College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Mark Koyama

Mark Koyama

Mark Koyama

Associate Professor

Economic History

Mark Koyama is Associate Professor of Economics at George Mason University and Mercatus Center Senior Scholar. Professor Koyama earned his PhD in Economics from the University of Oxford. He previously lectured at the University of York and spent a year at the Political Theory Project at Brown University. He is interested in how historical institutions functioned and in the relationship between culture and economic performance. Recent work explores the emergence of religious toleration and the rule of law in Europe between 1500 and 1800. 

Selected Publications

"Unified China and Divided Europe” with Chiu Yo Ko and Tuan-Hwee Sng, International Economic Review, " Forthcoming. 

“Jewish Communities and City Growth in Preindustrial Europe,” with Noel D. Johnson Journal of Development Economics, 2017. 

“Jewish Persecutions and Weather Shocks, 1100-1800” with Robert Warren Anderson and Noel Johnson.’ Economic Journal, 2017.

Taxes, Lawyers, and the Decline of Witchcraft Trials in France” with Noel D. Johnson. Journal of Law and Economics, February 2014. 

Tax Farming and the Origins of State Capacity in England and France” with Noel D. Johnson. Explorations in Economic History 51,1, pp. 1-20 January 2014 


Expanded Publication List

 “Jewish Emancipation and Schism: Economic Development and Religious Change”, with Jean-Paul Carvalho, Journal of Comparative Economics, Forthcoming.

“The Long Transition from a Natural State to a Liberal Economic Order”, International Review of Law and Economics, Forthcoming

Monetary Stability and the Rule of Law”, with Blake Johnson, Journal of Financial Stability, vol 17, pp. 46-58, April 2015. 7.

The Law and Economics of Private Prosecutions in Industrial Revolution England”, Public Choice, vol. 159, issue 1-2, pp. 277-298, April 2014,

Legal Centralization and the Birth of the Secular State” with Noel D. Johnson. Journal of Comparative Economics, vol. 41, issue 4. November 2013. 11.

Prosecution Associations in Industrial Revolution England: Private Providers of Public Goods?”, Journal of Legal Studies, vol. 41, issue 1, 2012. 12.

“The Transformation of Labor Supply in the Pre-Industrial World”, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, vol. 81, issue 2, pp. 505-523, 2012. 13.

Evading the Taint of Usury: the Usury Prohibition as a Barrier to Entry”, Explorations in Economic History, vol. 47, issue 4 pp. 420-442, 2010. 14.

The Political Economy of Expulsion: the Regulation of Jewish Moneylending in Medieval England”, Constitutional Political Economy, vol. 32, issue 4, pp. 374-406, 2010

Courses Taught

Professor Koyama maintains a website for Economic History at George Mason here.

Recent Presentations

July 2017: IEA Roundtable on the Economics of Religion (Cambridge, UK)

June 2017: Law and Economics Workshop (Florence, Italy)

June 2017: SIOE (New York, USA)

May 2017: Economic History Workshop  (Northwestern University)

April 2017:  Political Theory Project  (Brown University)


In the Media

Here are a few media mentions for my research

The Upshot (NY Times): The Lack of Major Wars May Be Hurting Economic Growth (June 2014) How Come China Became One Country but Europe Became Lots of Countries? (January 2014)

Foreign Policy: In Medieval Europe, Bad Weather Was Especially Bad for Jews (June 2013)

Times of Israel: Pogroms on Jews linked to cold snaps (March 2013)

Financial Times: Costs of a Cuppa (August 2012)