Defining Ideas

Subscribe to receive Defining Ideas. Subscribe »

Explore Research

Filter By:




Enter comma-separated IDs of authors
Enter comma-separated IDs of contributors

Support the Hoover Institution

Join the Hoover Institution's community of supporters in advancing ideas defining a free society.

Support Hoover

Nasdaq’s Diversity Distraction

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, December 7, 2020

Proposal to monitor companies’ boards offers no good reasons for imposing quotas.

Vaccines’ Last Hurdle: Central Planners

by David R. Hendersonvia Defining Ideas
Friday, December 4, 2020

Urgently needed drugs developed under Operation Warp Speed are at the mercy of officials working at “bureaucrat speed.”

Reasons to Be Thankful

by Daniel Heil featuring the work of Edward Paul Lazear, Russ Roberts, Stephen Haber, Milton Friedman, David C. Mulford, Russell A. Berman, Michael R. Auslin, General Jim Mattisvia Policy Insights | A Succinct Guide to Important Policy Questions
Tuesday, November 24, 2020

This will not be remembered as a year of progress. From the COVID-19 pandemic to geopolitical tensions, it may seem as if the world is going backwards. But we shouldn’t forget that people in the twenty-first century are wealthier and freer than at any other time in history. As we approach the holiday season, let’s explore the many reasons we should be thankful, even in 2020.

Avoid The Pitfalls Of Student Loan Forgiveness

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, November 24, 2020

It’s even more than a problem of staggering costs and unfair taxation. Erasing students’ debts would violate the economic logic of making a degree pay for itself.

An Overambitious Climate Plan For Biden

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

Beware of environmental exuberance and its drumbeat of “crisis.”

Central Banks And Climate: A Case Of Mission Creep

by John H. Cochranevia Defining Ideas
Friday, November 13, 2020

The inconvenient truth is that it’s both unwise and coercive to favor “green” projects—and it threatens the banks’ independence.

No Fair Trial For Big Tech

by David R. Hendersonvia Defining Ideas
Thursday, November 12, 2020

The Social Dilemma, a movie that accuses the social media giants of manipulation, freely indulges its own kind of manipulation.

Religious Liberty Should Prevail

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, November 9, 2020

There’s no compelling state interest in excluding religious charities from a public program even if they object to serving same-sex couples.

A Flat Tax Is A Fair Tax

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, November 2, 2020

Illinois’s proposed tax increase flies under a false flag of equity.

Long-Term Debt

by Daniel Heil featuring the work of John F. Cogan, John H. Cochrane, Michael J. Boskin, Joshua D. Rauh, Richard A. Epsteinvia Policy Insights | A Succinct Guide to Important Policy Questions
Friday, October 30, 2020

Whether they’re overlooking skyrocketing federal debt or unfunded state pension obligations, lawmakers continue to make short-run budget decisions that will disproportionately burden future generations. How big are these problems, and are there any good solutions?


RSS Feed Subscription

The Libertarian

Richard Epstein
Richard Epstein presents his classically libertarian perspective on national developments in public policy and the law. The Libertarian archives »


Follow Epstein on Twitter

Policy Insights | A Succinct Guide to Important Policy Questions


Policy Insights answers important policy questions by pulling together relevant op-eds, books, podcasts, and videos from Hoover fellows. Readers are given a one stop shop that guides them through big issues and points them in the direction of more Hoover resources.

The Caravan

Visit the Caravan, a periodic symposium on the contemporary dilemnas of the greater Middle East.

With its distinct intellectual assets and ongoing programs of policy-oriented research, the Hoover Institution at Stanford University is a uniquely distinguished contributor to the marketplace of ideas.

Defining Ideas builds on the strength of Hoover’s research: publishing on-line the original work of Hoover fellows and affiliated scholars, as well as that of task force and working group members, whose scholarship lies within the fields of economics, history, law, and political science.

This online journal is the result of our concerted efforts to be part of America’s most important conversations, conveying to the public and to lawmakers an in-depth understanding of key public policy issues. Crucial to this effort is a commitment to develop enduring solutions for the challenges that face our nation and our world—in effect, to advance ideas defining a free society.

Throughout history, ideas have had consequences for the human condition, both beneficial and detrimental. The Hoover Institution’s working groups have been convened to promote ideas that advance freedom, peace, and prosperity. Defining Ideas is intended to illuminate the work of these groups.



While Defining Ideas welcomes comments from readers, we exercise the right to monitor the comments we receive. We will not publish comments that include obscenities, swear-words and vulgarisms; ad hominem attacks; racist expression; rudeness or discourtesy; violations of copyright; or any other transgression of taste or civility that the editors deem unpublishable on a Hoover Institution Web site. We reserve the right, also, to close down comments on a particular essay if the editors believe we have reached "saturation" point. 


The opinions expressed in Defining Ideas are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hoover Institution or Stanford University.