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Richard Stroup

Richard Stroup helped found PERC in 1980 when he was a professor of economics at Montana State University. He was one of the originators of the New Resource Economics, the academic approach that is popularly known as free market environmentalism. He passed away November 18, 2021. His contributions to PERC and free market environmentalism will be deeply missed. 

Stroup was an emeritus professor at Montana State, where he taught for more than 37 years and served as the head of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics. He was also an emeritus professor of economics at North Carolina State University, where he taught after retiring from MSU. 

The focus of Stroup’s research centered on his concern that in the rush to protect the environment at any cost, individual rights have been violated and ignored. His work advocates for restoring people’s rights against both polluters and against false claims of damage as the best ways to ensure environmental protection. Both measures would increase the effectiveness and the marketability of further environmental programs.

Stroup is a widely published author and speaker on economics, natural resources, and environmental issues. He is the author of a primer on environmental economics, Eco-Nomics: What Everyone Should Know About Economics and the Environment. Published by the Cato Institute, it received the 2004 Sir Antony Fisher Memorial Award.

He is also recognized for introducing the public choice school of economics in a leading economics principles textbook that he co-authored with James D. Gwartney. Economics: Private and Public Choice, which now also includes Russell S. Sobel and David A. MacPherson as co-authors, will publish its 17th edition in 2021. He is also co-author of an innovative text, Common Sense Economics: What Everyone Should Know about Wealth and Prosperity (St. Martin’s Press).   

A native of Washington state, Stroup received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Washington in 1970. During the Reagan administration, Stroup served as the director of the Office of Policy Analysis at the Department of Interior. 

Read Richard Stroup Memorial.