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“Unless we can make the philosophic foundations of a free society once more a living intellectual issue, and its implementation a task which challenges the ingenuity and imagination of our liveliest minds, the prospects of freedom are indeed dark. But if we can regain that belief in the power of ideas which was the mark of liberalism at its best, the battle is not lost . . .” – F.A. Hayek


2014 Hayek Book Prize and Lecture

The Manhattan Institute has selected University of Chicago economist Casey Mulligan as winner of the 2014 F.A. Hayek Prize for his important book, The Redistribution Recession: How Labor Market Distortions Contracted the Economy (Oxford Press, November 2012). Mulligan’s work shows how government policies designed to improve Americans’ economic fortunes have, perversely, weakened the economy. The Manhattan Institute honored him with a check for $50,000 at a dinner in New York on June 25.

This is the tenth year that the Manhattan Institute has given the F.A. Hayek Prize, annually awarded for a recent book that best reflects the vision of economic and individual liberty pioneered by F.A. Hayek, the Austrian economist known for The Road to Serfdom, The Fatal Conceit, and other works.


2013 Hayek Book Prize and Lecture

Yang Jisheng,
Author of Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine 1958-1962 (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux 2012)

An estimated thirty-six million Chinese men, women, and children starved to death during China’s Great Leap Forward in the late 1950s and early 60s. One of the greatest tragedies of the twentieth century, the famine is poorly understood, and in China is still euphemistically referred to as the “three years of natural disaster.”

As a journalist with privileged access to official and unofficial sources, Yang Jisheng spent 20 years piecing together the events that led to mass nationwide starvation, including the death of his own father. Finding no natural causes, Yang lays the deaths at the feet of China’s totalitarian communist system and the refusal of officials at every level to value human life over ideology and self-interest.

Tombstone is a testament to inhumanity and occasional heroism that pits collective memory against the historical amnesia imposed by those in power. Stunning in scale and arresting in its detailed account of the staggering human cost of this tragedy, Tombstone is written both as a memorial to the lives lost—an enduring tombstone in memory of the dead—and in hopeful anticipation of the final demise of the totalitarian system. Ian Johnson, writing in The New York Review of Books, called the Chinese edition of Tombstone "groundbreaking…The most authoritative account of the great famine… One of the most important books to come out of China in recent years."

Meet Yang Jisheng: China's Chronicler of Past Horrors, The Atlantic, 9-20-13
The Fate of Hayek's Teachings in China, Open Magazine, 06-06-13
Mao thriving in Washington, Asia Times, 06-05-13
Hayekian Ideas, Awkward Facts for China, Forbes, 06-04-13
In Praise of Prices,, 05-31-13
Banned 'Tombstone' Author Receives Literary Prize in New York, Epoch Times, 05-30-13
How Hayek Helped Me Understand China's Tragedy, Real Clear Markets, 05-30-13
77 WABC's "The John Batchelor Show", 05-29-13
Reading Hayek in Beijing, Wall Street Journal, 05-25-13

About Hayek Book Prize and Lecture

Political philosopher and Nobel laureate F. A. Hayek, author of groundbreaking works such as The Road to Serfdom and The Constitution of Liberty, was the key figure in the twentieth century revival of classical liberalism. He was also a formative influence on the Manhattan Institute. When our founder, Sir Antony Fisher, asked how best to reverse the erosion of freedom, Hayek advised him not to begin with politics per se but to fight first on the battlefield of ideas. Our Hayek Lecture and Prize affirm and celebrate this mission.

The Hayek Lecture is delivered by the recipient of the Hayek Prize, which honors the book published within the past two years that best reflects Hayek’s vision of economic and individual liberty. The Hayek Prize, with its $50,000 award, is among the world’s most generous book prizes. It was conceived and funded by Manhattan Institute trustee Tom Smith to recognize the influence of F.A. Hayek and to encourage other scholars to follow his example. The winner of the Hayek Prize is chosen from among the nominations by a selection committee of distinguished economists, journalists, and scholars. Past winners include: William Easterly for The White Man's Burden, Amity Shlaes for The Forgotten Man, Benn Steil and Manuel Hinds for Money, Markets & Sovereignty, Matt Ridley for The Rational Optimist, John Taylor for First Principles, and, most recently, Yang Jisheng for Tombstone.

Past Hayek Prize Winners


Recent Hayek Prize Winners

The Redistribution Recession: How Labor Market Distortions Contracted the Economy

(Oxford Press, November 2012)
By Casey Mulligan

Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine 1958-1962

(Farrar, Straus, and Giroux 2012)
By Yang Jisheng

First Principles: Five Keys to Restoring America's Prosperity

(Norton, 2012)
By John B. Taylor

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves

By Matt Ridley

Money, Markets and Sovereignty

(Yale University Press)
By Benn Steil and Manuel Hinds

The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression

By Amity Shlaes

The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good

(Penguin Press HC)
By William Easterly

Liberalism Beyond Justice: Citizens Society and the Boundaries of Political Theory

(Princeton University Press)
By John Tomasi


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that foster greater economic choice and individual responsibility.

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