Texas Tech University

Benjamin Powell

Executive Director

Benjamin Powell, Executive Director

Executive Director, 2019–
Professor of Economics, Rawls College of Business, 2013–
Director, 2013–2019

Benjamin Powell is the Executive Director of the Free Market Institute and Professor of Economics in the Area of Energy Commerce & Business Economics of the Rawls College of Business. He earned his Ph.D. in Economics from George Mason University and taught at San Jose State University and Suffolk University prior to joining Texas Tech.

Ben is a Senior Fellow with the Independent Institute, Secretary-Treasurer of the Southern Economic Association, Secretary-Treasurer of The Association of Private Enterprise Education, and Treasurer of The Mont Pelerin Society.

Ben's research focuses on the economics of immigration and the economics of sweatshop labor and contributes to scholarly literatures in Austrian economics, public choice, and institutional economics. He has published more than 75 scholarly articles and policy studies.

He is the author of Out of Poverty: Sweatshops in the Global Economy (Cambridge University Press, 2014), co-author of Socialism Sucks: Two Economists Drink Their Way Through the Unfree World(with Robert Lawson) (Regnery Publishing, 2019) and Wretched Refuse? The Political Economy of Immigration and Institutions (with Alex Nowrasteh) (Cambridge University Press, 2020). He is editor or co-editor of four other books including The Economics of Immigration: Market-Based Approaches, Social Science, and Public Policy (Oxford University Press, 2015) and Economic Freedom and Prosperity: The Origins and Maintenance of Liberalization (Routledge Foundations of the Market Economy, 2019).

Ben's research findings have been reported in hundreds of popular press outlets including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. He also writes frequently for the popular press. His popular writing has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, New York Post, The Dallas Morning News and many other outlets. He has appeared on numerous radio, podcast, and television programs on networks including Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, and Showtime. He was a regular guest commentator on Fox Business Network's Freedom Watch and Stossel.

Ben teaches an undergraduate course on Global Business Economics and Policy and a graduate course on Austrian Economics.

Recent Publications

Grier, K., Mahmood, T. I., & Powell, B. (Working Paper). Anti-Sweatshop Activism and the Safety-Employment Tradeoff: Evidence from Bangladesh's Rana Plaza Disaster.

Miozzi, V. & Powell, B. (Forthcoming). Measuring Economic Freedom during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of Institutional Economics.

Powell, B. & Brennan, J. (2022). The Ethics of Doing Business with Illegal Immigrants. The Independent Review, 27(1).

Boettke, P. J. & Powell, B. (2021). The Political Economy of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Southern Economic Journal, 87(4): 1090-1106.

Bologna Pavlik, J., Lujan Padilla, E. & Powell, B. (2021). Simpler Evidence on Immigration and Institutions: An Assessment. Econ Journal Watch, 18(1): 21-34.

Nowrasteh, A. & Powell, B. (2020). Wretched Refuse? The Political Economy of Immigration and Institutions. Cambridge University Press.

Lawson, R., Murphy, R., & Powell, B. (2020). The Determinants of Economic Freedom: A Survey. Contemporary Economic Policy, 38(4): 622-642.

Lawson, R. & Powell, B. (2019). Socialism Sucks: Two Economists Drink Their Way Through the Unfree World. Regnery.

Forrester, A. C., Powell, B., Nowrasteh, A., & Landgrave, M. (2019). Do Immigrants Import Terrorism? Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 166: 529-543.

Powell, B. (2019). Solving the Misesian Migration Conundrum. Review of Austrian Economics, 32(3): 205-213.

Clark, J. R. & Powell, B. (2019). The ‘Minimal' State Reconsidered: Governance on the Margin. Review of Austrian Economics, 32(2): 119-130.

Bologna Pavlik, J., Lujan Padilla, E. & Powell, B. (2019). Cultural Baggage: Do Immigrants Import Corruption? Southern Economic Journal, 85(4): 1243-1261.

Recent Op-Eds and Short Articles

May 9, 2022 — California rejects four-day work week, but supporters haven't given upWashington Times

January 12, 2022 — Price Controls and Government Spending Won't Fix Inflation Newsweek

December 6, 2021 — The omicron variant is another excuse for government meddlingThe Hill

September 11, 2021 — Is COVID-induced hygiene theater the new security theater?The Hill

August 23, 2021 — Bring the Afghans to AmericaThe Hill

August 4, 2021 — Understanding the economics of immigrationCharles Koch Foundation

July 30, 2021 — What We Can Learn from the United States' Mostly Closed BordersCato Unbound

July 17, 2021 — How Mass Immigration Stopped American SocialismReason Magazine

July 15, 2021 — The best way to support Cuban protesters is ending the embargoThe Hill

July 12, 2021 — Would Immigrants Destroy our Freedoms?Cato Unbound

June 9, 2021 — America needs private investment - not public infrastructureThe Hill

March 10, 2021 — The Reopening in Texas Follows the Science: Economic ScienceReal Clear Markets

March 2, 2021 — Support Cuba's emerging market economy by ending the blockadeThe Hill

January 26, 2021 — Biden's immigration reforms deserve conservatives' supportWashington Examiner

November 8, 2020 — For Better Health and a Stronger Economy, Don't Lock Down Again National Review

September 24, 2020 — Re-fund, don't defund, the policeThe Hill

July 29, 2020 — Economic recovery requires the government to stop what it's doingThe Hill

June 6, 2020 — US should invite Hong Kongers to AmericaThe Hill

May 6, 2020 — Don't stop immigration, expand visas for healthcare workersWashington Examiner

April 29, 2020 — United States Needs Freedom, Not FascismAIER Daily Economy News

April 18, 2020 — Governments Can't Plan Economy's ReopeningThe Orange County Register

April 15, 2020 — The Key Indicator for Reopening the Economy Is Hospital CapacityThe Beacon

March 12, 2020 — Bernie Sanders should take a closer look at Cuba's lack of accomplishmentsThe Washington Times

February 23, 2020 — Time to end trade warsThe Seattle Times

January 13, 2020 — Democratic Socialism: Straight Talk About Twisted FactsCorporate Learning Network

December 18, 2019 — Christmas tariffs for SantaThe Hill

November 12, 2019 — Those shaming Amazon about Bangladeshi factories should be ashamed of themselvesWashington Examiner

September 18, 2019 — China's Crackdown on Think Tank Illustrates Importance of Hong Kong ProtestsThe Epoch Times

Recent Radio and Podcast Interviews

June 21, 2021 — The Capitalist/Socialist Beer Index, with Benjamin PowellThe 12 (Southbank Investment Research)

February 26, 2021 — Ep. 183 Ben Powell Argues that Immigrants Don't Threaten LibertyThe Bob Murphy Show

June 19, 2020 — Ben Powell on Free Talk Live - National Debt 26T — Free Talk Live

May 27, 2020 — El Socialismo Apesta...y Siempre Fracasa (Socialism Sucks and Always Fails) — Econintech

May 6, 2020 — COVID-19 Edition: Episode 5FreeSpeak

April 22, 2020 — Ben Powell Says Governments Need to Liberate the EconomyThe Chad Hasty Show — KFYO News/Talk 790 AM

October 9, 2019 — George Will to Appear at Texas Tech on ThursdayThe Chad Hasty Show — KFYO News/Talk 790 AM

Recent Television Interviews and Appearances

July 22, 2021 — Wretched Refuse? FreedomFest Interviews 2021 — C-SPAN2 Book TV

February 9, 2021 — 5 Socialism Myths Part 2 — Stossel TV

February 2, 2021 — 5 Socialism Myths Part 1 — Stossel TV

June 16, 2020 — After Words with Dinesh D'Souza — C-SPAN2 Book TV

April 24, 2020 — CrossTalk on the Economy, Quarantine Edition: V, U, or LRT News

September 3, 2019 — Economist argues that socialism ruins 'everything'Kennedy

External Links

Personal Website – www.benjaminwpowell.com

SSRN Profile – Benjamin Powell


Email: benjamin.powell@ttu.edu
Phone: (806) 834-3097
Offices: 165 Administration
NW308 Rawls College of Business

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