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Larry D. Neal

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Larry D. Neal

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Professor Emeritus of Economics

Research Interests

Monetary and financial history, European Economic History


Larry D. Neal came to the University of Illinois in 1967, joining the faculty of the Department of Economics as Assistant Professor. He would progress through the academic ranks to achieve full professorship in 1978.

He completed his Ph.d. in Economics at the University of California at Berkeley, and would go on to teach courses in Economics, Economic History, and the Economies of Europe at Illinois for 38 years. A preeminent writer, Professor Neal would produce six books, in addition to contributing to some forty additional volumes. His landmark publication, “The Rise of Financial Capitalism” has been the catalyst to the booming popularity of the study of financial history. His co-authored book, “A Concise Economic History of the World,” for which he is best known, has been translated into many different languages, and has global distribution. His latest book, “I Am Not Master of Events,” deals with the financial speculations taking place in the first financial crises – the Mississippi and South Sea bubbles in the year 1720. In addition, Professor Neal will be publishing what he hopes will be known as his legacy book, a two-volume set entitled, “The Cambridge History of Capitalism,” vol. 1, and “The Rise of Capitalism,” vol. 2, in early 2014.

Professor Neal's especial field of interest is European Economics and financial history: while at Illinois, he developed courses in both fields at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Additional instructional innovations include the creation of an interdisciplinary graduate seminar on EU-US Relations, and the development of a new course entitled, “The Origin and Development of Financial Markets and Institutions,” which he taught at the London School of Economics for five years.

Professor Neal's academic honors include the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 1996-1997, a Fulbright Research Fellowship in 1996, and an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship in 1982. In 2012, he was one of the first ten scholars to be designated as Fellows of the Cliometric Society.

His professional honors include the Clio Award in 1990 from the Cliometrics Society, for which he was a trustee for 16 years, and the Jonathan R. Hughes Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Economic History Association in 2005. The “Larry Neal Prize” is awarded annually since 2011 by the European Union Center at Illinois for the best academic work published on European Union issues and another “Larry Neal Prize” is awarded annually since 2012 for the best article published in “Explorations in Economic History,” a journal which he revitalized and brought to prominence during his tenure at Illinois.

Professor Neal would retire from the University in 2005, a world-renowned expert in European and Economic History. He would go on to serve as Visiting Professor for the London School of Economics from 2006 to 2013.


Economics, University of California, 1968


last updated 8/20/13