James Gwartney (1940-2024)


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Energy and Environment

IEA research referenced in York Press

Energy and Environment

Christopher Snowdon writes in Reaction

IEA Trustee Christian Bjørnskov has co-authored a tribute to the late James Gwartney, who started the annual Economic Freedom of the World index in 1996. Gwartney passed away on 7th January 2024.

The authors wrote:

“After taking up a position at Florida State University in 1969, Jim would throughout the 1970s contribute important insights by providing accurate numbers documenting how substantial a problem discrimination against black Americans was in the US labour market at the time.

“In the 1980s, Jim’s work mainly turned to economic policy and development, much of it with the Cato Institute’s James Dorn. His interests led him to take part in a series of conferences in the late 1980s and early 1990s, organised by the Fraser Institute’s Michael Walker on the possibility of measuring economic freedom.

“Everyone who knew Jim agrees that he was one of kindest people they had ever met. Jim was deeply religious, but would never judge others by the moral standards he had set for himself. He would always lead by his humbling example, inspiring others to overcome the obstacles of life. He certainly knew obstacles, from growing up in the rural Midwest, to his progressive blindness over the years. At a time when trust in ‘experts’ has fallen considerably, and science is often regarded with scepticism by growing parts of the general public, the economics profession (and economic policymaking) is perhaps in dire need of some more unsung heroes like Jim Gwartney.”

Read the full piece in CapX or on the IEA Blog.


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