Brink Lindsey

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Brink Lindsey
EducationPrinceton University (BA)
Harvard University (JD)
Political partyRepublican

Brink Lindsey is an American political writer, and Vice President and Director of the Open Society Project at the Niskanen Center.[1] Previously he was the Cato Institute's vice president for research.[2] From 1998 to 2004, he was director of Cato's Center for Trade Policy Studies,[3] focusing on free trade, and also editor of Cato Unbound, a monthly web magazine. He was a senior fellow with the Kauffman Foundation from 2010 to 2012.[2] An attorney with a background in international trade regulation, Lindsey was formerly director of regulatory studies at Cato and senior editor of Regulation magazine.

He is a contributing editor at Reason magazine and a frequent discussion guest on and often moderates Cato panel discussions. A registered Republican and self-proclaimed libertarian, he endorsed Sen. Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign. He has written on a broad range of topics including trade,[4] economic growth,[5] cultural division,[6] economic inequality,[7] the nature of IQ scores,[8] and helicopter parents.[9]


Lindsey holds an A.B. from Princeton University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.[citation needed]

Notable research[edit]

Human Capitalism[edit]

In August 2012, Lindsey authored the first original eBook ever published by Princeton University Press, an electronic release of Human Capitalism: How Economic Growth has Made Us Smarter–and More Unequal.[10] The release of the eBook ahead of the expanded hardcover eventually published the following year was speculated to have occurred so that the book might reach its audience before the 2012 U.S. presidential election.[11] The book focuses on human capital, and its relationship to both economic growth and social divisions.[12] Lindsey has summarized the book's concept of human capital by saying, "When I say we’re getting smarter, what I really mean is we are becoming more fluent in highly abstract ways of thinking. Abstraction is the master strategy for coping with complexity: broad categories and general rules are the mental shortcuts we use to keep information overload at bay."[13]

The Age of Abundance[edit]

In this book Lindsey wrote on the nature of American prosperity in the latter half of the twentieth century, and the effects of affluence on American culture.[14] In an interview about the book on The Daily Show, Lindsey described its examination of how, in his view, the U.S.'s Post-World War II economic expansion "triggered the cultural convulsion of the sixties and seventies," going on to claim that environmentalism, feminism, and many other facets of cultural change could not have occurred without economic prosperity in place.[15] Lindsey considers these changes in American culture in the context of modern left-right politics, arguing that "On the left gathered those who were most alive to the new possibilities created by mass affluence but who, at the same time, were hostile to the social institutions responsible for creating those possibilities. On the right, meanwhile, rallied those who staunchly supported the institutions that created prosperity but who shrank from the social dynamism they were unleashing."[14]


  • Human Capitalism: How Economic Growth Has Made Us Smarter – and More Unequal. (2013) ISBN 978-0-691-15732-0.
  • The Age of Abundance: How Prosperity Transformed America's Politics and Culture. (2007) ISBN 0-06-074766-8.
  • Antidumping Exposed: The Devilish Details of Unfair Trade Law. (2003) ISBN 1-930865-48-1. (with Daniel J. Ikenson).


  1. ^ "Brink Lindsey Joins the Niskanen Center". Niskanen Center. July 24, 2017. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Brink Lindsey". Cato Institute. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  3. ^ "Interviews – Brink Lindsey: Is Wal-Mart Good for America?". Frontline. October 7, 2004. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  4. ^ Lindsey, Brink (July 1, 2004). "10 Truths about Trade". Reason. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
  5. ^ Lindsey, Brink (April 25, 2011). "Why Economic Growth Is Getting Harder – And What To Do About It". HuffPost. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  6. ^ "The Culture Gap | Cato Institute".
  7. ^ "In the Inequality Debate, Both Sides Are Wrong". Forbes. Archived from the original on April 23, 2021.
  8. ^ "Why People Keep Misunderstanding the 'Connection' between Race and IQ | Cato Institute".
  9. ^ "The Real Problem With Helicopter Parents: There Aren't Enough of Them". The Atlantic. October 11, 2012. Archived from the original on March 27, 2023.
  10. ^ "PUP's first eBook-original HUMAN CAPITALISM: How Economic Growth Has Made Us Smarter–and More Unequal, by Brink Lindsey". Archived from the original on September 11, 2014. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  11. ^ Wall Street Journal
  12. ^ The Economist
  13. ^ Brink Lindsey. Guest Post on Bleeding Heart Libertarians Blog
  14. ^ a b Will, George F. (June 10, 2007). "Land of Plenty (Published 2007)". The New York Times. Archived from the original on June 5, 2015.
  15. ^ [1] The Daily Show video clip

External links[edit]