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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Interviews

Richard Epstein: Should The Government Break Up Big Tech? A Soho Forum Debate

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia Reason
Friday, March 20, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses whether antitrust laws should be applied to firms like Amazon and Facebook.

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Richard Epstein On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Thursday, March 19, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Las Vegas Review-Journal article "Avoid redistribution schemes to limit coronavirus fallout."

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Richard Epstein On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Thursday, March 19, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "Coronavirus Perspective."

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The Libertarian: Law, Economics, And Coronavirus

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Thursday, March 19, 2020

Are the policy tools being used to combat the pandemic overkill?

Interviews

Richard Epstein: 'More Probable Than Not…Total Number Of Deaths At Under 50,000'

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia Reason
Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein says that it seems more probable than not that the total number of cases worldwide will peak out at well under 1 million, with the total number of deaths at under 50,000…In the United States, if the total death toll increases at about the same rate, the current 67 deaths should translate into about 500 deaths at the end."

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Coronavirus Perspective

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, March 16, 2020

The evidence does not support our panicked inferences.

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Avoid Redistribution Schemes To Limit Coronavirus Fallout

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Las Vegas Review Journal
Saturday, March 14, 2020

Anything specific about the social responses and economic consequences of the coronavirus is likely to be obsolete 24 hours after it is written, so dizzying the rate of change. Nonetheless, it is useful to offer some general principles to guide the inquiry.

InterviewsPolitics

Richard Epstein On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Friday, March 13, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "Playing Politics With Coronavirus."

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Law Talk With Epstein, Yoo & Senik #131: Quarantined!

interview with Richard A. Epstein, John Yoovia Law Talk With Epstein, Senik & Yoo
Thursday, March 12, 2020

Coronavirus, Supreme Court roundup, Trump’s libel lawsuit, and baseball.

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The Libertarian: Coping With Coronavirus

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Thursday, March 12, 2020

Can public policy ease the strain from the pandemic?

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