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 book, Discrimination and Disparities (2018), gathers a wide array of empirical evidence to challenge the idea that different economic outcomes can be explained by any one factor, be it discrimination, exploitation or genetics. His 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), The Vision of the Anointed (1995), Barbarians Inside the Gates (1999), and The Quest for Cosmic Justice (1999). On the history of ideas he has written Marxism (1985) and Conflict of Vision (1987). 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 in 1989. 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 in 2006.

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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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

Charlatans And Sheep: Part III

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The prevailing social dogma of our time — that economic and other disparities among groups are strange, if not sinister — has set off bitter disputes between those who blame genetic differences and those who blame discrimination.

Analysis and Commentary

Good Riddance!

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The impending departure of Speaker of the House John Boehner gives the House Republicans a real opportunity to accomplish something. But an opportunity is not a guarantee. It is a little like a football team being first down and goal at the ten-yard line.

Featured

The 'Affordable Housing' Fraud

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Nowhere has there been so much hand-wringing over a lack of "affordable housing," as among politicians and others in coastal California. And nobody has done more to make housing unaffordable than those same politicians and their supporters.

Featured

The Left Has Its Pope

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Pope Francis has created political controversy, both inside and outside the Catholic Church, by blaming capitalism for many of the problems of the poor. We can no doubt expect more of the same during his visit to the United States.

US Ballot Box Image
Featured

Why Have Elections?

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, September 15, 2015

In a country with more than 300 million people, it is remarkable how obsessed the media have become with just one — Donald Trump. What is even more remarkable is that, after six years of repeated disasters, both domestically and internationally, under a glib egomaniac in the White House, so many potential voters are turning to another glib egomaniac to be his successor.

Analysis and Commentary

Opportunity Versus Outcomes

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A hostile review of my new book — "Wealth, Poverty and Politics" — said, "there is apparently no level of inequality of income or opportunity that Thomas Sowell would consider unacceptable."

Syrian Refugees
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The Past And Future Of The Refugee Crisis

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The refugee crisis in Europe is one of those human tragedies for which there are no real solutions, despite how many shrill voices in the media may denounce those who fail to come up with a solution.

Featured

A Revealing Clue

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Even those of us who are not supporters of either Donald Trump or Jeb Bush can learn something by comparing how each of these men handled people who tried to disrupt their question-and-answer period after a speech.

Featured

Sorting The Candidates

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Despite a nuclear Iran looming on the horizon, the media seem to be putting most of their attention on two candidates for their respective parties' presidential nominations next year. Moreover, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump each make their own party nervous.

Analysis and Commentary

Immigration Excuses

by Thomas Sowellvia Townhall
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

One of the most lame excuses for doing nothing is that we can't do everything. Such excuses have been repeated endlessly, even by some conservatives, when it comes to illegal immigration.

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