April 14, 2016 Print

The most crucial lessons of economics are often counterintuitive, so it’s important to make economic education a priority in colleges and universities. Every year, the Association of Private Enterprise Education (APEE) holds a conference that brings together professors, teachers, and scholars from higher education and the think tank world — including many Atlas Network partner organizations — to share scholarly research and ideas about furthering their educational efforts about dynamic free markets. This year, APEE bestowed its 2016 Adam Smith Award on John B. Taylor, the George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Economics at the Hoover Institution and the Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics at Stanford University.

“Taylor has worked tirelessly to advance free market principles,” said Tom Gilligan, director of the Hoover Institution. “And his research has had meaningful impact on economic policy. We applaud those who continue to recognize his important work.”

Taylor has had a long and distinguished career teaching and writing about both fundamental and complex economic ideas, and has previously received the Hayek Book Prize from Atlas Network partner the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, for his 2012 book First Principles: Five Keys To Restoring America's Prosperity.

“The Adam Smith Award is the highest honor bestowed by The Association of Private Enterprise Education,” APEE explains. “It is given to recognize an individual who has made a sustained and lasting contribution to the perpetuation of the ideals of a free market economy as first laid out in Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations. The recipient of this award must be an individual who has acquired an international reputation as an eloquent scholar and advocate of free enterprise and the system of entrepreneurship which underlies it. In searching for a recipient, APEE looks for someone who through their writing, speaking, and professional life, has focused attention upon the fundamental principles which are the bulwark of our organization.”

Indeed, the list of past recipients of APEE’s Adam Smith Award showcases some of the most distinguished and influential names in academic economics and think tanks, including economist and historian Deirdre McCloskey; Larry White, the George Mason University economist and Atlas Network Sound Money Project fellow; Hernando de Soto, the economist and president of Peru-based Atlas Network partner Instituto Libertad y Democracia; the late Leonard Liggio, Atlas Network’s own long-time executive vice president of academics; and many more.

“I have long admired the Association of Private Enterprise Education,” said Taylor, who titled his acceptance speech “Keep On Revealing the Invisible Hand through Education.” “It’s always a privilege to have your work recognized, but it’s a true honor to be given this distinguished award.”