Richard Sylla is Professor Emeritus of Economics at the Stern School of Business, New York University, where from 1990 to 2015 he was Henry Kaufman Professor of the History of Financial Institutions and Markets. Sylla is also a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a Fellow of the Cliometric Society, a Fellow of the Economic History Association, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
Professor Sylla received the B.A. (summa cum laude), the M.A., and the Ph.D. from Harvard University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. His research focus is on the financial history of the United States in comparative contexts.He is the author of Alexander Hamilton: The Illustrated Biography (2016) and The American Capital Market, 1846-1914 (1975); co-author of Alexander Hamilton on Finance, Credit, and Debt (2018), The Evolution of the American Economy(1993; 1st ed., 1980) and A History of Interest Rates, (4th ed., 2005; 3rd ed. Rev., 1996; 3rd ed., 1991); and co-editor of Patterns of European Industrialization—The Nineteenth Century (1991), Anglo-American Financial Systems: Institutions and Markets in the Twentieth Century (1995), The State, the Financial System, and Economic Modernization (1999), Founding Choices: American Economic Policy in the 1790s (2011); and Genealogy of American Finance (2015), as well as articles, essays, and reviews in business, economic, and financial history.
Sylla is a former editor of The Journal of Economic History.During 1998-2000, Sylla served as chairman of the board of trustees of the Cliometric Society, an association of quantitative economic historians. In 2000-2001, he was president of the Economic History Association, the professional organization of economic historians in the United States.In 2005-2006, he served as president of the Business History Conference (BHC), a leading professional association of business historians; BHC presented its Lifetime Achievement Award to him in 2011.From 2010 to 2020, Sylla served as chairman of the board of trustees of the Museum of American Finance, a Smithsonian-affiliate museum in New York.