Thomas Sowell

Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy
Awards and Honors:
American Philosophical Society
National Academy of Education
Biography: 

Thomas Sowell is the Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution.

He writes on economics, history, social policy, ethnicity, and the history of ideas. His most recent books on economics include Housing Boom and Bust (2009), Intellectuals and Society (2009), Applied Economics (2009), Economic Facts and Fallacies (2008), Basic Economics (2007), and Affirmative Action Around the World (2004). Other books on economics he has written include Classical Economics Reconsidered (1974), Say’s Law (1972), and Economics: Analysis and Issues (1971). On social policy he has written Knowledge and Decisions (1980), Preferential Policies (1989), Inside American Education (1993) and The Vision of the Anointed (1995). On the history of ideas he has written Marxism (1985) and Conflict of Vision (1987). His most recent books are Barbarians Inside the Gates (1999) and The Quest for Cosmic Justice (1999). Sowell also wrote Late-Talking Children (1997). He has also written a monograph on law titled Judicial Activism Reconsidered, published by the Hoover Institution Press. His writings have also appeared in scholarly journals in economics, law, and other fields.

Sowell’s current research focuses on cultural history in a world perspective, a subject on which he began to write a trilogy in 1982. The trilogy includes Race and Culture (1994), Migrations and Cultures (1996), and Conquests and Cultures (1998).

Sowell's journalistic writings include a nationally syndicated column that appears in more than 150 newspapers from Boston to Honolulu. Some of these essays have been collected in book form, most recently in Ever Wonder Why? and Other Controversial Essays published by the Hoover Institution Press.

Over the past three decades, Sowell has taught economics at various colleges and universities, including Cornell, Amherst, and the University of California at Los Angeles, as well as the history of ideas at Brandeis University. He has also been associated with three other research centers, in addition to the Hoover Institution. He was project director at the Urban Institute, 1972-1974, a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, 1976–77, and was an adjunct scholar of the American Enterprise Institute, 1975-76.

Sowell was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2002. In 2003, Sowell received the Bradley Prize for intellectual achievement. Sowell received his bachelor’s degree in economics (magna cum laude) from Harvard in 1958, his master’s degree in economics from Columbia University in 1959, and his PhD in economics from the University of Chicago in 1968.

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Thomas Sowell on the Origins of Economic Disparities

interview with Thomas Sowellvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, May 17, 2019

AUDIO ONLY

Thomas Sowell discusses the newly revised edition of his book Discrimination and Disparities.

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Thomas Sowell On The Origins Of Economic Disparities

interview with Thomas Sowellvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, May 17, 2019

Thomas Sowell discusses the newly revised edition of his book Discrimination and Disparities.

Friedman FundamentalsFeatured

Fellows With Friedman

featuring John H. Cochrane , Michael J. Boskin, David R. Henderson, Thomas Sowell, Richard A. Epstein, Alvin Rabushka, Robert E. Hallvia PolicyEd
Thursday, May 16, 2019

In a Wall Street Journalop-ed, “America Needs an Alternative Maximum Tax,” John Cochrane proposes a new kind of tax that caps the amount that people would pay in taxes to prevent indefinite tax-rate hikes. He asks, “How much is the most anyone should have to pay? When do taxes indisputably start to harm the economy and produce less revenue—when government takes 50% of people's income? 60%? 70%?” If there is a maximum amount that an individual pays, then once past that cap they wouldn’t pay any further federal income tax for that year.

In the News

Discrimination And Disparities II

featuring Thomas Sowellvia Front Page Magazine
Monday, May 13, 2019

How Thomas Sowell's new book turns the thinking of many politicians, academicians, legal experts and judges to mush.

In the News

Discrimination And Disparities II

featuring Thomas Sowellvia Creators
Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Last week's column discussed Dr. Thomas Sowell's newest book "Discrimination and Disparities," which is an enlarged and revised edition of an earlier version. In this review, I am going to focus on one of his richest chapters titled "Social Visions and Human Consequences." Sowell challenges the seemingly invincible fallacy "that group outcomes in human endeavors would tend to be equal, or at least comparable or random, if there were no biased interventions, on the one hand, nor genetic deficiencies, on the other." But disparate impact statistics carries the day among academicians, lawyers and courts as evidence of discrimination.

In the News

Discrimination And Disparities

featuring Thomas Sowellvia DeSoto Times-Tribune
Monday, April 29, 2019

My longtime friend and colleague Dr. Thomas Sowell has just published a revised and enlarged edition of “Discrimination and Disparities.” It lays waste to myth after myth about the causes of human differences not only in the United States but around the globe. Throughout the book, Sowell shows that socioeconomic outcomes differ vastly among individuals, groups and nations in ways that cannot be easily explained by any one factor, whether it’s genetics, sex or race discrimination or a history of gross mistreatment that includes expulsion and genocide.

Featured

The Sowell Of Economics

interview with Thomas Sowellvia The Remnant with Jonah Goldberg
Thursday, April 25, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Thomas Sowell discusses discrimination, inequality, and the uses and misuses of economics, which are subjects in his new edition of Discrimination and Disparities.

Thomas Sowell in front of a black background with an Uncommon Knowledge mug
In the News

A Talk With Tom

featuring Thomas Sowellvia The National Review
Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Thomas Sowell is an economist, writer, and all-around great guy. He is one of the great public teachers of our age. By “public” I mean that he teaches through his books and articles, not in the classroom, although he has done plenty of that, too. I have recorded a podcast with him, a Q&Ahere.

Interviews

Thomas Sowell: Sowell Strikes Again

interview with Thomas Sowellvia Ricochet
Monday, April 15, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Thomas Sowell talks about equality, diversity, IQ, immigration, free enterprise, and a host of other issues.

In the News

Friday Evening Links

quoting Thomas Sowellvia AEI
Friday, April 12, 2019

Black leaders have a vested interest in black dependency — on them and on the government that they can try to influence. We have now reached the point where virtually everything that serves black “leaders” — dependency, grievance-hunting, racial hype and paranoia — are major disservices to the cause of advancing blacks, at a time when their opportunities have never been better.

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