Robert P. Murphy

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Robert P. Murphy
Austrian School
Robert P. Murphy Head Shot 1.jpg
Birth (1976-05-23) May 23, 1976 (age 47)
Nationality American
Institution Pacific Research Institute
Institute for Energy Research
Hillsdale College
Field Financial Economics, Interest theory, Trade, Game theory
Alma mater New York University (PhD) 2003
Hillsdale College (B.A.) 1998
Opposed Paul Krugman
Influences Eugen Bohm-Bawerk, Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard

Robert Patrick "Bob" Murphy (born 23 May 1976) is an Austrian School economist and free market-oriented author.

Education and personal life

Murphy completed his Bachelor of Arts in economics at Hillsdale College in 1998. He then moved back to his home state of New York to continue his studies at New York University. Murphy earned his Ph.D. in economics from NYU in 2003 after successfully defending a dissertation on Unanticipated Intertemporal Change in Theories of Interest.[1] His thesis work led to two publications in the Journal of the History of Economic Thought, namely "Dangers of the One-Good Model: Böhm-Bawerk's Critique of the 'Naive Productivity Theory of Interest'" (V. 27, N. 4, (December 2005): 375-382) and "Interest and the Marginal Product of Capital: A Critique of Samuelson" (V. 29, N. 4 (December 2007): 453-3464).

Murphy has one son, Joel Clark Murphy, and lives in Nashville, Tennessee. Murphy is a Christian, and has stated in his writings that "my ethical beliefs are informed by my Christian faith, and I am a firm believer in natural law."[2]

Career in economics

After earning his doctoral degree, Murphy served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics at Hillsdale College in Michigan, U.S., a role he relinquished in the summer of 2006 when he moved back to New York City. From 2006 until early 2007, Murphy was employed as a research and portfolio analyst with Laffer Associates,[3][4] an economic and investment consultancy firm.[5]

Murphy is a senior fellow in business and economic studies at the Pacific Research Institute,[6] and is an adjunct scholar and frequent speaker at the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He writes a column for[7] and has also written for He is an adjunct scholar at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy[8] and an economist for the Institute for Energy Research.[9] Murphy appeared before the United States House Committee on Financial Services on 24 July 2008 to discuss oil prices and the United States dollar.[10] His work has been cited by Walter Block,[11] with whom Murphy has also published.[12] Murphy is a frequent radio guest. He appeared on "Free Markets With Dr. Mike Beitler" on the Voice America Business network on October 30, 2008, and has also been featured as a guest on The Political Cesspool.[13]

In 2010, Murphy wrote Lessons for the Young Economist, an introductory textbook aimed at younger students. "The idea is that newcomers to economics — whether young people or even adults who have never read deeply in the Austrian tradition — should read this book first and then move on to the works of Hazlitt and Rothbard." [14]



  • Chaos Theory (2002) - A short, self-published work composed of two essays on market anarchy; one discussing the production of defense services, and one describing the provision of private criminal and civil justice.

Murphy has also designed a home study course in Austrian economics (2005), and has written a study guide for Murray Rothbard's Man, Economy and State (with Power and Market) and Ludwig von Mises' Human Action, both published and distributed by the Mises Institute.


In the 14 May 2007 edition of Human Events, reviewer Mac Johnson said of the Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism that,

it takes some discipline to distill complex concepts down to a convenient and accessible form. The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism hits this mark…Topics covered include price theory, unions, CEO pay, the minimum wage, child labor and anti-discrimination laws, banking, the gold standard, environmental regulations, antitrust law, deficit spending, safety laws, bread and circuses, globalization, free trade, and the new investor class…[15]

In a 9 July 2007 review for Barron's Magazine, Gene Epstein declared that the book,

contains more economic wisdom in its fewer-than-200 pages than the average principles textbook several times its length. In clear and often irreverent prose, Murphy makes a compelling case for the unfettered free market, or what his intellectual antagonists would call "free-market fundamentalism."

Although the review is a generally favorable one, Epstein opines that "[o]ccasionally I wish Murphy weren't so irreverent." Referring to the five-question quiz with which Murphy opens the volume, and the answer key Murphy provides, Epstein says "the uninitiated could have benefited from more pointed explanations. I hope Murphy provides these explanations in a subsequent edition." Later in the same column, Epstein compares Murphy's Guide to Thomas Sowell's Basic Economics, noting that,

I only wish Sowell were as informed about the economics of the Austrian school as author Robert Murphy. While Basic Economics and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism work well as companion volumes, in the few cases where they seem to disagree—as in the discussion of money and business cycles—Murphy's version is the more trustworthy.[16]


  1. Murphy, Robert P. Unanticipated Intertemporal Change in Theories of Interest. Doctoral dissertation, New York University. 2003. [1]
  2. Murphy, Robert P. "The Possibility of Private Law." 3 August 2005. [2]
  3. Glazov, James. "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism." Interview with Robert Murphy. FrontPage Magazine. 18 April 2007. [3]
  4. "Excerpts: Free & Natural." Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. 25 March 2007. [4]
  5. "Company Profile: Laffer Associates." Goliath. ECNext, Inc. 14 March 2007. [5]
  6. Murphy, Robert P. and Lee Hoskins. "Memo to the Fed: Stop those Rate Cuts." 17 March 2008. [6]
  7. Murphy, Robert. "Capitalism: Second to none." [7]
  8. "Mr. Robert P. Murphy." Mackinac Center
  9. "IER Scholars." Institute for Energy Research
  10. "Written Testimony of Robert P. Murphy, Institute for Energy Research Before the House Committee on Financial Services On the Matter of Oil Prices and the U.S. Dollar." United States House Committee on Financial Services. July 24, 2008. [8]
  11. Block, Walter. "Reply to Frank van Dun's "Natural Law and the Jurisprudence of Freedom." Journal of Libertarian Studies. Spring 2004. [9]
  12. Block, Walter and Robert P. Murphy. "The Economics of the Very Long Run." Homo Oeconimicus. 2003. [10]
  13. "Political Cesspool guest list." [11]
  14. "Learn Principles of Economics Online." [12] Retrieved September 1, 2010
  15. Johnson, Mac. "Newest ‘Politically Incorrect Guide’ Sticks up for Capitalism." Human Events. 14 May 2007. [13]
  16. Epstein, Gene. "Nine Good Reasons to Hit the Beach." Barron's Magazine. 9 July 2007. [14]