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Friday, June 26, 2015

Michael Munger Wins Beth A. Hoffman Prize for Economic Writing

Recognizing the best Freeman article on economics in 2014

The fourth annual Beth A. Hoffman Memorial Prize for Economic Writing has been awarded to Michael Munger, director of the politics, philosophy, and economics program at Duke University, the Foundation for Economic Education announced today.

Through the generosity of a FEE donor, the prize was established to commemorate the late Beth A. Hoffman, long-time managing editor of the Freeman. The award recognizes the best article on economics or economic history published in the Freeman the previous year.

Munger’s piece, “The Case for Voluntary Private Cooperation,” appeared in April 2014 in the Freeman online. The prize consists of $2,000 and a handsome plaque. A separate, perpetual plaque with the winners’ names is displayed at FEE headquarters.

“The editorial committee chose this piece,” editor Max Borders said, “because Munger weaves together insights from multiple disciplines to show that economics is not a black box. It is a living, breathing discipline that is connected to other fields in important ways. Our shared humanity is not just about supply, demand, and comparative advantage, but how we freely work together to serve each other.”

Consider Munger’s conclusion:

“We don’t need nations, and we don’t need flags and armies to make us prosperous. All we need is voluntary private cooperation, and the feeling of solidarity and prosperous interdependence that comes from human creativity unleashed.”

In 2014, no article on captured Leonard Read’s mantra of “anything that’s peaceful” better than Professor Munger’s.

Beth Hoffman (1950–2008) joined the foundation staff in the 1970s. Besides working on the Freeman, she also edited books, pamphlets, and other materials. Over the years FEE supporters and seminar students came to know her as the friendly face or voice on the telephone, ever ready to assist anyone seeking to learn or share the freedom philosophy.

Last year’s winner of the Hoffman Prize was Richard W. Fulmer for his article “Cavemen and Middlemen.”

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