Steven E. Landsburg

Professor of Economics at the University of Rochester and Best Selling Author



Steven E. Landsburg is a Professor of Economics at the University of Rochester. He is the author of ""More Sex Is Safer Sex"", ""The Armchair Economist"", ""Fair Play"", two textbooks on economics, and over thirty journal articles in mathematics, economics, and philosophy. He writes the popular ""Everyday Economics"" column in Slate magazine and has written for Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, and other publications.

Landsburg wrote a column on ""everyday economics"" for Slate magazine from 1996 to 2008. The subjects of the columns were diverse and often drew on current affairs. In them, Landsburg discussed the national debt, the obesity crisis, payments to Hurricane Katrina evacuees in New Orleans and salary caps in the NFL. Landsburg also discussed recent research in micro-economics and its implications, as in an article on the value of mobile phones and driving, the (career) cost of motherhood, and whether or not daughters (as opposed to sons) cause divorce.

Landsburg also addressed legal issues: in a Slate column from 2003, he proposed punishing jurors when a jury's decision is later ""proven"" to be wrong, such as when an acquitted defendant later admits to committing the crime. If a jury's judgment is later ""proven"" to be right, Landsburg suggested the jurors should be financially rewarded.

Landsburg has been particularly critical of mainstream environmentalism having devoted both Slate columns and book chapters (in The Armchair Economist) to attack environmentalist principles. As a self-described ""hardcore libertarian"", Landsburg emphasizes the importance of individual choice. This position extends to health care, and his view that those who choose no insurance should not receive potentially life-saving treatment. This position was asserted partly as a response to an article published by Daily Kos.

Landsburg supports free trade and opposes protectionism, and his writings in the topic have appeared in various newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times and The Washington Post. Landsburg's comparison of protectionism to racism in Forbes magazine prompted a response from Pat Buchanan. On April 8, 2005, Landsburg debated protectionism and free trade with John Gibson on the Fox News Channel's The Big Story. Before the 2004 presidential election Landsburg stated that he planned to vote against John Kerry because of his belief that John Edwards, Kerry's running mate, was a ""xenophobe"" due to his opposition to free trade. He compared Edwards' views to David Duke's racism.

He has also reviewed popular economics books Freakonomics and The Undercover Economist for the Wall Street Journal.

Landsburg has spoken at many distinguished events and including the Warwick Economics Summit and the Adam Smith Institute in the United Kingdom.

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