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

Policy InsightsFeatured

State Budget Woes

featuring Joshua D. Rauh, Lee Ohanian, Michael J. Boskin, John H. Cochrane, Richard A. Epstein, Daniel Heilvia PolicyEd
Thursday, July 1, 2021

State and local officials continue to face significant budget challenges that predate the pandemic. What are these budget challenges and what can state lawmakers do to address them?

State Budget Woes

by Daniel Heil featuring the work of Joshua D. Rauh, Lee Ohanian, Michael J. Boskin, John H. Cochrane, Richard A. Epsteinvia Policy Insights | A Succinct Guide to Important Policy Questions
Wednesday, June 30, 2021

State and local officials continue to face significant budget challenges that predate the pandemic. What are these budget challenges and what can state lawmakers do to address them?

Interviews

Richard Epstein On The John Batchelor Show (Part 1)

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Monday, June 28, 2021

(Part 1) Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "Climate Disclosures And Their Stealth Mission." Part 2 of the interview is available here.

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A Bombshell Decision On Property Takings

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, June 28, 2021

Chief Justice Roberts’s opinion in California labor case may well upend American law.

Analysis and Commentary

Will There Be Inflation Under Biden?

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Las Vegas Review Journal
Saturday, June 26, 2021

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that for the year ending on May 21, the U.S. inflation rate rose to 5 percent — pointing uneasily to continuing rises in the coming year. Key experts inside the Federal Reserve fear inflation will exceed the benchmark 2 percent “core” inflation rate — a number that excludes highly variable prices for goods such as food and energy.

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The Libertarian Podcast: Climate Change And The SEC

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Thursday, June 24, 2021

Why is the Securities and Exchange Commission writing new rules about climate change?

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Law Talk: While The Iron Is Hot

interview with Richard A. Epstein, John Yoo, Troy Senikvia Law Talk With Epstein, Senik & Yoo
Wednesday, June 23, 2021

A roundup of recent Supreme Court decisions and a look at state efforts to combat Critical Race Theory.

Interviews

Richard Epstein On The John Batchelor Show (Part 1)

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Monday, June 21, 2021

(Part 1) Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "Sorting Out The Global Tax Mess." Part 2 of the interview is available here.

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Climate Disclosures And Their Stealth Mission

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, June 21, 2021

Investors neither need nor want a new covert regulatory scheme.

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The Libertarian Podcast: Billionaires and the Taxes They (Don’t) Pay

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Friday, June 18, 2021

How should we react to the leaked tax records of American billionaires?

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