s Joan Robinson Prize for the best monograph published on a theme broadly in accord with the theoretical perspectives of EAEPE.

I would not dare to compare the book anywhere near the great achievement of Joan Robinson.However, what would come closer might be the effort to keep all sorts of orthodoxies at bay – something for which EAEPE fights for and remains extremely supportive in feeding pluralist and interdisciplinary approaches in political economy and cognate fields of social sciences. This is all the more true that I am not trained as an economist, nor do I teach economics. As a political scientist, I particularly cherish EAEPE in its ability to provide a unique party for those who take the economy as a field of study open to scientific disciplines and critical knowledge, rather than the supposedly legitimate object of a nomothetic and supposedly unified science.

The book aims at refreshing the analysis of the role of standards in the global expansion of services, with in-depth studies of their institutional environment and cases, including the global insurance industry and business process outsourcing in India.

In the same way as manufacturing is inconceivable without standardised nuts and bolts, it is difficult to imagine providing services across borders without proper guarantees regarding the quality and security of the activity expected to be performed to the customer’s satisfaction.

With a focus on the significance of voluntary international standards as privileged instruments in the organisation of contemporary capitalism, the book delves into the space spanning between the two poles of corporate power and State power – or said differently, between transnational capitalism and territorial sovereignty. It focuses on a non-conventional form of authority epitomised by standards, which is conceptualised as transnational and hybrid.

The expected contribution that the book might bring to debates closely related to EAEPE’s theoretical perspectives is related to existing studies drawing on institutional approaches and théories de la regulation. They tend to rest on restrictive hypotheses on the internat° of services, with a focus on the informational, institutional, and sectorial idiosyncrasies hindering trade transactions in services. In contrast, I argue that a perspective inspired by evolutionary and international political economy allows for a more extensive hypothesis. It sheds light on the potentially greater importance of standards without undermining their potential conflicting political economy objectives. This is particularly the case for a range of quality and security requirements likely to have strong soc & pol implications.

In short, the ambiguity of a transnational hybrid authority goes a long way towards explaining the power of standards in the globalisation of services and why they have thrived in the organisation of capitalism over the last decade.

The book available online in Open Access thanks to the funding of Swiss National Science Foundation (


In 2019 the Joan Robinson Prize was awarded to Ilene Grabel for her book on  When things don't fall apart: Global financial governance and developmental finance in an age of productive incoherence. MIT Press.

In 2017 the Myrdal Prize was awarded jointly to Marc Lavoie for his book on "Post-Keynesian Economics: New Foundations" (Edward Elgar, 2014) as well as Wolfram Elsner, Torsten Heinrich and Henning Schwardt for their book on "The Microeconomics of Complex Economies" (Elsevier/Academic Press, 2014).

Marc Lavoie

I believe that the EAEPE Myrdal prize for best monograph is important for our community. While orthodox economists attach little or no importance to books, my own experience has told me that books are crucial for the development of research and graduate education. Despite having published over 200 journal articles or book chapters, Google citation claims that my top four cited works are all books. The Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Ottawa has recognized my productivity as a researcher by sometimes granting me a course release, but I was rather shocked when a few years before 2017 the chair of the Economics department refused to sign on my application to run for researcher of the year in the Faculty, thus stopping my submission in its tracks. Clearly the chair did not think much of pluralism and figured that that research in post-Keynesian economics was not proper economics. Thus, receiving the 2017 EAEPE Myrdal prize was like a balm, helping me to put aside this naughty episode. I found it particularly rewarding that a pluralistic organization like EAEPE, devoted to the development of several theoretical traditions besides evolutionary political economy, would recognize the qualities of my book even thus its main focus was post-Keynesian economics.

The main purpose of the book was to provide a guide through the various strands and fields of the post-Keynesian literature, so that graduate students and young scholars would get a chance to navigate through this literature without getting lost through the myriads of papers that can now be found on the internet. In addition, with age and memory loss taking their toll, the book is useful when I am desperately searching for the reference to some author, work or idea! From the standpoint of EAEPE, I would think that the first chapter is a particularly useful contribution in the sense that it sets post-Keynesian economics as just one of several approaches to heterodox economics, attempting to define what heterodox economics is, and showing the specificities of post-Keynesian economics vis-à-vis the other traditions in political economy.

Wolfram Elsner, Torsten Heinrich and Henning Schwardt

Wolfram Esner: EAEPE’s Myrdal Prize is really something the recipient may be proud of. Nobel Laureate Gunnar Myrdal was not only one of the most seminal and relevant real-world economists, the award is given by an Association working exactly in this best tradition of the discipline, in an open, pluralist, critical real-world perspective and practice. The prize for the book therefore was recognized by its publisher, Elsevier/Academic Press, which continued advertising it mentioning the prize. The book received the prize from EAEPE because it was written in a pluralist and comparative stance, with the neoclassical worldview being contrasted with evolutionary, institutional and complexity perspectives. And we are doing so in theory, applied fields, policy implications, and epistemology and methodology. This is a micro textbook that cannot be easily disregarded or discarded by mainstream faculty, as it is cutting-edge and attractive for teaching even for many economists considering themselves “mainstream”. So, using it as a heterodox teacher in microeconomics, in HET, innovation economics, theory of the firm, industrial economics, game theory, computer simulation methods and other courses, would help us going the difficult way of progressive teaching even in a conservative faculty and disciplinary environment. In its most advanced chapters, the book can even be used as a research monograph. With its display of the dozen of most influential “heterodox” papers and models of the last decades and with its reconstruction of the HET as a history of complexity thinking, this book seems to be perfectly mirroring EAEPE’s very rationale and academic practice, namely openness, plurality and real-world significance.

In 2015 the Joan Robinson Prize was awarded to Smita Srinivas for her book on "Market Menagerie: Health and Development in Late Industrial States" (Stanford University Press, 2012) and the Myrdal prize to Andrew Cumbers for his book on "Reclaiming Public ownership: Making Space for Economic Democracy" (Zed Books, 2012).

Smita Srinivas

Andrew Cumbers

In 2013 the Myrdal Prize was awarded to Servaas Storm and C. W. M. Naastepad for their 2012 book, Macroeconomics beyond the NAIRU (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press).

In 2012 the Myrdal Prize was awarded jointly to Sophus A. Reinert for his 2011 book, Translating Empire: Emulation and the Origins of Political Economy (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press), and to Carlo D'Ippoliti for his 2011 book, Economics and Diversity (London: Routledge).

In 2011 the Myrdal Prize was awarded to Sven Steinmo for his 2010 book, The Evolution of Modern States: Sweden, Japan and the United States (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

In 2010 the Myrdal Prize was awarded jointly to Esben S. Andersen for his 2009 book, Schumpeter’s Evolutionary Economics: A Theoretical, Historical and Statistical Analysis of the Engine of Capitalism (London: Anthem Press), and to Andrew Tylecote and Francesca Visintin for their 2008 book, Corporate Governance, Finance and the Technological Advantage of Nations (London: Routledge). 

In 2009 the Myrdal Prize winners were Dimitris Milonakis and Ben Fine for their 2008 book, From Political Economy to Economics: Method, the Social and the Historical in the Evolution of Economic Theory (London: Routledge).

In 2008 the Myrdal Prize was awarded to Erik Reinert for his 2007 book, How Rich Countries Got Rich... and Why Poor Countries Stay Poor (London: Constable & Robinson).

In 2007 the Myrdal Prize was awarded to Bob Jessop and Ngai-Ling Sum for their 2006 book, Beyond the Regulation Approach: Putting Capitalist Economies in Their Place (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar).

In 2006 the Myrdal Prize was awarded jointly to Wilfred Dolfsma for his 2004 book, Institutional Economics and the Formation of Preferences: The Advent of Pop Music (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar), and to David Reisman for his 2005 book, Democracy and Exchange: Schumpeter, Galbraith, T.H. Marshall, Titmuss and Adam Smith, (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar).

In 2005 the Myrdal Prize Winner was Christian Sartorius for his 2003 book, An Evolutionary Approach to Social Welfare (London: Routledge).

In 2004 the Myrdal prize was awarded jointly to Bart Nooteboom for his 2002 book, Trust: Forms, Foundations, Functions, Failures and Figures (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar), and to John B. Davis for his 2003 book, The Theory of the Individual in Economics: Identity and Value (London: Routledge).

In 2003 the Myrdal Prize was awarded to Ha-Joon Chang for his 2002 book, Kicking Away the Ladder: Development Strategy in Historical Perspective (London: Anthem Press).

In 2002 the Myrdal Prize was awarded to Phillip A. O'Hara for his 2000 book, Marx, Veblen and Contemporary Institutional Political Economy: Principles and Unstable Dynamics of Capitalism (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar).

In 2001 the Myrdal Prize was not awarded.

In 2000 the Myrdal Prize was awarded jointly to Irene van Staveren for her 2001 (later published) book, The Value of Economics: An Aristotelian Perspective (London: Routledge), and to Frederic S. Lee for his 1999 book, Post Keynesian Price Theory (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

In 1999 the Myrdal Prize was awarded to Esther Mirjam-Sent for her 1998 book, The Evolving Rationality of Rational Expectations: An Assessment of Thomas Sargent's Achievements (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

In 1998 the Myrdal Prize was awarded to Steve Fleetwood for his 1995 book, Hayek's Political Economy: The Socio-Economics of Order (London: Routledge).

In 1997 the Myrdal Prize was awarded to Pier Paolo Saviotti for his 1996 book, Technological Evolution, Variety and the Economy (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar).

In 1996 the Myrdal Prize was awarded to Winfried Ruigrok and Rob van Tulder for their 1996 book, The Logic of International Restructuring: The Management of Dependencies in Rival Industrial Complexes (London: Routledge).

In 1995 the Myrdal Prize was awarded jointly to Regine Heidenreich for her 1994 book, Ökonomie und Institutionen: Eine Rekonstruktion des wirtschafts- und sozialwissenschaftlichen Werks von K.W. Kapp [Economics and Institutions: A Reconstruction of the Work of K. William Kapp in the Economic and Social Sciences] (Frankfurt: P. Lang), and to Jack Vromen for his 1995 book, Evolution and Institutions: In Inquiry into the Foundations of the New Institutional Economics (London: Routledge).

In 1994 the Myrdal Prize was not awarded.

In 1993 the Myrdal Prize was awarded to Bart Verspagen for his 1993 book, Uneven Growth between Interdependent Economies: An Evolutionary View on Technology Gaps, Trade and Growth (Aldershot: Ashgate).

In 1992 the inaugural Myrdal Prize was awarded jointly to Len Doyal and Ian Gough for their 1991 book, A Theory of Human Need (London: Macmillan), and to Mario Morroni for his 1992 book, Production Process and Technical Change (Cambridge: Cambridge University Pres).

Please note that the submission rules for the Myrdal Prize have changed over time.