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F.A. Harper: The Economist from Barry County Who Founded the Institute for Humane Studies


F.A. Harper

Floyd Arthur "Baldy" Harper was an American academic, economist, and writer who was best known for founding the Institute for Humane Studies in 1961. Born and raised in Middleville, Michigan, Harper had a significant impact on the world of economics and libertarianism.


Harper graduated from Michigan State University before obtaining a doctorate in agricultural economics from Cornell University. It was during his time at Cornell that he was influenced by economist Herbert J. Davenport. Harper's academic career would take him to several universities, including Grove City College, Hillsdale College, and the University of Virginia.


In addition to his academic work, Harper was a prolific writer and speaker. He authored several books on economics and libertarianism, including "Liberty: A Path to Its Recovery," "Why Wages Rise," and "The Anatomy of Interest Groups." He was also a regular contributor to various libertarian publications, including The Freeman and National Review.


In 1961, Harper founded the Institute for Humane Studies, an organization dedicated to advancing the principles of classical liberalism and libertarianism. The Institute's mission was to promote individual freedom and a free market economy through education and research. The organization quickly became a leading voice in the libertarian movement and continues to operate today.


Despite his significant impact on the world of economics and libertarianism, Harper remained relatively unknown outside of academic circles. He passed away in April 1973, but his legacy lives on through the Institute for Humane Studies and his influential writings.

Harper was married to Marguerite Kaechele, and the couple had four children: Barbara, Harriet, Helen, and Larry. His upbringing in Barry County, Michigan, played a significant role in shaping his views on individual freedom and limited government.


F.A. Harper was an economist from Barry County, Michigan, who made a significant impact on the world of economics and libertarianism. Through his writing and speaking engagements, he became a leading voice in the libertarian movement, and his legacy continues through the Institute for Humane Studies. Despite remaining relatively unknown outside of academic circles, Harper's influence on the world of economics and politics cannot be overstated.


Sources used:

  1. "Floyd Arthur (Baldy) Harper." Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., www.britannica.com/biography/Floyd-Arthur-Harper.

  2. "Floyd A. Harper Papers, 1931-1971." Online Archive of California, Regents of the University of California, oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt1r29r92w/.

  3. "Institute for Humane Studies." Atlas Network, Atlas Network, atlasnetwork.org/partners/global-directory/institute-for-humane-studies.

  4. "F.A. Harper." Foundation for Economic Education, Foundation for Economic Education, fee.org/articles/f-a-harper/.

  5. "Baldy Harper and Hillsdale College." Hillsdale College, Hillsdale College, www.hillsdale.edu/hillsdale-blog/history/baldy-harper-hillsdale-college/.

  6. "The Life and Work of Baldy Harper." Mises Institute, Mises Institute, mises.org/library/life-and-work-baldy-harper.

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