Steven Horwitz
Horwitz in 2017
Born(1964-02-07)February 7, 1964
DiedJune 27, 2021(2021-06-27) (aged 57)
SpouseSarah Skwire
Academic career
School or
Austrian School
Bleeding-heart libertarianism
Alma materUniversity of Michigan

Steven G. Horwitz[1] (February 7, 1964 – June 27, 2021) was an American economist of the Austrian School. Horwitz was the Distinguished Professor of Free Enterprise in the department of economics in the Miller College of Business at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. In 2017, he retired as the Dana Professor of Economics Emeritus at St. Lawrence University.

Early life and education

Horwitz was born in Detroit, Michigan, to Ronald and Carol Horwitz. He was raised in Oak Park, Michigan, and graduated from Berkley High School in Berkley, Michigan, in 1981. He graduated cum laude with an A.B. in economics and philosophy from the University of Michigan in 1985, where he was also active with several libertarian student groups and where he wrote and performed with the Sunday Funnies/Comedy Company sketch comedy group.

He received his M.A. (1987) and Ph.D. (1990) in economics from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.[2] At George Mason, he studied with Don Lavoie (who chaired his dissertation committee), George Selgin, Karen Vaughn, James M. Buchanan, Don Boudreaux, and Richard E. Wagner.

Professional history

In 1989, Horwitz joined the economics department of St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York.[2] In 1993, he was appointed the inaugural Flora Irene Eggleston Chair in Economics. He was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 1995 and to full professor in 2002. In 1999, he was awarded the annual Frank Piskor Lectureship, and in 2003 he was the recipient of the J. Calvin Keene award, which recognizes high standards of personal scholarship, effective teaching and moral concern. In 2007, Horwitz was elected by the faculty to one of six campus-wide Charles A. Dana Professorships.

At St. Lawrence, Horwitz served as the associate dean of the first year from 2001 to 2007, overseeing the university's First Year Program. He consulted with other schools on living-learning programs and on teaching research and communication skills to first-year students. He was also interim director of the Center for Teaching and Learning in 2003–04.

In fall 2017, Horwitz joined the department of economics at Ball State University as distinguished professor of free enterprise. He was also the director of the Institute for the Study of Political Economy.

Horwitz was a long-time faculty member at the summer seminars of the Institute for Humane Studies and the Foundation for Economic Education. In summer 2007, he was a visiting scholar at the Social Philosophy and Policy Center at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. Horwitz was a senior affiliated scholar of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia, where he had conducted research on the role of Wal-Mart[3] and the Coast Guard in the response to Hurricane Katrina. He was also a senior fellow of the Fraser Institute in Canada and had been a member of the Mont Pelerin Society since 1996.

Horwitz was the 2020 recipient of the Julian L. Simon Memorial Award from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, honoring his work documenting human progress and the importance of liberal institutions.[4] In 2019, he received the Prometheus Award for the Promotion of Economic Literacy from the Greek think tank KEFiM.[5]

Most of Horwitz's professional work was in the area of monetary theory and macroeconomics from an Austrian school perspective, with his 2000 book Microfoundations and Macroeconomics: An Austrian Perspective best summarizing that work. He had also contributed to Austrian economics and the history of economic thought, as well as the social thought of F. A. Hayek. After that book, he explored the economics and social theory of the family, including his book Hayek's Modern Family: Classical Liberalism and the evolution of Social Institutions. His "Open Letter to My Friends on the Left"[6] in September 2008 was a widely read libertarian analysis of the mortgage crisis and has been translated into five languages. He was a frequent op-ed contributor to major newspapers and appeared on numerous radio shows as well as TV appearances on Stossel, Freedom Watch, and Smerconish on CNN.[7]

Horwitz identified himself as a bleeding-heart libertarian and was a regular contributor to the Bleeding Heart Libertarians[8] weblog.[9] He also contributed to Coordination Problem.[10]

Personal life

Outside of his professional interests, Horwitz was a fan of hockey, especially the Detroit Red Wings, and classic rock, especially Rush. He wrote two scholarly articles on Rush in 2003.[11][12]

Horwitz was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2017. He was public about his treatment and raised funds for multiple myeloma research on social media and in interviews.[13] He died on June 27, 2021.[1]

He was married to Sarah Skwire, a senior fellow and director of communications at Liberty Fund, and they resided in Fishers, Indiana, with her two daughters. He had two children, Andrew and Rachel, from a previous marriage. Horwitz was Jewish.[14]

Books and monographs

Selected articles

As author or co-author


  1. ^ a b Carden, Art. "In Memoriam: Steven G. Horwitz, 1964-2021". Forbes.
  2. ^ a b "Steven Horwitz". Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  3. ^ "Big-Box Stores' Hurricane Prep Starts Early".
  4. ^ "Julian L. Simon Award Winners". Competitive Enterprise Institute.
  5. ^ "Steven Horwitz Keynote Speech: Prometheus Awards 2019" – via
  6. ^ "An Open Letter to my Friends on the Left".
  7. ^ "Is price gouging during emergencies a good thing?" (Video). September 9, 2017 – via
  8. ^ "Bleeding Heart Libertarians – Free Markets and Social Justice". Bleeding Heart Libertarians.
  9. ^ "Posts by Steve Horwitz". Bleeding Heart Libertarians weblog.
  10. ^ "Coordination Problem". Coordination Problem.
  11. ^ "The 'Rand'omness of Rush's Libertarianism". rush vault. June 9, 2011. Retrieved October 1, 2023.
  12. ^ Horwitz, Steven (2003). "Rand, Rush, And De-totalizing The Utopianism Of Progressive Rock". Retrieved October 1, 2023.
  13. ^ Remaining Grateful with Steve Horwitz
  14. ^ Horwitz, Steven (August 24, 2017). "Libertarianism Rejects Anti-Semitism | Steven Horwitz".