Richard A. Epstein

Peter and Kirsten Bedford Senior Fellow
Awards and Honors:
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Biography: 

Richard A. Epstein, the Peter and Kirsten Bedford Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law, New York University Law School, and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago.

In 2011, Epstein was a recipient of the Bradley Prize for outstanding achievement. In 2005, the College of William & Mary School of Law awarded him the Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize.

Epstein researches and writes in a broad range of constitutional, economic, historical, and philosophical subjects. He has taught administrative law, antitrust law, communications law, constitutional law, corporation criminal law, employment discrimination law, environmental law, food and drug law, health law, labor law, Roman law, real estate development and finance, and individual and corporate taxation.

He edited the Journal of Legal Studies (1981–91) and the Journal of Law and Economics (1991–2001).

Epstein’s most recent publication is The Classical Liberal Constitution: The Uncertain Quest for Limited Government (2014). Other books include Design for Liberty: Private Property, Public Administration, and the Rule of Law (2011); The Case against the Employee Free Choice Act (Hoover Institution Press, 2009); Supreme Neglect: How to Revive the Constitutional Protection for Private Property (2008); How the Progressives Rewrote the Constitution (2006); Overdose (2006); and Free Markets under Siege: Cartels, Politics, and Social Welfare (Hoover Institution Press, 2005).

He received a BA degree in philosophy summa cum laude from Columbia in 1964; a BA degree in law with first-class honors from Oxford University in 1966; and an LLB degree cum laude, from the Yale Law School in 1968. Upon graduation he joined the faculty at the University of Southern California, where he taught until 1972. In 1972, he visited the University of Chicago and became a regular member of the faculty the following year.

He has been a senior fellow at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics since 1984 and was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1985. He has been a Hoover fellow since 2000.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

A Toxic Mix Of Regulation And Subsidy

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Forbes
Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Brace yourselves for the Obama economy...

Analysis and Commentary

Why License Marriage?

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Forbes
Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."...

Analysis and Commentary

Against the grand communication alliance

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Financial Times
Thursday, November 13, 2008

The most common feature of “grand alliances” is that they collapse under their own weight...

Analysis and Commentary

Wyeth v. Levine Could Endanger Your Health

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Forbes
Tuesday, November 11, 2008

This past week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the blockbuster case of Wyeth v. Levine, which posed one simple question...

Analysis and Commentary

Divided We Stand

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Forbes
Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day 2008 gives us little reason for optimism or good cheer...

Analysis and Commentary

Strident And Wrong

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Forbes
Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The endless debates on whether the government or the market is "the cause" of our current financial malaise has yet to reach its final resting point...

Analysis and Commentary

A Labor Dilemma For President Bam

by Richard A. Epsteinvia New York Post
Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The financial crisis has unfortunately deflected attention from our next major meltdown: ordinary labor markets...

Analysis and Commentary

The Obama I (Don't) Know

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Forbes
Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My Obama number is one...

Analysis and Commentary

The Risk-Free World Of John Rawls

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Forbes
Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My last column pointed out the dangers of ignoring Robert Nozick's devastating critique of patterned principles...

Analysis and Commentary

Rent or Own: a telecommunications tale

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Financial Times
Monday, October 13, 2008

One of the common features of broadcast licences in the US is that they are just that, licences...

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