Richard A. Epstein

Peter and Kirsten Bedford Senior Fellow
Awards and Honors:
American Academy of Arts and Sciences

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 (2013). 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


Europe’s Top Court Goes Off The Rails

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Politico
Thursday, October 8, 2015

The court has ripped apart a data transmission system that will be a nightmare to repair.

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Rethinking “Gender Discrimination” At Work

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, October 5, 2015

Jerry Brown and Sheryl Sandberg want to advance female employees, but their proposals will backfire. 

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The Cardinal Sins Of Pope Francis

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, September 28, 2015

He is using his religious authority to pronounce on secular matters of which he has scant knowledge. 

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The Donald’s Dangerous Populism

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, September 21, 2015

He attacks the financial elites who keep the markets moving. 

Analysis and Commentary

Scott Walker Talks Turkey On Labor Market Reform

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Ricochet
Wednesday, September 16, 2015

One of the central questions of the current Republican presidential campaign is when potential candidates will talk about important issues of political economy.

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The Consequences Of Obama's Weakness

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, September 14, 2015

The President’s spineless foreign policy has fanned the flames of ISIS and created a refugee crisis. 

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Filtering The Clean Water Act

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, September 7, 2015

In an overdue setback for the regulatory state, a judge reins in the EPA. 

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How Democrats Stifle Labor Markets

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A new NLRB decision is a win for unions but a loss for businesses and their employees. 

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The Truth About Campaign Finance Reform

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, August 24, 2015

The more power is concentrated in the hands of the government, the more dangerous money becomes in politics. 

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When Bureaucrats Do Good

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, August 17, 2015

The FTC’s recent policy statement on unfair business methods has generated an intelligent debate about government regulation.