Why did the West grow rich in the 18th century after thousands of years of nearly zero economic growth? Joel Mokyr, an economic historian at Northwestern University, contends that it was the culture in Western Europe that sparked the Great Enrichment.

Joel Mokyr is the author of the recent book, A Culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy. He joins me on the podcast to discuss his argument, what the lessons of economic history can teach us about the future of innovation, and whether the techno-optimists or -pessimists are right about the future.