Robert P. Murphy

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Robert P. Murphy
Robert P. Murphy Head Shot 1.jpg
Born (1976-05-23) May 23, 1976 (age 44)
United States
InstitutionFree Market Institute of Texas Tech University
Fraser Institute
Pacific Research Institute
Hillsdale College
Ludwig Von Mises Institute
FieldFinancial Economics, Trade
School or
Austrian School
Alma materNew York University (Ph.D.) 2003
Hillsdale College (B.A.) 1998
InfluencesMurray Rothbard, Ludwig von Mises, Eugen Böhm von Bawerk, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Joseph Salerno, Israel Kirzner, Mario J. Rizzo, Richard Ebeling

Robert Patrick Murphy (born 23 May 1976) is an American economist. Murphy is Research Assistant Professor with the Free Market Institute at Texas Tech University. He has been affiliated with Laffer Associates, the Pacific Research Institute, the Institute for Energy Research (IER), the Independent Institute, the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and the Fraser Institute.

Murphy is also noteworthy, and has been criticized by economists Brad DeLong and Paul Krugman for, repeatedly predicting that the quantitative easing practiced by the Federal Reserve in the late 2000s would create double-digit inflation and economic collapse—predictions that did not come to fruition.[1] Murphy is a Christian, and has written articles expressing support for a literal interpretation of the Bible and skepticism of evolutionary theory.


Murphy received a BA in economics at Hillsdale College in 1998 and a Ph.D. in economics at New York University in 2003.[2]


Murphy is Research Assistant Professor with the Free Market Institute at Texas Tech University.[3] He has been a visiting Assistant Professor at Hillsdale College, and a visiting scholar at New York University. He has been affiliated with Laffer Associates, the Pacific Research Institute,[4] the Institute for Energy Research (IER),[2] the Independent Institute,[5] the Ludwig von Mises Institute,[6] and the Fraser Institute in Canada.[7] He is the president of Consulting By RPM.

Murphy has written books such as Choice: Cooperation, Enterprise, and Human Action (Independent Institute, 2015),[8] Primal Prescription with Doug McGuff, MD regarding healthcare in the United States,[9] and Lessons for the Young Economist (Mises Institute 2010).[10] He has written study guides to works of Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard.[2] Murphy authored the 2007 book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism. Murphy's book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal, published in 2009, blamed the Depression on government policies.[11]

Additionally, Murphy has written for The Washington Times,[12] Forbes[13] and Barron's Magazine.[14] Murphy's writings have also been published in The American Journal of Economics and Sociology, The Review of Austrian Economics,[2] the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics[15] and the Journal of Private Enterprise.[16] He has written for The Freeman,[17] The American Conservative,[18][19][20] and[21]

Erroneous inflation predictions[edit]

Murphy has been criticized by economists Brad DeLong and Paul Krugman for predicting that the quantitative easing practiced by the Federal Reserve in the late 2000s would create hyperinflation and economic ruin—predictions that have not come to fruition yet.[1] In 2009, Murphy discussed various economic policies of the Bush and Obama administrations, which he called "incredible assaults on the private sector from the central government". He stated that the policies of Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke and President Obama would lead to double-digit inflation with high unemployment and could facilitate the abandonment of the US Dollar by the end of the Obama Presidency. Murphy warned that soaring prices for gasoline and imported products sold at Wal-Mart might be blamed by Obama Administration officials on "an attack on the Dollar by foreign speculators" and used by them to replace the Dollar with the Amero or some other currency "issued by a supranational organization". Murphy urged investors to purchase an "emergency stockpile" of physical gold and silver, and predicted double-digit inflation.[22] In July 2009, Murphy proclaimed that the economy would be "in the toilet for a decade" and predicted "20+ percent price inflation".[23]

In a series of articles on his personal website, Murphy states that he agreed to a bet that there would be a year/year increase in the seasonally adjusted Consumer Price Index of over 10% by 2013, and notes that he lost the bet.[23]

In a column criticizing economists "who stick with their ideology no matter how badly it performs in practice", Paul Krugman noted that University of California, Berkeley Professor of Economics J. Bradford DeLong had attacked Murphy for "predicting double-digit inflation for years but remain[ing] absolutely committed to his framework" despite the predictions being unfulfilled.[24] In December 2012 Krugman again addressed Murphy's failed inflation predictions, criticizing Murphy's belief that "his failed inflation forecast is OK" because it is attributable to "huge deflationary downdraft that offset the inflationary impact of Fed expansion." Krugman wrote that if that was true, "we should be hailing Ben Bernanke for preventing a catastrophic deflation."[25] Murphy replied on his blog to Krugman and DeLong's criticisms, saying "my price inflation wager has nothing to do with Austrian business cycle theory" and that Krugman was using a "macro model" which does not apply to Austrian theory which relies on "heterogeneous capital goods" and artificially low interest rates distortion of investment flows into various sectors. He admitted he was not sure why his inflation prediction was wrong.[26] In a May 2013 piece published by The American Conservative, Murphy wrote about Krugman's predictions regarding fiscal austerity and the 2013 U.S. government budget sequestration.[27]

In 2013 Murphy challenged Krugman to a debate and unnamed supporters of Murphy promised to donate $100,000 to a charity if Krugman would debate Murphy on economic policy issues.[28] A promotional website was established for the challenge. Krugman called the proposed debate a "public circus" and stated "Why should I dignify that totally-wrong doctrine — that doctrine that's gotten everything wrong — by giving them a platform?"[29][30]

Religious views[edit]

Murphy is a Christian, and has stated in his writings that "my ethical beliefs are informed by my Christian faith, and I am a firm believer in natural law".[31]

Skepticism of Evolution[edit]

In two articles entitled "Well, I'll be a Monkey's Nephew" and "More Monkey Business", Murphy expressed skepticism about the evolutionary claims of biologist Douglas J. Futuyma. Futuyma makes the statement "How has Darwin’s challenge fared? No one has ever found a case of a species altruistically serving another, without any gain for itself."[32] Murphy argues that he can point to examples of human beings which disprove this claim. Murphy later disclaims, "To clarify, I am not saying that my examples refute Darwin's argument. I am claiming that my examples refute the much bolder claims of Futuyma in the block quotation."[33][34]


  • Chaos Theory (2002) – Two essays on market anarchy; one discussing the production of defense services, and the other describing the provision of private criminal and civil justice.
  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism (2007) – A volume in The Politically Incorrect Guide series published by Regnery Publishing. ISBN 978-1596985049 OCLC 79860752
  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal (2009). ISBN 978-1596980969 OCLC 315239348
  • How Privatized Banking Really Works – Integrating Austrian Economics with the Infinite Banking Concept (2010) co-written with L. Carlos Lara. ISBN 978-0615326825
  • Lessons for the Young Economist (2010) – available at Library and wiki. ISBN 978-1933550886 OCLC 681711737
  • Economic Principles for Prosperity (2014). Fraser Institute. Co-authored with Jason Clemens, Milagros Palacios, and Niels Velduis.
  • The Primal Prescription (2015) – Co-authored with Dough McGuff, MD. The authors utilize their expertise in economics and medicine to examine America's health care system.
  • Choice: Cooperation, Enterprise, and Human Action (July 1, 2015 – A concise retelling of the magnum opus of Ludwig Von Mises, Human Action.
  • Murphy, Robert P. (2018). Contra Krugman: Smashing the Errors of America's Most Famous Keynesian. Paul, Ron (foreword); Woods, Thomas E. (preface). ISBN 978-1722331795.


  1. ^ a b Reason
  2. ^ a b c d Robert P. Murphy profile, Institute for Energy Research, accessed December 9, 2013,
  3. ^ "Robert P. Murphy". Mises Institute. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  4. ^ University, State of Texas and Texas Tech. "Free Market Institute – Our People – Robert Murphy, Ph.D." Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  5. ^ Robert P. Murphy profile, Independent Institute, accessed December 5, 2013.
  6. ^ Robert P. Murphy profile at Ludwig von Mises Institute, accessed December 5, 2013.
  7. ^ "Robert P. Murphy". Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "The Primal Prescription". 2015-05-21. Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  10. ^ "Lessons for the Young Economist". 2014-08-06. Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  11. ^ Raymond J. Keating, "Book review: The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal", The Freeman, December 22, 2010.
  12. ^ Robert P. Murphy, Are Real Economists Bears?, The Washington Times, February 19, 2010, accessed via Questia Online Library.
  13. ^ Robert P. Murphy, Memo To The Fed: Stop Those Rate Cuts, Forbes, March 16, 2008.
  14. ^ Robert P. Murphy, Capitalism is validated by "mechanism-design" theory, Barron's Magazine, May 12, 2008
  15. ^ Resumé/CV, Robert P. Murphy website, accessed December 6, 2013.
  16. ^ Robert P. Murphy, Coordination: A Critique of Daniel Klein, The Journal of Private Enterprise, 25(2), 2010, 117–127 (117).
  17. ^ Robert P. Murphy archives at The Freeman website.
  18. ^ Robert P. Murphy archives at The American Conservative website.
  19. ^ Robert P. Murphy archives at
  20. ^ Robert Murphy columns archive,, accessed December 6, 2013.
  21. ^ Robert Murphy column archive,
  22. ^ Robert P. Murphy, "Killing the Currency", The American Conservative, December 10, 2009.
  23. ^ a b Murphy, Robert P. (January 2, 2013). "Learning from Brad DeLong and Paul Krugman."
  24. ^ "Is Our Austerians Learning?". New York Times. December 30, 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
  25. ^ Paul Krugman, On Not Learning, Continued, New York Times, December 31, 2012.
  26. ^ Learning From Brad DeLong and Paul Krugman, Robert P. Murphy blog, January 2, 2013.
  27. ^ Robert P. Murphy, Heads Krugman Wins, Tails ‘Austerity’ Loses, The American Conservative, May 23, 2013.
  28. ^ Carney, John (October 25, 2010). "Will Paul Krugman be Shamed Into Debating an Austrian Economics Wunderkind?". CNBC website. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
  29. ^ Lehrer, Brian (June 4, 2012). "The Brian Lehrer Show: Paul Krugman Weighs In."
  30. ^
  31. ^ Murphy, Robert P. "The Possibility of Private Law." 3 August 2005.
  32. ^ Futuyma, D. (1983). Science on Trial (p. 123). N.p.: Sinauer Associates
  33. ^ Murphy, Robert P (September 20, 2003). "Well, I'll be a Monkey's Nephew."
  34. ^ Murphy, Robert P (November 24, 2003). "More Monkey Business."

External links[edit]