The Volokh Conspiracy

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Free Market Environmentalism

Richard Stroup, RIP

One of pioneers of free-market environmentalism has passed.


I was terribly sad to hear that noted economist Richard Stroup passed away last week. He succumbed to liver cancer after a long and productive career as an academic and policy analyst, and was one of the pioneers of free-market environmentalism.

Some readers may be familiar with his popular economics textbooks, co-authored with James Gwartney (now in the 17th edition). Others may know his extremely useful and pithy Eco-nomics: What Everyone Should Know about Economics and the Environment. I remember him as a teacher and a friend.

I first met Rick when I was working on environmental policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Though based in Bozeman, Montana—at Montana State University and PERC (then the Political Economy Research Center, now the Property & Environment Research Center)—he would come to Washington, D.C. frequently, whether to testify, deliver a lecture, or brief political staff. He would share stories and insights and (if we were lucky) some wine.

Upon retiring from MSU, Rick and his wife, Jane Shaw, moved to North Carolina, where he continued to write, comment and think about public policy.

I learned quite a bit from him as a relatively newcomer to environmental policy, and value the times we had together. He will be missed.