Texas Tech University

Upcoming Events

FMI Public Speaker Series
Spring 2018

February 9-10  March 1  April 19  

Weekend Exploring Liberty: Topics in Criminal (In)Justice and Self-Governance

IHS 2018 Event

About the Program

The Free Market Institute at Texas Tech University (FMI) and the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University (IHS) will co-host an IHS On-Campus Education Program as part of the Weekend Exploring Liberty series. The Seminar will feature a weekend of speaker sessions related to Topics in Criminal (In)Justice and Self-Governance on Friday, February 9th through Saturday, February 10th in the Jerry S. Rawls College of Business Administration at Texas Tech University.

"The United States is the world's largest jailer, contributing to nearly a quarter of the world's total prison population." — ACLU

With over 2 million people currently incarcerated throughout the country, how have drug prohibitions, "cash for convictions", and the rise of the prison gang culture contributed to such a staggering number? Join the Free Market Institute and the Institute for Humane Studies for a weekend seminar that will explore these difficult topics surrounding mass incarcerations and the criminal justice system. 

This event is free and open to the general public and the Texas Tech community, but requires advance registration. Visitors to the university may park in Reserved Lot R-23 outside of the Rawls College starting at 5:00 PM.

Register for Weekend Exploring Liberty: Topics in Criminal (In)Justice and Self-Governance

Friday, February 9th

The Rise of Prison Gangs in California
David Skarbek
6:00-7:30 PM
CR 101 — Rawls College

7:30-9:00 PM
McCoy Atrium — Rawls College

Saturday, February 10th

Cartel Federalism and Mass Incarceration
by Daniel D'Amico
10:00-11:15 AM
CR 101 — Rawls College

The Unintended Consequences of Drug Prohibition
by Audrey Redford
11:30 AM-12:30 PM
CR 101 — Rawls College

12:30-1:30 PM
McCoy Atrium — Rawls College

Cash for Convictions and Other Sad Tales of Forensic 'Unscience'
by Roger Koppl
1:30-2:30 PM
CR 101 — Rawls College

Why Prison Social Order Varies Around the World
by David Skarbek
2:45-4:00 PM
CR 101 — Rawls College 

About the Speakers

David Skarbek

David Skarbek is Associate Professor of Political Science at Brown University. His research focuses on the informal institutions which govern prison life in California and around the globe. His scholarly has appeared in American Political Science Review, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Journal of Law, Economics & Organization, and Journal of Criminal Justice, among other outlets

Dr. Skarbek is the author of The Social Order of the Underworld: How Prison Gangs Govern the American Penal System (Oxford University Press) which received the American Political Science Association's 2016 William H. Riker Award for best political economy book in the previous three years, as well as the 2014 Best Publication Award from the International Association for the Study of Organized Crime, and was shortlisted for the British Sociological Association's 2014 Ethnography Award. 

D'AmicoDaniel D'Amico is a Lecturer in Economics and Associate Director of The Political Theory Project at Brown University. His current research focuses on the political economy of punishment and incarceration throughout history and around the world. His work has been published in Public Choice, Journal of Comparative Economics, and The Review of Austrian Economics, among other scholarly outlets.

Dr. D'Amico's research has garnered awards, including the Gordon Tullock Prize for the best paper published in Public Choice by a scholar under the age of forty. He is co-editor of Advances in Austrian Economics, affiliated scholar with the workshop in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at George Mason University, and co-founder of the Carl Menger Essay Contest sponsored by the Foundation for Economic Education.

RedfordAudrey Redford is Assistant Professor of Economics for the School of Economics, Management, & Project Management at Western Carolina University. Her current research is focused on the effects of prohibition and government intervention in the war on drugs. Her research has been published in outlets such as Journal of Entrepreneurship & Public Policy, The Review of Austrian Economics, University of Florida Journal of Law & Public Policy, and The Independent Review.

Dr. Redford is a Ph.D. graduate from the Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics at Texas Tech University where she received the Outstanding Graduate Student award in 2016. She was also awarded the Don Lavoie Memorial Essay Competition winner for the Society for the Development of Austrian Economics in 2015.

KopplRoger Koppl is Professor of Finance in the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University and a faculty fellow in the University's Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute. His research includes economic theory of experts, complexity theory, and the production and distribution of knowledge in society. His work on forensic science reform has been frequently cited and has appeared in Forbes Magazine, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Reason Magazine, Slate, and Huffington Post, among other outlets.

Dr. Koppl is a faculty associate for the Program on the Foundations of the Market Economy at New York University and founder of the Institute for Forensic Science Administration. He has received multiple awards for his work including the Elinor Ostrom Prize for the World Interdisciplinary Network for Institutional Research in 2016.


How We Got Rich — Not What You Think

Deirdre McCloskey
Thursday, March 1, 2018
5:30-6:30 PM
Jerry S. Rawls College of Business Administration
Grand Auditorium (CR 105)

About the Program

There's little doubt that most humans today are better off than their forebears. Stunningly so, according to economist and historian Deirdre McCloskey. Even the poorest of humanity will soon be joining the comparative riches of Japan and Sweden and Botswana.

Why? Most economists—from Adam Smith and Karl Marx to Thomas Piketty—say the Great Enrichment since 1800 came from accumulated capital. McCloskey disagrees, fiercely. "Our riches," she argues, "were made not by piling brick on brick, bank balance on bank balance, but by piling idea on idea." Capital was necessary, but so was the presence of oxygen. It was ideas, not matter, that drove "trade-tested betterment." Nor were institutions the drivers. The World Bank orthodoxy of "add institutions and stir" doesn't work, and didn't. McCloskey builds a powerful case for the initiating role of ideas—ideas for electric motors and free elections, of course, but more deeply the bizarre and liberal ideas of equal liberty and dignity for ordinary folk. Liberalism arose from theological and political revolutions in northwest Europe, yielding a unique respect for betterment and its practitioners, and upending ancient hierarchies. Commoners were encouraged to have a go, and the bourgeoisie took up the Bourgeois Deal, and we were all enriched.

This event is free and open to all members of the Texas Tech University community and the general public. Visitors to the university may park in Reserved Lot R-23 outside of the Rawls College starting at 5:00 PM.

About the Speaker 

Deirdre McCloskeyDeirdre McCloskey is Distinguished Professor of Economics, History, English, and Communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Emerita since August 2015. She is a well known economist and historian and has received several honorary degrees and fellowships, including a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She has written 17 books and hundreds of scholarly works on various topics including economics, statistical theory, transgender advocacy, and the ethics of bourgeois virtues.

Prof. McCloskey received the Adam Smith Prize awarded by the Association for Private Enterprise Education in 2015, the Hayek Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hayek Institut in 2014, the Julian Simon Prize from the Competitive Enterprise Institute in 2013. She was also an Economic Society of Australia Eminent Speaker for the 2013 tour and was honored with the Liberální Institut Annual Award for her contribution to the spread of liberal thinking in 2009.


Tomorrow 3.0: Selling Lower Transaction Cost and Commodifying Excess Capacity

Michael Munger
Thursday, April 19, 2018
5:30-6:30 PM
Jerry S. Rawls College of Business Administration
Grand Auditorium (CR 105)

About the Program

"Right now, we own stuff. I do, you do, the people across the street who can't get their car in the garage do...we own a ton of stuff. The self-storage industry in the United States has nearly fifty thousand facilities, with more than 15 billion cubic feet of space cluttered with...stuff. But people don't fundamentally want stuff. What they want is the stream of services that stuff provides over time. So if people own stuff—clothes, tools, cars, houses—rather than rent that stuff, it is because owning secures services more reliably and at lower transaction costs than renting. But this "preference" for owning is not real. It might change quickly if entrepreneurs were able to figure out a way to sell reductions in transaction costs...The future will look very different from the past and the present because in the future entrepreneurs will have figured out how to sell reductions in transaction costs. Almost everything we own will soon be a potential rental item, or we won't own it all because we'll rent it from someone else." (Excerpted from 'Tomorrow 3.0 The Sharing Economy', The Independent Review, Vol. 20, No. 3).

This event is free and open to all members of the Texas Tech University community and the general public. Visitors to the university may park in Reserved Lot R-23 outside of the Rawls College starting at 5:00 PM.

About the Speaker

Michael MungerMichael Munger is Professor of Political Science, Director of Undergraduate Studies and Director of the Philosophy, Politics & Economics Certificate Program at Duke University. His research is focused on the functioning of markets, regulation, and government institutions. He has authored or co-authored multiple books and his work has been published in American Political Science Review, Journal of Law and EconomicsThe Review of Austrian Economics, The Independent Review, Social Philosophy and Policy, Public Choice, and Southern Economic Journal, among other outlets.

Prof. Munger is currently Co-Editor of the The Independent Review and a research fellow at Independent Institute. He is a former staff economist at the Federal Trade Commission and past president of the Public Choice Society and the North Carolina Political Science Association. He has taught at Dartmouth College, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and received the Otto 'Toby' Davis Lecture award in 2012. 


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