≡ Menu

Fourth Amendment

Most analysis see a tension, not to say a contradiction between the fourth amendment’s emphasis on privacy and against warrantless searches, on the one hand, and putting criminals in jail where they richly belong. For example, a policeman invades a murderer’s house, finds evidence of serious wrong-doing, but the criminal evades jail, due to the error of the cop. The “fruit of the poisoned tree,” and all that.  But this is not a necessary result. We can, instead, have our cake and eat it too. Why should the criminal be set free? We’ve got him dead to rights. The forces of law and order have enough evidence, and more, to clearly convict him. Why, not, instead, penalize the cop for breaking the law, and send off the miscreant to a richly deserved, and long, sentence in prison? After all, it was the policeman who erred. When people make mistakes, it is they, not anyone else, who should bear the brunt of the error. You say that constables, under such a system, would be less likely to trespass on people’s fourth amendment rights? Well, if so, we are no worse off than under the present disposition, since the felon will already walk free when his fourth amendment rights are trampled upon.

Yes, this is indeed less likely, but how much less likely will it be depends to a great extent on the severity of the punishment. It seems that in retrospect this policeman is guilty of no more than a trespass upon the property of a very guilty party. He should get no more than a slap on the wrist for his property rights violation, if that much. On the other hand, if he finds no evidence of wrongdoing as a result of his unwarranted (literally and figuratively) search, then the penalty will have to be more severe. But policemen, at least those who are interested in solving crimes with victims, as opposed to victimless crimes, and protecting people against such outrages, can be supposed to be highly motivated to engage in warrantless searches of the property of those he confidently predicts are guilty.


5:57 pm on July 15, 2019

Please follow and like us:


Consider the federalism debate. Most libertarians are decentralists; virtually all lefties and many conservatives are centralists. If I had to pick one or the other, I’d side with the decentralist side of this debate. Other things equal, best to go to the smalles jurisdictional version.  Village government is better than city government; city government is better than state government; state government is better than national government;  national government is better than world government;  break  up this vicious institution into the smallest pieces possible.

But, I don’t have to pick either side of the centralism decentralism debate. There’s a third side: pure libertarianism. When the centralists are correct (Reagan was gonna kick NYC butt, financially, to compel them to get rid of rent control), I support centralism. When the decentralists are correct (many states have legalized marijuana, the federales have not) I support localism.

This is yet one more reason I am widely know as Walter Moderate Block (at least in my own mind). I also take moderate positions on abortion (evictionism); on immigration (open borders until privatization of all property, in which case all uninvited immigrants are trespassers); and on left versus right libertarianism (I’m a thin libertarian, and reject both versions of thickism)


5:56 pm on July 15, 2019

Please follow and like us:

Would Epstein Be A Criminal Under Libertarian Law, Part II

Previously, I wrote this comment on that question.

Several people sent me comments about this. I append them below, along with my reactions to them.

Would Epstein Be A Criminal Under Libertarian Law, Part II

Previously, I wrote this comment on that question.

Several people sent me comments about this. I append them below, along with my reactions to them.

Letter 1

From:  M

Sent: Saturday, July 13, 2019 2:31 AM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Epstein

Dear Dr. Block,

On the matter of Jeff Epstein. You make the point that these women were “under age” and Epstein should be prosecuted. However, in our society we have Pro-Choice advocates that for some time have made it very clear that if a 14 year old is pregnant she has the right to terminate that pregnancy without notifying her parents. Why? Because, we are told, she is in control of “her body”. OK. If that’s the case why isn’t she “in control of her body” if she willingly engages in sex? After all, she’s done that (unless it’s a matter of Immaculate Conception in which case she’s killing the  Christ child) with someone. Why should her choice of the age of her sex partner involve criminal charges of the man she sleeps  with?

Can libertarian theory square this circle?

Sincerely, M

PS: and are not these laws on age of consent and such just a part of the anti-sex laws originating in the Progressive Era as chronicled by Rothbard? Why shouldn’t these laws also be challenged by libertarians?

Dear M: I can’t square that circle; no one can. It bespeaks a logical contradiction on the part of our friends on the left. They want to eat their cake and have it too, to mix my metaphors. They see 14 year old girls as helpless children when it comes to voluntary sexual activity, and as fully formed adults regarding pregnancy and abortion. They cannot have it both ways, and still be logical.

But, I don’t agree with you as concerns age of consent. I don’t think they are per se incompatible with libertarianism. Take an extreme case: a five year old girl. I think it a proper law to imprison anyone, well, above the age of adulthood for males, 14 years old? 12? who has “voluntary” sex with such a young female because she is simply not capable of agreeing to any such thing. So, I support age of consent laws. The only question is, at what age should they kick in?

Letter 2

From: R

Sent: Saturday, July 13, 2019 12:51 AM

To: Walter Block


Subject: Is Epstein A Criminal? A Libertarian Analysis – LRC Blog

In your original article on this issue, you say this:  “If they were 18 at the time, let alone 21, and there was no physical violence on the part of Epstein, then, he is guilty of no crime, at least according to libertarian law.”

what sort of thing is this? there is no  libertarian law’ beyond the NAP. In a voluntaryist society, individuals can agree (even sign a contract) to condemn or sanction any sort of behavior they want (including homosexual behavior or drug use) and to refuse to deal with individuals who practice that behavior. but to there there is no single  set of laws governing the punishment of those individuals (and law is concerned with punishment, not merely condemnation and sanction). i think it is very misleading to talk about a libertarian legal system or law (murray went, IMO, completely off when he prescribes a  specific libertarian legal system  and the appeals process therein.

Here is a quote from Murray Rothbard:

“But suppose Brown insists on another appeals judge, and yet another? Couldn’t he escape judgment by appealing ad infinitum? … In the libertarian society, there would also have to be an agreed-upon cutoff point, and since there are only two parties to any crime or dispute–the plaintiff and the defendant–it seems most sensible for the legal code to declare that a decision arrived at by any two courts shall be binding.”

Dear R:

Sorry, on this matter, as on virtually everything else, I am a staunch Rothbardian. Yes, the NAP (and private property rights based on homesteading) are the cornerstones of libertarianism, and yes, there is such a thing as libertarian law which naturally transcends these two building blocks of our philosophy. Libertarianism has to have a view on whether it is a criminal act to have sex with a five year old girl. A proper libertarian court cannot base its decisions on tea leaves or Ouija boards or the flip of a coin. Any parent who signs a contract allowing an adult to go to bed with his five year old daughter (except if it is to save her life, and this is a very controversial exception), is guilty of child abuse and should be considered a criminal under libertarian law. I see no problem whatsoever with the brilliant analysis you quote from Murray about the appeals process, even though this goes beyond the NAP and private property rights. Nor am I a “thick” libertarian in this regard. The appeals process has to stop somewhere, no?

Regarding my reliance on private courts, I’m no David Friedman. In this view, whatever they say is fine with him insofar as his version of libertarianism is concerned. But, I’m with Murray on this one. It is always possible, no self-contradiction, to say, the private court found X, but is X just? Private Indian courts in the 19th century might well have supported suttee, a rights violation if ever there was one. Private German courts in the 1930s might well have supported treating Jews, blacks, gays, Romany, as “vermin”; if so, they would have been wrong, incompatible with proper libertarian law.

So, my reliance on private courts is limited (It is not for nothing I am known far and wide, at least in my own mind, as Walter Moderate Block). But, when it comes to a continuum problem (see my previous writing on this issue), I am happy to go by what a private court finds, if it is reasonable. In my view, the age of consent should be pegged somewhere between 14 and 18, I know not where. If a private court came up with 15 or 17, I would think that eminently reasonable.

Letter 3

From: J

Sent: Sunday, July 14, 2019 11:57 AM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Not a question about kiddie-diddlers, but an inconsistency

Good afternoon Dr Block, I wanted to offer something brief about the kiddie-diddlers [any female under thirty is a girl, in my opinion].  The state in which I live has the age of consent at sixteen-this is true for most states in the US.  Recently, an eighteen year-old was prosecuted for second degree sexual assault after having sex with his sixteen year-old girlfriend.  It was presented in the local paper as molesting a child, so that is the line among the public, except the high-schoolers that know them both.

I looked through the court filings and found warrants for both his cell phone and hers.  His crime wasn’t the act itself, but rather that it was recorded on video.

In short, any and every nature of consensual sexual act with a sixteen year-old is okay, in the eyes of the state government.  Recording the act, though, is a two-year sentence and a lifetime on the sex-offender list.  What’s more is that every conceivable act in the above conditions would also be okay, but her sending him revealing, but not graphic photos, would be possession of child pornography, and subject to prosecution.

The good news, such as it is, would be that the adolescents in the loop on this got a look at the government as it is AND those I have spoken with understand it.

Dear J:

You make an excellent point (by the way, I’ll be 78 next month; as far as I’m concerned, all people under 65, males and females, are just kids; callow youth).  This is an obvious injustice on the part of the all-loving state, and, hopefully, lots of people will learn of its evils from this sort of thing.

Best regards to all,



2:21 am on July 15, 2019

Please follow and like us:

Is Epstein A Criminal? A Libertarian Analysis

From: M
Sent: Friday, July 12, 2019 3:27 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Curious
Aloha Dr. Block,

I am a (somewhat recent) fan of yours and wanted to thank you for the numerous works you have produced. Naturally, I haven’t read them all. I have however enjoyed the Defending… topics. In fact, reading them were responsible for turning me from a (basically) leftist leaning anarchist to an anarcho-capitalist with an interest in economics- something that never appealed to me.

The reason I am reaching out, is because in the past week, with the Epstein arrest and a large human trafficking bust in the UK- I felt discouraged that news commentators do not give, what I consider, a clear and accurate assessment of these prescient economic topics and instead play upon people’s fears. And it seems this type of reporting perpetuates the conditions for these ‘crimes’ to continue. I wish instead that people focused on inuring potential victims from being susceptible by improving their economic conditions- as of course anyone with more options would not choose to suffer.

I wondered if you would comment on it or if you were considering writing something about it. Maybe it’s too repetitive of a topic to interest you.

At any rate, please know that I am inspired by your work.

Thank you, M

Dear M:

Thanks for your kind words. I’m glad I had a role in converting you to the One True Faith!

If Epstein used physical violence to have his way with any of these young girls, let alone lots of them, he is a rapist, and, according to libertarian punishment theory (see below), should be severely punished for this crime.

On the other hand, if this was a voluntary act on the part of those young girls, they agreed to be paid for their sexual services, then this is prostitution. Disgusting, in my personal view, but this would not be a criminal act.

The complication is the age of these girls. If they were 18 at the time, let alone 21, and there was no physical violence on the part of Epstein, then, he is guilty of no crime, at least according to libertarian law. But, some of them were as young as 14. Let’s stipulate that this is true. They are thus “underage” and Epstein should be punished, according to extant law, even if they were willing to engage in sex with him. What about libertarian law on this matter? Here, if fear, there is no clear answer. It is a continuum problem.

See on this:

Block, Walter E. and William Barnett II. 2008. “Continuums” Journal Etica e Politica / Ethics & Politics, Vol. 1, pp. 151-166, June; http://www2.units.it/~etica/; http://www2.units.it/~etica/2008_1/BLOCKBARNETT.pdf

If we had private courts, then, whatever they said on this matter, in my view, would be the properly determining factor. But we don’t. So, I submit, there is no clear libertarian answer to this conundrum. It is not clear, under this assumption, that Epstein is a criminal, nor, that he is innocent of a crime. Again, ,we are assuming no physical violence on his part, arguendo.

We must of course distinguish between libertarianism and libertinism:

Block, Walter E. 1994. “Libertarianism and Libertinism,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies: An Interdisciplinary Review, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 117-128;

http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/11_1/11_1_7.pdf; Russian translation, tba


On my assumptions, Epstein is clearly one of the latter. But, as I say, it is not clear that he violates libertarian principles.

I hope and trust this is helpful to you.

Best regards,


Libertarian punishment theory:

Block, 2009A, 2009B, 2016, 2018; Kinsella, 1996, 1997; Loo and Block, 2017-2018; Olson, 1979; Rothbard, 1977, 1998; Whitehead and Block, 2003

Block, Walter E. 2009A. “Toward a Libertarian Theory of Guilt and Punishment for the Crime of Statism” in Hulsmann, Jorg Guido and Stephan Kinsella, eds., Property, Freedom and Society: Essays in Honor of Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute, pp. 137-148; http://mises.org/books/hulsmann-kinsella_property-freedom-society-2009.pdf;

http://mises.org/books/property_freedom_society_kinsella.pdf; festschrift

Block, Walter E. 2009B. “Libertarian punishment theory: working for, and donating to, the state” Libertarian Papers, Vol. 1; http://libertarianpapers.org/2009/17-libertarian-punishment-theory-working-for-and-donating-to-the-state/

Block, Walter E. 2016. “Russian Roulette: Rejoinder to Robins.” Acta Economica et Turistica. Vol. 1, No. 2, May, pp.  197-205; https://www.researchgate.net/publication/309300488_Russian_Roulette_Rejoinder_to_Robins; file:///C:/Users/walterblock/Downloads/AET_2_Block_6.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2018. “The case for punishing those responsible for minimum wage laws, rent control and protectionist tariffs.”  Revista Jurídica Cesumar – Mestrado, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 235-263; http://periodicos.unicesumar.edu.br/index.php/revjuridica/article/view/6392; http://periodicos.unicesumar.edu.br/index.php/revjuridica/article/view/6392/3190

Loo, Andy and Walter E. Block. 2017-2018. “Threats against third parties: a libertarian analysis.” Baku State University Law Review; Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 52-64; http://lr.bsulawss.org/archive/volume4/issue1/; http://lr.bsulawss.org/archive/volume4/issue1/block/; http://lr.bsulawss.org/files/archive/volume4/issue1/4BSULawRev13.pdf?

Kinsella, Stephen. 1996. “Punishment and Proportionality: the Estoppel Approach,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 12, No. 1, Spring, pp. 51-74; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/12_1/12_1_3.pdf

Kinsella, Stephan. 1997. “A Libertarian Theory of Punishment and Rights,” 30 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 607-45

Olson, Charles B. 1979. “Law in Anarchy.” Libertarian Forum. Vol. XII, No. 6, November-December, p. 4;

Rothbard, Murray N. 1977. “Punishment and Proportionality.”  R. E. Barnett and J. Hagel, III (eds.), Assessing the Criminal: Restitution, Retribution, and the Legal Process.  Cambridge, MA: Ballinger Publishing Co., pp. 259 270.

Rothbard, Murray N. 1998 The Ethics of Liberty, New York: New York University Press. http://www.mises.org/rothbard/ethics/ethics.asp;

In the view of Rothbard (1998, p. 88, ft. 6): “It should be evident that our theory of proportional punishment—that people may be punished by losing their rights to the extent that they have invaded the rights of others—is frankly a retributive theory of punishment, a ‘tooth (or two teeth) for a tooth’ theory. Retribution is in bad repute among philosophers, who generally dismiss the concept quickly as ‘primitive’ or ‘barbaric’ and then race on to a discussion of the two other major theories of punishment: deterrence and rehabilitation. But simply to dismiss a concept as ‘barbaric’ can hardly suffice; after all, it is possible that in this case, the ‘barbarians’ hit on a concept that was superior to the more modern creeds.”

Whitehead, Roy and Walter E. Block. 2003. “Taking the assets of the criminal to compensate victims of violence: a legal and philosophical approach,” Wayne State University Law School Journal of Law in Society Vol. 5, No. 1, Fall, pp.229-254


2:54 am on July 13, 2019

Please follow and like us:

Open Borders Is A Serious Challenge to Libertarian Theory

From: M
Sent: Friday, March 08, 2019 6:15 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Re: Open Borders and Strict Libertarian Theory

Dr. Block,

Pete, Pierre, and Pedro contract with an airline (outside the lines on a map known as the continental united States) for a trip from THAT airport to an airport in Anywhere, Continental United States. [note that the SAME thing is possible by automobile, bus, railroad, and ship — or some combination thereof.] They arrive at Anywhere airport, deplane, grab a sandwich, and exit. On the curb they hail a taxi or an uber or a bus or have a friend/acquaintance/party pick them up (contracting accordingly) … they drive to a hotel where they (again) contract with the proprietor for a room. The next day, they again hail a taxi or an uber or a bus or have a friend/acquaintance/party pick them up (contracting accordingly) and travel to business. At the business, they contract with the owner and execute said contract accordingly.

Where did *any* of these gentlemen enter/attempt to enter anyone’s property without permission? Sincerely, M

Dear M:

I, too, am an open borders libertarian, see below. But, where we diverge is that you think there are no libertarian difficulties, problems, challenges to this position, and I think there are. Very serious ones.

Posit that one of these three imimigrants, Pete, Pierre, and Pedro, is a rape-fugee! Maybe, even, two of them. Is that not a problem? See this on that challenge: https://www.lewrockwell.com/political-theatre/volvo-ceo-laments-swedens-high-crime-rate/. And this: https://www.lewrockwell.com/political-theatre/swedish-children-cannot-go-outside-due-to-migrant-gangs/

Also, suppose instead of only 3 immigrants, there are 3 billion of them, all innocent. Ok, they all get permission to land in a big empty private area in the middle of Nevada. Ok, so far. But, now, they want to get out onto the highways to go elsewhere. Right now, there are no private highways. Isn’t it a problem that 3 billion people, even innocent ones, will soon be intermingling with us? How about 7 billion?

My solution? Privatize all roads, and privatize all other property. Then, and only then, does this issue of 7 billion “nice” immigrants not arise, let alone the nasty ones.

Block, Walter E. 2009. The Privatization of Roads and Highways: Human and Economic Factors; Auburn, AL: The Mises Institute; http://www.amazon.com/Privatization-Roads-And-Highways-Factors/dp/1279887303/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1336605800&sr=1-1; available for free here: http://mises.org/books/roads_web.pdf; http://mises.org/daily/3416; http://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/radical_privatization.pdf; audio: http://store.mises.org/Privatization-of-Roads-and-Highways-Audiobook-P11005.aspx; http://www.audible.com/pd/Business/The-Privatization-of-Roads-and-Highways-Audiobook/B0167IT18K?tag=misesinsti-20; http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=bf16b152ccc444bdbbcc229e4&id=6cbc90577b&e=54244ea97d


Block, 1983A, 1983B, 1988, 1990, 1998, 2004, 2011A, 2011B, 2013, 2016A, 2016B, 2017, 2018; Block and Brekus, 2019; Block and Callahan, 2003; Deist, 2018; Gregory and Block, 2007;

Block, Walter E. 1983A. “How immigrants CREATE jobs,” North Shore News, p. A6, January 30; http://tinyurl.com/2xklvn

Block, Walter E. 1983B. “Protect Canadian Jobs From Immigrants?” Dollars and Sense. February 7; reprinted in Block, Walter E. 2008. Labor Economics from a Free Market Perspective: Employing the Unemployable.  London, UK: World Scientific Publishing;http://www.amazon.ca/Labor-Economics-Free-Market Perspective/dp/9812705686/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1336603241&sr=1-7;

Available for free here: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B00FX9dsY4zJNXU5SmVKYVBQOWs/edit?usp=sharing;


Block, Walter E. 1988. Dollars and Sense: “Migration patterns tell real story.” January 12;

Block, Walter E. 1990.  “Immigration,” Fraser Forum, January, pp. 22-23.

Block, Walter E. 1998. “A Libertarian Case for Free Immigration,” Journal of Libertarian Studies: An Interdisciplinary Review, Vol. 13, No. 2, summer, pp. 167-186; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/13_2/13_2_4.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2004. “The State Was a Mistake.” Book review of Hoppe, Han-Hermann, Democracy, The God that Failed: The Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy and Natural Order, 2001May 25. http://www.mises.org/fullstory.asp?control=1522

Block, Walter E. 2011A. “Hoppe, Kinsella and Rothbard II on Immigration: A Critique.” Journal of Libertarian Studies; Vol. 22, pp. 593–623; http://mises.org/journals/jls/22_1/22_1_29.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2011B. “Rejoinder to Hoppe on Immigration,” Journal of Libertarian Studies Vol. 22: pp. 771–792;http://mises.org/journals/jls/22_1/22_1_38.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2013. “Rejoinder to Todea on the ‘Open’ Contract of Immigration.” The Scientific Journal of Humanistic Studies, Vol. 8, No. 5, March, pp. 52-55

Block, Walter E. 2015. “On immigration.” December 21;


Block, Walter E. 2016A. “Contra Hoppe and Brat on immigration.” http://mest.meste.org/MEST_1_2016/Sadrzaj_eng.htmlhttp://mest.meste.org/MEST_1_2016/7_01.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2016B. “A response to the libertarian critics of open-borders libertarianism,” Lincoln Memorial University Law Review; Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 142-165; http://digitalcommons.lmunet.edu/lmulrev/vol4/iss1/6/;


Block, Walter E. 2017. “Immigration and Homesteading.” March. The Journal Jurisprudence. Vol. 35, pp. 9-42;http://www.jurisprudence.com.au/juris35/block.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2018. “A libertarian theory of immigration.” The Scientific Journal of Humanistic Studies. March, Issue18, pp.34-42




Block, Walter E. and Drew Brekus. 2019. “On the Problem of 3 Billion Immigrants Crashing the Border.” April 21; https://www.targetliberty.com/2019/04/on-problem-of-3-billion-immigrants.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+TargetLiberty+(Target+Liberty)

Block, Walter E. and Gene Callahan. 2003. “Is There a Right to Immigration? A Libertarian Perspective,” Human Rights Review. Vol. 5, No. 1, October-December, pp. 46-71; http://www.walterblock.com/publications/block-callahan_right-immigrate-2003.pdf

Deist, Jeff. 2018. “Block on immigration.” September 4;


Gregory, Anthony and Walter E. Block. 2007. “On Immigration: Reply to Hoppe.” Journal of Libertarian Studies, vol. 21, No. 3, Fall, pp. 25-42; http://mises.org/journals/jls/21_3/21_3_2.pdf; http://www.academia.edu/1360109/On_Immigration_Reply_to_Hoppe;



4:57 pm on July 12, 2019

Please follow and like us:

From: V

Sent: Thursday, March 07, 2019 2:43 PM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: degree in economics & Cantillon effects

Dear Professor Block,

I watched your debate on getting a degree in economics. And you said invited people to send you an email for information, so I’ll gladly take you up on that invitation. I’m currently punching in my second year of a bachelor degree in economics and business economics, but have no idea what I should do as a follow up after getting the rubber stamped paper you need to not get your resume tossed into the trash instantly. Most of the economics classes I get either has topics and not only that I know I also know that it’s wrong and why it’s wrong. In fact, earlier this semester, after trying to debate one of the lecturers on preferences he called me ideological for stating that preferences could only be demonstrated through action. The biggest obstacle to getting a follow up degree that’s more than a simple one year masters would be funding. Another would be that studying economics would mostly just be applied mathematics and programming, but if I wanted to do that I would have studied physics or computer science instead. Ultimately I have no idea what to do after having done my time next year, would you have any advice?

The second question I had is related to a thesis topic I had in mind. Namely, I was thinking of applying an analysis of Cantillon effects on government subsidies and taxes. As this would illustrate another one of the unintended consequences of interventions. Do you happen to know any literature related to this? -V

Dear V:

Most grad schools in econ offer free tuition, plus $10 – $25k/year. Texas Tech, George Mason and Troy Universities include Austrian economics, which is economics, not math-stat.

See this on Cantillon effects.


Thornton, Mark. 2004. “Cantillon and the Invisible Hand.”


J.G. Hülsmann. 2001. “More on Cantillon as a Proto-Austrian.” Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines XI (4): 693-703.

Garrison, Roger W. 1985.  “West’s ‘Cantillon and Adam Smith’:  A Comment.” Journal of Libertarian Studies, vol. VII, no. 2, Fall:287-294; https://mises.org/journals/jls/7_2/7_2_7.pdf

Cantillon, Richard. [1730]1959. Essai sur la Nature du Commerce in Général  (Essay on the Nature of Commerce in General). London: Frank Cass and Co., Ltd. http://www.econlib.org/library/NPDBooks/Cantillon/cntNT.html

For more info on other grad schools which offer Austrian programs (mainly in Europe), and on the possibility of finishing up your undergrad work as my student:

Might you be interested in transferring to Loyola?

Loyola has a high tuition; this cannot be denied. However, this Jesuit University does award scholarships, not only on a need basis. As well there is the Walter Block Scholarship, which is additional to the funds offered by Loyola: http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2018/12/introducing-walter-e-block-scholarship.html

Further info on the WB scholarship:

Block, Walter. 2019. “Prospective libertarian students should consider the Walter Block scholarship.” February 3;


Block, Walter. 2019. “Attention High School Students.” February 6;


Block, Walter E. 2017. “C’mon Down To New Orleans; The Water’s Fine. Enroll at Loyola University.” June 27;


Loyola Economics Students Published Widely in Refereed Journals; http://www.loyno.edu/news/story/2017/7/17/3962


Block, Walter. 2017. “The Best Place to Study Undergraduate Economics.” June 30; http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2017/06/the-best-place-to-study-undergraduate.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+economicpolicyjournal%2FKpwH+%28EconomicPolicyJournal.com%29

Wenzel, Robert. 2017. Interview with Walter E. Block. “The Inside Scoop on Studying Economics at Loyola University-New Orleans” September 3;



Block, Walter E. 2008. “Attention Students: Should You Get Your Ph.D. and Become a Professor?” June 28;https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block104.html (debate with Gary North) https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/young-person-saved-from-academia/http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2018/04/loyola-professor-attacks-austrian.html

Top Ten Contemporary Academics Helping The Political Right (#8)


https://www.literature-map.com/max+stirner.html Literature map; some interesting writers

100 Most Influential Libertarians: A Newsmax/FreedomFest List (#46)


Block, Walter E. 2018. “Scholarship Opportunity: Spring 2019 New Business Students!” December 15;https://www.lewrockwell.com/2018/12/walter-e-block/scholarship-opportunity-spring-2019-new-business-students/

Wenzel, Robert. 2018. “An Opportunity to Study Under a Libertarian Great.” December 11; http://www.targetliberty.com/2018/12/an-opportunity-to-study-under.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TargetLiberty+%28Target+Liberty%29

Wenzel, Robert. 2018. “Introducing the Walter E. Block Scholarship.” December 11; http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2018/12/introducing-walter-e-block-scholarship.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+economicpolicyjournal%2FKpwH+%28EconomicPolicyJournal.com%29

Our economics department: http://www.business.loyno.edu/bios/faculty?field_bio_program_filter_value=Economics

Walter E. Block is Harold E. Wirth Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics, College of Business, Loyola University New Orleans, and senior fellow at the Mises Institute. He earned his PhD in economics at Columbia University in 1972. He has taught at Rutgers, SUNY Stony Brook, Baruch CUNY, Holy Cross and the University of Central Arkansas. He is the author of more than 500 refereed articles in professional journals, two dozen books, and thousands of op eds. He lectures widely on college campuses, delivers seminars around the world and appears regularly on television and radio shows.  He is the Schlarbaum Laureate, Mises Institute, 2011; and has won the Loyola University Research Award (2005, 2008) and the Mises Institute’s Rothbard Medal of Freedom, 2005; and the Dux Academicus award, Loyola University, 2007.

Prof. Block counts among his friends Ron Paul and Murray Rothbard. He was converted to libertarianism by Ayn Rand. Block is old enough to have once met Ludwig von Mises, and shaken his hand. Block has never washed that hand since.  So, if you shake his hand (it’s pretty dirty, but what the heck) you channel Mises.

Block is a leading Austrian School economist and an international leader of the freedom movement. His earliest work Defending the Undefendable (first edition Fleet 1976, latest edition Mises 2008, translated in 12 languages) is now, more than 30 years later, still regarded as a classic of libertarianism. This collection of essays, which argues in behalf of societal villains as economic scapegoats based on the principles of nonaggression, forces its reader to think and to rethink his initial knee-jerk emotional responses, and to gain a new and far sounder appreciation of economic theory and of the virtues and operations of the free market economy. Block’s writing was inspired by Henry Hazlitt, the author of the most widely read economics text Economics in One Lesson. Block’s latest book is: Yes to Ron Paul and Liberty.

          Block has been a fixture in the libertarian movement for some four Decades. He actually met Ludwig von Mises and F.A. Hayek, and was friends with, and mentored by, Murray Rothbard.  His contributions to academic libertarianism and to Austrian economics have been prodigious. Block’s writings continue to challenge the conventional wisdom (or ignorance) of how economics works and will retain its freshness for decades to come.  His public speaking style has been described as a combination of that of Woody Allen, Lenny Bruce and Murray Rothbard

Dr. Block has written over 500 articles for peer reviewed refereed journals, some two dozen books, and literally thousands of op eds for magazines and newspapers. Block appears widely on radio and television. He is a contributor to such scholarly journals as The Review of Austrian EconomicsJournal of Libertarian StudiesThe Journal of Labor Economics, and the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. He is currently Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics, College of Business Administration, at Loyola University New Orleans….

Walter E. Block is the Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics at Loyola University New Orleans. His Ph.D. was from Columbia University. His interests include Austrian economics and libertarian theory. He has published almost 600 articles in refereed journals, 27 books, and thousands of op eds.He lectures globally at university campuses, business and civic groups. He has a series on privatization (roads, oceans and space); his most popular books are Defending the Undefendable I and II; he is now working on volume III in this series plus a libertarian analysis of abortion. His main claim to fame is that he once shook the hand of Ludwig von Mises, and never washed his hand afterward. It is now pretty dirty, but if you shake his hand, you channel this hero of his.

Autobiography: https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block21.html

Grad school info:

July 24-30, 2011 Auburn, AL, Mises University; Debate with Gary North on higher education; http://mises.org/events/110;






Block, Walter E. 2008. “Attention Students: Should You Get Your Ph.D. and Become a Professor?” June 28; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block104.html (debate with Gary North)https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/young-person-saved-from-academia/

I am happy to try to help you out with this decision. Please see my open letter, below. Then, if you have further questions, I’ll be glad to answer them, and/or speak to you on the phone about your future career. I am also bcc copying these contacts on this, in order to keep everyone in the picture.

At the University of Angers we have created a new master programme in Law and Finance:


Strong points:

·              Master in Law and Finance

·              Non-quantitative, interdisciplinary approach

·              All classes taught in English

·              One-year programme

·              Strong presence of Austrian economics (capital theory, Austrian amcroeconomics)

·              Possibility to go on with doctoral studies

·              French state university, therefore low tuition (about 400€/500$ in total).

·              Cost-of-living in Angers in the range of 600-1000$/month

·              Angers is a tourist destination: horse riding, rowing, sailing, wine villages, 90 min to Paris, 90 min to the beach

Please consider recommending it to the attention of your graduates.

Interested students should send me their cv, transcripts, and a letter of motivation before the end of May 2019.

Warm regards,


The Entrepreneurship Department at Syracuse University is one of the top research departments in the country. Here in the Whitman School of Management at SU, we offer a new track in political economy in our  existing PhD program in entrepreneurship.  We are limiting our recruitment to an elite group of just 3 or 4 students for the PhD track.  Our political economy students will be fellows of the Institute for an Entrepreneurial Society.

Institute fellows do not pay any tuition, and they receive a stipend for the entire  calendar year, i.e. 12 months. The package offered by the Institute is highly competitive and comparable to those offered by other top business schools.  The annual gross stipend is about $26,000 per year.  In addition, the package includes benefits that faculty enjoy, including health insurance and childcare benefits.  They get a minimum allowance of $4,000 for travel over the course of their four years of study.  In fact, however, the department and the Institute have additional resources to supplement that travel allowance.  So far we have not had to decline any travel requests from entrepreneurship PhD students.

The Institute’s donor supports our Austrian free-market orientation.  The students’ main professor will be Maria Minniti, who holds the Bantle Chair in Entrepreneurship and Public Policy.  Students will also have the opportunity to work closely with Roger Koppl of the finance department.  The political economy graduates from Whitman’s entrepreneurship program will be on a track to become business and economics professors in leading American research universities.  We are committed to rigorous academic training and professional success for our graduates.  From the beginning of their studies with us, our students will be networked into the entrepreneurship profession.  We encourage and facilitate close collaborations between Institute fellows and scholars in other institutions we are associated with.  Interested students should write directly to Professor Minniti at mminniti@syr.edu or to Roger Koppl at rkoppl@syr.edu.​

Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Mercatus Center … http://ppe.mercatus.org/

Graduate Student Programs at Mercatus Center … http://mercatus.org/graduate-student-programs

PhD program at GMU — http://economics.gmu.edu/programs/la-phd-econ


I have some very, very good news for you. I have just learned from Guido Hulsmann and Jesus Huerta De Soto that it is possible to get a phd in econ from them, entirely IN ENGLISH, provided only that the phd is granted from both their schools.

There is no common Angers-Madrid PhD programme; however, you can obtain a PhD with a dissertation and defence all in English, if you  work with both Profs Hulsmann and De Soto (or others outside of France) as co-directors. Administratively, this involves signing up at both universities separately.

Note from Prof. Hulsmann:

Dear Walter:

I have updated my webpage dealing with doctoral studies in economics here in Angers. Notice in particular the section deal with co-directorships.


Warm regards,


Guido Hülsmann
Professeur des Universités
Faculté de Droit, d’Économie et de Gestion
Université d’Angers

Note from Prof. De Soto:

1. We are open to any agreement to proceed with a joint Ph D program with Prof. Hülsmann and the University of Angers.

2. Another possibility is to proceed with our own Rey Juan Carlos Ph D Program exclusively.

3. According to the new European legislation, the old Ph courses are now called “Master” of research course, and are compulsory before you can read the thesis (the content is established in our Brochure).

That would be, in France, from St. Angers University, and from Universidad Rey Juan Carlos  in Spain, with Jesus Huerta de Soto. Also, it is VERY cheap (something like 400 Euros per year), you don’t have to be in residence in Europe (you must attend some seminars there a few weeks a year); all you have to do is write a dissertation under the guidance of Guido and Jesus.  There is absolutely no MATH requirement.

But, to qualify, you MUST have a masters degree. I recommend Detroit Mercy, since the faculty there are Austro libertarian, but, I think, that is very expensive, $15,000; however, it is possible to get credit for courses there by correspondence through e mail. But, for the purposes of linking up with Guido and Jesus, a masters in econ anywhere will suffice. (There is also the possibility of getting a masters at St. Angers or Universidad Rey Juan Carlos)


A new on line Austrian masters program: http://www.smcespañol.com/maestria.html or  http://www.xn--smcespaol-r6a.com/maestria.html

Here is another new masters program that I recommend on the basis that Guido Hulsmann and Philipp Bagus support it: https://mises.org/blog/new-berlin-based-masters-degree-program-austrian-economicsphttp://www.bits-hochschule.de/en/program/entrepreneurial-economics-master/

If you take this path, you might even be able to get your phd in econ sooner this way than in a US grad school. Usually, a traditional phd in the US takes six years. I estimate that a dissertation with Guido and Jesus would take two years to write. By the way, I regard Guido and Jesus as two of the top Austro libertarian theoreticians in the entire world now active.

Here are other masters programs I recommend:

Master’s Program in Europe, it is called Entrepreneurial Economics and is a hybrid program with a focus on Austrian economics and entrepreneurship / management training.

Hendrik Hagedorn <hagedornhendrik@gmail.com>

From: mnair@troy.edu [mailto:mnair@troy.edu]
To: Walter Block
Subject: Masters Program at Troy

Dear Walter,

We have been approved for a Masters in Economics at Troy starting in the Fall of 2015. It will be a terminal free market economics program with enough math thrown in for those who want to get a PhD. There will be courses on Austrian Economics, Public Choice, Economic History, History of Thought, Monetary Economics etc in addition to the core classes, all taught by free market faculty.

We were hoping- 1) to get the program listed in your list of free market economics programs for students. 2) for you to consider recommending the program to students. The program is designed to be completed in two years or one calendar year, so we’re hoping to attract motivated kids who aren’t quite sure about a PhD yet, those who only want Masters degrees and policy careers, international students plus even non-traditional students who have become interested in these ideas.

Here is a link to the faculty page on our website: http://business.troy.edu/JohnsonCenter/faculty-staff.aspx. I will send along a brochure for the program once it is available. Your help/support would be greatly appreciated!



From: G.P. Manish [mailto:gmanish@troy.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, March 08, 2016 11:39 AM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Master’s Program at Troy

Dear Walter,

I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to touch base with you again regarding the Master’s program here at Troy. We now have our first batch of students and the program is shaping up really well: there is a component that focuses on mainstream micro and macroeconomics and there are electives with a heavy focus on Austrian Economics. For example, I will be teaching a course in Advanced Austrian Economics in the Spring as well as a course on the History of Economic Thought and Mal will teach a Monetary Economics course, all of which will be based around the works of Mises, Hayek, Rothbard, etc. We also have the ability to offer scholarships (awarded on a competitive basis) that help with tuition and living expenses.

Please spread the word and let me know if you have any students that are thinking of pursuing a Master’s degree. We would love to have students from Loyola! Interested students can also reach out directly to any of the professors in our department.

Also at Troy is Prof. Dan Smith, a student of Peter Boettke’s, who also teaches a course on Austrian Econ and one on Development Economics that focuses heavily on the applicability of Austrian ideas to developing countries. And we also have a strong Public Choice/Constitutional Political Economy component to the program. These courses are taught by George Crowley and John Dove, strongly free-market WVU grads.

Best, GP

One more thought. How good is an Austro-libertarian phd from Europe (and not Cambridge, Oxford, Paris, or any others of the most prestigious universities there) in getting you a faculty job in the US? There is just one data point on this to my knowledge: Richard Ebeling got his phd in Europe (Middlesex University in England), and has landed jobs at Hillsdale College (which he left voluntarily to become President of FEE). After he departed that organization, he landed a job (a one year visiting professorship) at Trinity University in Conn, and is now teaching at Northwood University in Michigan. Not too shabby…

Note from Dan Stastny:

We are part of the University of Economics, Prague, the largest economic
education institution in Czech Republic. At our school (called actually
“Faculty of Economics”), we cannot offer programs (majors) that are outright
Austrian curriculum-wise, but are as a whole definitely very Austrian
friendly. People interested in pursuing their PhD with us should consider
and chose between “Economic Theory” and “Economic Policy” major. There is
a tuition of EUR 5000 per year for a PhD in English, the program lasts
typically 3 years. People interested in learning more about our program
should get in touch with me. (Dan Stastny, Associate Dean for Student
Affairs, )

By the way, if you want a real good undergraduate education in Austro libertarianism, you could do worse than my own school, Loyola University New Orleans. All 100% of our four econ faculty are either leaders in this field, or very sympathetic to it. Unhappily, though, we do not offer any graduate degrees in economics

The ONLY places in the US where you can get a phd in econ, where there is a full program in Austrian economics, are G Mason U and Texas Tech. There is a solid core of Austrian profs at Mason. My main contacts there are Pete Boettke, and Dick Wagner; if you contact them, they will give you the full low down. Also, Dan D’Amico, a recent Mason phd, (who 5 years ago graduated from Loyola, at which time I sent him off to Pete) was for a time my junior colleague at Loyola. Pete can give you a prof’s eye view of the Mason Austrian program, and Dan can give you an (ex) students’ perspective. Update: Dan D’Amico is now a professor at Brown University. My contacts at Texas Tech are Ben Powell, Andy Young (another former student of mine from when I taught at Holy Cross) and Bob Murphy.

However, there are other universities in the U.S. where there is at least one Austro-libertarian professor who could mentor you. For example, Peter Klein, Baylor University, peter_klein@baylor.edu 

Here is a note from Pete Boettke, giving advice to undergraduates for graduate study: http://www.coordinationproblem.org/2011/04/advice-to-undergraduates.html. I am in very enthusiastic agreement with all of this, with the exception of his very last paragraph.

Here are the professors at George Mason who are either heavily, or, at least, peripherally, involved in Austrian economics:

Pete Boettke

Dick Wagner

Larry White

Pete Leeson

Chris Coyne

Jack High

Mark Addelson

And as research professors:

Virgil Storr

Frederic Sautet

Paul Dragos Aligica

At Mason, students can specialize in Austrian economics, New Institutionalism, Public Choice, Constitutional Political Economy, history of economic thought, etc., and traditional fields such as money, public, industrial organization, and comparative/development.

And Dan Klein, Don Boudreaux and Russ Roberts are offering the opportunity to students to specialize in Smithian political economy as well.

No such list would be complete without the mention of Bryan Caplan. I do not consider him an Austrian economist, nor, even, a fellow traveler. Rather, a critic. But, at least he is interested in Austrian economics.

Here is an important message from Peter Boettke:


As a matter of fact, what goes on at GMU is the _required_ math is limited,

but the math options are wide.  One of our former students has been teaching

the core PhD theory course at UC-Santa Cruz and another one teachers

decision theory at Carneige Mellon.  But pursued the mathematical education

that is possible to get IF they don’t want to do the Austrian, public

choice, law and economic, etc. track.  Most of the students that pursue that

go through the lab.

The lab students DO have an advantage in the academic market place in terms

of placement at PhD programs.   But the vast majority of students need never

worry about that market because there is really only a 1-10% chance any PhD

student will end up in another PhD program teaching.  Though that is the way

we compete for all jobs.

I think the vast majority of students simply have no clue what graduate

school is like — since it is a clear departure from undergraduate school.

Finally, please do tell many of these students that basically we are

looking for students with a 3.6 GPA or higher, and 760 or higher on the GRE

math, and 600 or higher on GRE verbal.

One last thing, expect to get more requests like this because as students

become net-savey they will find out that places like Econ Job Market Rumors

say a lot of bad things about GMU and whatnot.  Please point them to my

former student page which has a list of the students who wrote under me,

gives their placement and publications, etc.



Note from Peter Klein:

Baylor University offers a Ph.D. in entrepreneurship. Peter Klein is a libertarian Austrian. Both Department of Entrepreneurship (which houses the Ph.D. program) and the Department of Economics include many non-Austrian libertarians. The university also features a Free Enterprise Center with research funding for graduate students, lectures, programs, etc. supporting free markets and limited government.

From: mises-academic@googlegroups.com [mailto:mises-academic@googlegroups.comOn Behalf Of Klein, Peter
Sent: Wednesday, October 11, 2017 10:41 PM
To: mises-academic@googlegroups.com
Subject: FW: Baylor Ph.D. in Entrepreneurship

Dear colleagues:

I am serving as director of Baylor’s PhD in Entrepreneurship and we are soliciting applications for the Fall 2018 entering class. A PhD in Entrepreneurship is an excellent career option for an aspiring Austrian economist. The academic field of entrepreneurship is friendly toward Austrian insights and Kirzner, Schumpeter, Hayek, and even Mises are highly cited in the mainstream entrepreneurship literature. There are many academic posts in the entrepreneurship field (and they typically pay better than equivalent economics positions).

Entrepreneurship is an interdisciplinary subject with economics as one of the foundational subjects, and students can write dissertations using Austrian theories, concepts, and research methods. There are required courses in quantitative methods but the field is much more eclectic, methodologically, than contemporary economics and one can do verbal theory as well as qualitative empirical work. Besides myself, there are several faculty members in the business school who are supporters or fellow-travelers of Austrian ideas and approaches.

If you have or know undergraduate or masters students interested in a PhD who might be a fit for the program, please let me know and have them contact me for more information.



From: Entrepreneurship Division Listserv [mailto:ENTREP@AOMLISTS.AOM.ORGOn Behalf Of Klein, Peter
Sent: Wednesday, October 11, 2017 4:30 PM
Subject: [ENTREP] Baylor Ph.D. in Entrepreneurship

Baylor University, Hankamer School of Business

Department of Entrepreneurship


The Department of Entrepreneurship at Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business invites applications for the Ph.D. Program in Entrepreneurship. The application deadline for next fall’s entering class is January 15, 2018.

Baylor is consistently ranked among the top ten US entrepreneurship programs by the Princeton Review, US News & World Report, and Businessweek. The Ph.D. in Entrepreneurship is housed within the Department of Entrepreneurship, an independent academic unit offering an undergraduate entrepreneurship major and minor, an MBA concentration, and a variety of special programs. More information on the department is available here: https://www.baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.

The doctoral program builds on Baylor’s experience as a leader in the entrepreneurship field to develop the next generation of entrepreneurship scholars. The program emphasizes rigorous and relevant theoretical and empirical research in entrepreneurship and related fields, as well as extensive training in teaching, writing, editing, working with students, and other aspects of academic life. We aim to place our graduates in faculty positions at highly ranked universities and similar institutions. While the primary focus is entrepreneurship, students also receive training in strategic management and organization theory. The Department of Entrepreneurship is also home to the Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise, which studies the effects of public policy and institutions on entrepreneurship.

Baylor embraces an apprenticeship model in which students work directly with faculty mentors to learn the craft of research and writing. Students are expected to publish in leading journals, in collaboration with faculty mentors, during their PhD training. Entrepreneurship faculty include Kendall Artz, Daniel Bennett, Ray Bagby, Peter Klein, Boris Nikolaev, Les Palich, Steve Bradley, and Matthew Wood. Their research appears in top journals such as the Journal of Business Venturing, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal, and Organization Science.

The program is a full-time, four-year residency program.  Support includes tuition remission, a competitive annual stipend (among the highest in the field), resources for attending key conferences in entrepreneurship, and competitive summer research grants from the Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise. Students will also have opportunities to connect with initiatives such as the Baylor Angel Network, the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC) incubator, the LAUNCH accelerator, and other programs. The Department of Entrepreneurship is housed in the state-of-the-art Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation, opened in 2015.

Further information about the Ph.D. in Entrepreneurship, including the online application, is available at http://www.baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/phd/.

Contact Ph.D. Director Peter G. Klein at peter_klein@baylor.edu for questions or more information.

In recent years I have sent about a dozen of my Loyola students off to grad school in econ, about half to Mason, and half to other places in the US. With one exception (and that was his fault – he didn’t study — not that of Mason), all those who went to Mason got their phds within 4-6 years and are now either professors at US universities, or are still in the pipeline, while in every other case, they all failed out of grad school due to math requirements, inability to tolerate the hyper mathematicalization of economics that is now fashionable in most grad schools. Both groups of half dozen were of equal ability as my undergraduate students, in my assessment. So, as you can imagine, I am WILDLY in favor of Mason as a place to get your phd in econ in the U.S. Here is an important assessment of Austrian education written by Pete Boettke: http://www.superscholar.org/rankings/economics/top-austrian-free-market-programs/

Free Market Institute at Texas Tech University – Ph.D. Fellowship Opportunity

Students, who are interested in pursuing advanced study in economics from an Austrian or free market perspective, should give serious consideration to the Ph.D. Fellowship offered by the Free Market Institute (FMI) at Texas Tech University (TTU).

The university offers a Ph.D. course in Austrian economics, and in other topics/areas relevant to the study of the private enterprise system (Polycentric Governance, Economic Development, Economics of Regulation, etc.) The FMI at TTU has several Ph.D. economists on staff (or with research affiliations), who provide research and professional guidance to Ph.D. fellows.

Starting in the 2016-2017 academic year, TTU faculty members directly affiliated with FMI will include:

§     Benjamin Powell – Director (www.benjaminwpowell.com)

§     Jamie Bologna – Research Fellow (http://www.jamielbologna.com/)

§     Adam Martin – Political Economy Research Fellow (http://www.adamgmartin.com/)

§     Robert Murphy – Research Assistant Professor (http://consultingbyrpm.com/)

§     Alexander Salter – Comparative Economics Research Fellow (http://www.awsalter.com/)

§     Andrew Young – Director of Graduate Students (https://sites.google.com/site/ayoungeconomist/)

Other TTU faculty members from a range of disciplines have informal affiliations or otherwise participate in FMI programming on a regular basis. Please visit the FMI Staff (http://www.depts.ttu.edu/freemarketinstitute/people.php) for a full listing of current faculty, staff, and students.

Fellowships have a three-year term and offer students full tuition support and part-time employment (up to 20 hours per week) as a research assistant with the FMI during each academic year. Compensation for the research assistant position is competitive with fellowship and stipend offers from other graduate programs.

Ph.D. Fellows pursue their degrees in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AAEC), where they have the opportunity to develop dissertation research on a range of applied topics in the Austrian and free market tradition.

For more information about the FMI Ph.D. Fellowship opportunity, please visit the Prospective Students Page (http://www.depts.ttu.edu/freemarketinstitute/info_students.php) at the FMI’s website (www.fmi.ttu.edu) or contact FMI Senior Administrator, Charles Long, by email at charles.v.long@ttu.edu or phone at 806.742.7138.

From: Michael Makovi [mailto:michael.makovi@ttu.edu]

Sent: Friday, December 15, 2017 10:27 PM

To: Long, Charles V

Cc: Walter Block; Justin Callais; Young, A T

Subject: Re: recommendation

Let me give my impression of Texas Tech and the Free Market Institute as a 2nd year PhD student here.

First off, the math required is basically calculus and linear algebra. The professors cover all the math you need to know, so if there’s something you don’t know, don’t worry. But at the same time, you’ll be more comfortable if you already know all the math, so that it’s a refresher rather than learning it for the first time. The big thing to review is Lagrangian maximization or minimization subject to a constraint, which is covered in a typical multivariable calculus course. It’s also helpful to be familiar with matrix operations. If you have time this spring or summer to take extra courses in multivariable calculus and linear algebra, I highly recommend it.

Second, let you tell you a little bit about the program and who is who:

So the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AAEC) is where you’d be doing your PhD. Both your coursework and your PhD dissertation must satisfy the AAEC. By contrast, the Free Market Institute (FMI) is a non-degree-granting but university-affiliated department on campus. You’ll also find yourself attending a lot of FMI seminars and asking FMI faculty to help you with your research, and obviously, you’ll be doing work for the FMI to earn your stipend, but ultimately, it’s the AAEC that will approve your dissertation and grant you the PhD. So it’s important to keep the distinction between the AAEC and FMI clear.

(The reason why it’s the AAEC is because the economics department at Texas Tech has a poor reputation.)

Anyway, the AAEC is an applied economics department, so they focus on empirics more than pure theory. For an Austrian, I think that’s actually a good thing. It means that the professors won’t look down on your being a libertarian as long as you can empirically substantiate your opinion. If you can do a case study showing why some particular regulation has negative consequences or how the market has successfully provided some public good, the applied professors will be happy. Your dissertation has to have some econometrics in it, but they won’t care if it’s Austrian or free-market or libertarian or whatever, as long as the real-world data support your argument.

In general, I’ve found virtually all of the AAEC faculty to be very friendly towards the FMI and free-market ideas. For example, Prof. Wang, who teaches production economics and optimization programming, has been doing research on Elinor Ostrom and how communities solve common pool problems without government. In addition, Prof. Wang’s class – which is the one that covers externalities – gives equal attention to Pigou and Coase, meaning that he covers the ways in which markets internalize externalities too. In another class, Prof. Hudson often likes to mention conversations he’s had with Ben Powell about free-markets. While he doesn’t always agree with Ben, he always mentions Ben’s opinions with respect. And then there’s Prof. Ryan Williams, who often comes to FMI events. So the AAEC is a very friendly place to be.

Third, let you give you a bit of a summary of what the program is like, stage-by-stage:

In your first year, you’ll take a lot of math-heavy courses and have to pass the comprehensive exams. It’s not fun. It’s REALLY not fun. You have two chances to pass: once in May and again in August. Not everyone passes the comprehensive exams the first time, in May, so don’t take them lightly. But so far, everyone has passed at least by the second time, in August. So they’re hard, but not impossibly hard. There are two exams: one in micro and one in econometrics.

In your second and third years, you’ll continue taking courses. Unlike most PhD programs, there are no field exams. That is, you do NOT have to pass exams in any of your specialties. You take whatever elective courses you want — approved by your dissertation committee — but you’re never tested on any of them outside of the classes. Every semester, an FMI professor teaches an elective course, so for the most part, you’ll take your core classes with the AAEC and your electives with the FMI.

And then, of course, there’s the dissertation.

Every year, you’re paired with one of the FMI’s faculty to be his or her research assistant.

So the biggest difference between this program and most others, I think, is that there are no field exams. Instead of picking a specialty and being tested on it, you’ll just take electives with FMI professors. You still have to pass your dissertation defense, obviously.

Obviously, I’ve never been a PhD student anywhere else, so I can’t compare it to anything. But as a former student of Walter’s, I’m very happy here.

That’s everything I can think of, but if you have any more questions, ask me.

Good luck,

Michael Makovi


Detroit Mercy:  Harry Veryser, stampingsinc@hotmail.com; Joe Weglarz, weglarzj@udmercy.edu

St. Angers: Guido.Hulsmann@univ-angers.fr;

Universidad Rey Juan Carlos: Jesus Huerta de Soto, huertadesoto@dimasoft.es;

George Mason: Peter Boettke, Virgil Storr, Richard Wagner, vstorr@gmu.edu; pboettke@gmu.edurwagner@gmu.edu

Brown University: Dan D’Amico,

Peter Klein, Baylor University  peter_klein@baylor.edu

Cal State San Jose, Jeff Hummel  jhummel@gguol.ggu.edu

Ben Powell, Texas Tech, benjaminwpowell@gmail.com

Andrew Young, Texas Tech; a.young.economist@gmail.com

Here is a list of my former undergraduate students who have earned phds in econ from G. Mason: from Holy Cross: Ed Stringham (now Hackley Endowed Chair for Capitalism
and Free Enterprise Studies at Trinity College, Connecticut, from Loyola: Dan D’Amico (now prof at Brown), Emily Schaeffer Skarbeck (she is a tenured professor, Lecturer at King’s College London, their ranking system is different than ours), Nick Snow who is now a Senior Lecturer at Ohio State University, where along with another faculty member — Todd Nesbit — runs the free market undergraduate group and Jenny Dirmeyer (now assistant prof at Hampden Sydney U). Loyola students of mine who are now in the midst of the Mason program are Chris Fleming, Jonathan Lingenfelter and Marc Melancon.

King’s is a world-ranked top 60 university (roughly the equivalent to Brown).  The faculty in the PhD program for Political Economy is as a whole very Austrian friendly.  The leader of this group is Mark Pennington, but beside Emily Skarbeck he also has David Skarbek, Adam Martin, Adam Tebble, John Meadowcraft, and Paul Lewis.

Here are the experiences of some of our Loyola graduates with graduate schools other than George Mason. Christie LaPorte went off to the University of Missouri for a phd in economics. My friends Peter and Sandy Klein were going to be her mentors. She took a look at her econ texts, and saw only math. She didn’t want to do math for 5-6 years, so she quit in the first week she was there. She is now finishing up with law school. Chuck Long went off to Suffolk Univesity for a phd in economics. He, too, had a mentor I trusted: Ben Powell. Yet, Chuck failed math there, and had to leave after one year. Chuck was an A student, one of our very best, with a minor in math at Loyola. Chuck is now working in Washington DC for one of the Koch foundation groups, thus a movement job. Eric Mattei went off to the Univesity of Georgia for a phd in economics. He, too, had a mentor I trusted: George Selgin. Yes, George and I have tangled on issues (fractional reserve banking, mainly), but I trusted George, totally, to put these differences aside, and do what he could for Eric. George and Eric hit it off personally; they were both into bike racing, and did that together. George was so distraught when Eric failed math courses there, and thus lost his scholarship, that George offered to give Eric some of his own endowment money. Eric is now selling insurance. When Eric was my student at Loyola, he and Dan D’Amico took several classes from me. They sat together in classes, both at the back of the room, and both of them bugged the crap out of me (I loved it!). In my estimation of their abilities during those days, I regarded Dan and Eric as equals. Their classroom participation was equal. Their grades were equal. As you know, I mark (well, midterm) exams anonymously. I remember one semester Dan got, I think, a 93 and Eric got a 92. Or, was it the other way around? I’m not sure. What I’m trying to say is that while they had equal abilities in my opinion, Dan has earned his doctorate in economics, and Eric did not.

This is not praxeology. This is mere empirical evidence. But, based on it, I recommend George Mason and Texas Tech, not any other school in the U.S.  Perhaps my experience with Nick Snow is relevant here. Nick was not one of our very top students. He went off to San Jose State for a masters in economics (he was mentored by my old Austro libertarian friend Jeff Hummel, plus Austro libertarians Ben Powell, who has since moved to Suffolk and now Texas Tech, and another former student of mine, not at Loyola but at Holy Cross, Ed Stringham, who has since moved to Trinity College, Connecticut. However, Emily Schaeffer Skarbeck, another former Loyola student of ours who got her phd at Mason is now an Assistant Professor at Kings.). So, here’s what I recommend: go to San Jose for a masters, and then apply to Mason for a phd, following in Nick’s footsteps. Or, try Detroit Mercy for a masters, and then on to Mason or Texas Tech. Or, if you want to try something totally different, go to France and study with/ be mentored by Guido Hulsman, combined with Spain and, ditto, Jesus Huerta de Soto. In addition, there are ph.d programs at other institutions, in other countries, where you can study with  other Austro-libertarian faculty. I would include in this regard the following people (some of whom I am copying on this letter):

Josef Sima, Josef.Sima@libinst.cz; Daniel Stastny,  (http://www.cevroinstitut.cz/en/Section/study/courses+for+international+students/)

Enrico Colombatto enrico.colombatto@unito.it;

Giancarlo Ibarguen Universidad Francisco Marroquín; gis@ufm.edu.gt; fthomas@ufm.edu; http://fce.ufm.edu

Swiss Management Center, Kurt Leube http://www.swissmc.ch/Programs/Distance_Learning_Programs/Online_Doctorate_Programs/PhD_in_Economics/Program_Design/

Matt Machaj, Poland mateusz.machaj@mises.pl


Here is another letter that might be of interest:


From: CALZADA ALVAREZ GABRIEL [mailto:gc@ufm.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 7:31 AM
To: Oliver Bardin
Cc: Walter Block
Subject: Re: Economics Graduate Schools

Thank you, Walter!

Hola, Oliver! In the Spanish speaking world there are two places were you can complete a doctorate in economics from an austrian perspective: Francisco Marroquín University in Guatemala and King Juan Carlos University in Madrid, Spain. I am associated with both programs so I can tell you from my experience in the past 8 years that the study and research atmosphere in both places is great. Spanish language is not required but is certainly recommended in both places.

The URJC has several austrian professors and lecturers in the economic department and they have developed a pure austrian master and doctorate program officially accredited by the UE. Each year the program receives about 30-35 student and at least half of them are foreign students.

The UFM, Universidad Francisco Marroquín, aka University of Free Marketeers, is an intellectual oasis for libertarians. Every student -regardless of the sort of degree he is pursuing, from medicine to economics- has to enroll in 4 courses on free-market economics with a main focus in austrian economics. The university has been very selective over the years when it comes to accept a phd student. Doctorate courses at UFM are tailor made for the specific student that is accepted.

I hope you find this information useful. And if you have any more questions do not hesitate to contact me.

Good luck in your search of a place to complete your studies.



As to a masters, if you stay in the US, I recommend Troy U, Detroit Mercy and Mason. However, I lean toward the former, since if you want to pursue Austrianism in the US, and go to Mason for that (Detroit doesn’t have a phd program) that way you’ll have different profs.

Here is yet another excellent masters program, given in English:

From: Josef Šíma [mailto:josef.sima@vsci.cz]
Sent: Sunday, January 31, 2016 1:33 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: RE: new PPE MA program in Prague

Please add my PPE program on the list of your graduate schools for Austrians.  If you ever have a smart student who would like to study in Europe, do not forget that we have the Mises scholarship –


Best regards,


prof. Josef Šíma, Ph.D.


Director/Philosophy, Politics, Economics

The first PPE MA program in the Czech Republic

CEVROINSTITUTE [school of legal and social studies]

Jungmannova 17 / 110 00 Praha 1 / Czech Republic
tel.: +420 221 506 777 /  mobil: +420 777 069 323
email: josef.sima@vsci.cz / www.cevroinstitut.cz

Jesus Huerta de Soto, huertadesoto@dimasoft.es;

Guido Hulsmann, Guido.Hulsmann@univ-angers.fr;

Josef Sima, Josef.Sima@libinst.cz;

Enrico Colombatto enrico.colombatto@unito.it;

Matt Machaj, Poland mateusz.machaj@mises.pl

Stefan Stein, Germany stefan.stein@bits-iserlohn.de;

stampingsinc@hotmail.com; weglarzj@udmercy.edu; ;  vstorr@gmu.edu; pboettke@gmu.edurwagner@gmu.eduJosef.Sima@libinst.cz; ; enrico.colombatto@unito.it;gis@ufm.edu.gtfthomas@ufm.edubenjaminwpowell@gmail.com; a.young.economist@gmail.com; ccoyne3@gmu.edumateusz.machaj@mises.pllewrockwell@gmail.com;Stephen.Sweet@charleskochinstitute.orggc@ufm.edu; Edward.stringham@gmail.com; huertadesoto@dimasoft.es; Guido.Hulsmann@univ-angers.fr; Josef.Sima@libinst.cz;mateusz.machaj@mises.pljeffdeist@mises.orgPeter_Klein@baylor.edurkoppl@syr.edustefan.stein@bits-iserlohn.denorbert.milte@bits-hochschule.de;mnair@troy.edugmanish@troy.educharles.v.long@ttu.edu


1:41 am on July 12, 2019

Please follow and like us:

Inflation Is Not Exactly Zero

Recently, I posted on this blog a response to C, who wondered why we do not have much inflation as a result of Quantitative Easing (QE), government increasing the money stock. Here was my response to C. Thanks to what E says, see below, I can now offer a much better, more full, answer. I am grateful to E’s response

—–Original Message—–
From: E
Sent: Thursday, July 11, 2019 1:52 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: No price inflation says C – oh yeah!


C: wrote

“WHY, with all the QE since 2008, has price inflation NOT kicked in massively?”

In addition to your logic and theoretical response, here’s my seat of the pants answer: Who says it hasn’t?

I wonder where C has been buying stuff. I use Quicken to track all my purchases, going back years. I can see how much prices for my own products and services (internet, utilities, insurance, etc.) have grown and I would say there’s been a good deal of price inflation. I’m not sure what “massive” means, but I just got my car insurance bill, and it’s up 10% in 6 months, and does so every renewal. I’m sure we’ve all experienced much the same.

Also it’s pretty clear that the government has changed the way they calculate the CPI, and it’s to their advantage to lie – less increase in SS payments for example.

So, I believe the empirical evidence demonstrates a different conclusion than that of C.

Regards, E


5:36 pm on July 11, 2019

Please follow and like us:

Austrianism Is A Theoretical Science, Not An Empirical One

From: C
Sent: Monday, March 11, 2019 5:07 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: your missive last week….

Hello Walter,

Until last week, I have always been on the same page with you, understanding your responses to the inquiries you receive on anarchism, libertarian thought, and, of course, Austrian economics.

I’d like to reference an email you sent out last week…. , I recall that your questioner was sparring with an Austrian non-believer over QE. I remember the topic, because for a long time, the issue was also on my radar. Specifically, your questioner needed a solid response (so that he could head off a question) as to WHY, with all the QE since 2008, has price inflation NOT kicked in massively?

I read your answer (please review it again before responding to me) and for the first time, I was NOT satisfied with a “Block” response.  Not that you were evasive, but your response was not to the point – it was way too general, having to do with preferences of the public possibly delaying or countering price inflation.  It really didn’t explain anything and certainly had NO DETAILS as to “why inflation hasn’t kicked in?”  Yes, I know you provided reading references as usual, but your response just didn’t work. I felt like I was left hanging. Can you please try again?

Best regards and keep up the good work you do, C

Dear C:

In the real world, we are denied ceteris paribus conditions. Austrian only predict theoretically, not practically, empirically, as a result. All we can say is that thanks to QE, prices are now higher than they otherwise would have been. This is a contrary to fact conditional. It is not falsifiable. It is not testable. It is a synthetic apriori claim, based on logical alone. Austrians are not logical positivists. Yet, this claim makes sense of what is going on in the real world.

The point is, during the time of QE, other things might also have occurred that would reduce prices compared to what they would have been. For example, people could have increased their cash balances, stuck more of their money under their mattresses than before, which would tend to lower prices. When coupled with that sort of thing, QE’s ability to raise prices would have been truncated.

Let me try again. If a frost occurs, and half the oranges are destroyed, then, ceteris paribus, prices will rise. But, suppose during this time, people’s demand for oranges falls, exogenously. Then, the price or oranges will not rise, at least not as much, had this change in tastes not occurred. All we can say, as Austrian economists, is that when a frost kills half the orange crop, not that prices of oranges will necessarily rise, but that they will be higher than they otherwise would have been, had no frost occurred.

I hope this helps.


2:53 pm on July 11, 2019

Please follow and like us:

Saint Ron Paul!

We in the LP are not necessarily Catholics. Some of us are, some not. Therefore, we as an LP don’t have saints; not official ones, anyway. But, if we did, Ron Paul would surely be one of them. He has done more to promote liberty than pretty much anyone else in our movement. Why a leader of the LP should attack Saint Ron Paul is beyond me.

This is nothing less than horrid.

Hey, look, I don’t agree with my friend Ron on every jot and tittle of libertarian theory. He is pro-life, I am not. But when I criticize his views, I do so with the utmost respect. Disagreement among libertarians is par for the course. I could almost go so far as to say that disagreement is part of the libertarian hard-wiring. But this vicious attack on Dr. Paul from Nicholas Sarwark is really awful. Read it and weep for our movement.


2:15 am on July 11, 2019

Please follow and like us:

Assume the Chicken Littles Are Correct; Carbon Emission Is A Rights Violation

From: C
Sent: Monday, March 11, 2019 2:35 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Global Warming


Suppose that global warming is caused by carbon emissions and is harmful to mankind.

Is there any free-market solution?

Without any government role.



From: Walter Block [mailto:wblock@loyno.edu]
Sent: Monday, March 11, 2019 11:00 AM
To: C
Subject: RE: Global Warming

Dear C:

Yes, let us assume, arguendo, it is proven that carbon emitters are akin to polluters. They are indistinguishable from people who shoot guns up in the air, and the bullets hit planes; that what carbon emitters do is the same as the acts of those who punch innocent people in the nose.  Then, yes, the free market solution would be that carbon emitters should be treated like the criminals they would be. Under anarcho-capitalism, private courts would do this. Given that there is a government, it should treat carbon emitters just like these other criminals?

Have any of these claims been anywhere near proven? Hardly. The very opposite is the case. Attempts to deny global warming due to carbon emissions have been characterized as hate speech, as offensive, as micro aggressions, etc. We are very, very far from proving anything of the sort.

The best essay ever written on this issue is this one; I highly recommend it:

Environmentalism: Rothbard, Murray N. 1982. “Law, Property Rights, and Air Pollution,” Cato Journal, Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring; reprinted in Economics and the Environment: A Reconciliation, Walter E. Block , ed., Vancouver: The Fraser Institute, 1990;http://www.mises.org/rothbard/lawproperty.pdf; http://mises.org/story/2120


5:57 am on July 10, 2019

Please follow and like us:
Follow by Email