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Professor of Law and Economics
David D. Friedman

David Director Friedman (born 12 February 1945) is an American economist, physicist, legal scholar and libertarian theorist. He is known for his textbook writings on microeconomics and the libertarian theory of anarcho-capitalism, which is the subject of his most popular book, The Machinery of Freedom. Besides The Machinery of Freedom, he has authored several other books and articles, including Price Theory: An Intermediate Text (1986), Law's Order: What Economics Has to Do with Law and Why It Matters (2000), Hidden Order: The Economics of Everyday Life (1996), and Future Imperfect (2008).

Home Page

David D. Friedman's Home Page
Includes information about his family, academic work, writings (libertarian, professional and novels) and his interests (recreational medievalism, in particular)
This is the home page of David Friedman. Not the Hawaiian artist David Friedman, or the composer David Friedman, or the fix-what's-wrong-with- government David Friedman (050) or the fifteen year old David Friedman or the eighteen year old David Friedman or the legendary film pornographer David Friedman or even the economic journalist David Friedman but the anarchist-anachronist-economist David Friedman. ... My first novel, published by Baen, is historical fiction set in an invented historical background (or, if you prefer, fantasy without magic).


Friedman, David (1945-), by Bryan Caplan, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
Biographical essay
David Friedman, like his late father Milton Friedman, is both an academic economist and a popular intellectual with an unabashed libertarian orientation. However, there are important differences between the views embraced by the two men. Academically, David Friedman is best known for his largely theoretical work in the economic analysis of law and his textbook-level writings on microeconomics. Politically, he is an advocate of the radical libertarian position known as 'anarcho-capitalism,' arguing that even the limited functions of the night-watchman state (police, courts, law, and punishment) can and should be privately supplied.
Related Topic: Anarcho-Capitalism


David Friedman - The Advocates
200x262 JPEG, color


12 Feb 1945, David Director Friedman, in New York City


Laissez Faire Books
David Friedman (b. 1945) is the leading advocate of life without any government interference. He's an amiable man, a formidable debater and a writer who's a pleasure to read. He earned his B.A. at Harvard University, his M.S. and Ph.D. (both in physics) at the University of Chicago. ... he currently teaches law and economics at Santa Clara Unviersity in California. He is best-known for The Machinery of Freedom: A Guide to Radical Capitalism, originally published as a Harper & Row mass market paperback in 1971 ... It's a charming yet rigorous classic on liberty which keeps coming back.

Web Pages

The Advocates for Self-Government - David Friedman
Includes picture and biography from Laissez Faire Books
Friedman's other books include Price Theory: An Intermediate Text (1993), Hidden Order: The Economics of Everyday Life (1996), Law's Order (2000), and his latest book Harald (2006). He has contributed chapters to 15 books including The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economic Theory and Doctrine (1987) and The Fortune Encyclopedia of Economics (1993). His articles have appeared in American Economic Review, Bell Journal, History of Political Economy, International Review of Law and Economics, Journal of Economic Perspectives, The Journal of Law and Economics, ... and Liberty, among other publications.


Government Failure, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 5 Oct 2007
Examines the validity of the concept of "market failures" as an argument for government intervention, reviewing arguments made by David Friedman in the article "Do We Need Government?", Liberty, Dec 2005
David Friedman has elaborated another argument against government inference. "Market failure," [he] writes, applies to government itself in a more egregious form than it applies to the marketplace. And while the market has built-in corrective features, government does not ... Representative democracy, he says, has a perverse incentive—a free-rider problem—right at its core: the voting system ... Friedman generalizes to this conclusion: "... In private markets, most of the time, an individual who makes a decision bears most, although not all, of the resulting costs, and receives most of the resulting benefits ..."
The Invisible Hand Is a Gentle Hand, by Sharon Harris, 14 Sep 1998
Originally published at; defends the free market and individual liberty, quoting among others Bastiat, Thomas Jefferson, David and Milton Friedman, John Lott, Isabel Paterson, Proudhon, Adam Smith, Sowell, John Stossel and Walter Williams
David Friedman, in his book The Machinery of Freedom, notes that there are only three ways to get something: (1) by trading, (2) by receiving a gift (from love or friendship), or (3) by force ("do what I want or I'll shoot you"). Honest, peaceful people operate in the first two ways. Criminals and the state operate by force, aggression, coercion. The gentle invisible hand vs. the visible fist of force.


Anarchy is not Chaos, The Machinery of Freedom
Poem that introduces part III
Government produces all order.
Under anarchy there is no government.
Therefore anarchy is chaos.
Q.E.D. ...

My life is chaos turned miraculous;
I speak a word and people understand
Although it must be gibberish since words
Are not produced by governmental plan.

Now law and order, on the other hand
The state provides us for the public good;
That's why there's instant justice on demand
And safety in every neighborhood.

Books Authored

Hidden Order: The Economics of Everyday Life, 1996
Partial contents: Economics for Pleasure and Profit - Price=Value=Cost: Solving a Simple Economy - In Search of the Real World - Standing in for Moral Philosophy: The Economist as Judge - Applications: Conventional and Un
Related Topic: Economics
Law's Order: What Economics Has to Do with Law and Why It Matters, 2000
Partial contents: What Does Economics Have to Do with Law? - Efficiency and All That - What's Wrong with the World - Defining and Enforcing Rights - Of Burning Houses and Exploding Coke Bottles - The Economics of Contract - Marriage, Sex, and Babies
Related Topics: Economics, Law
The Machinery of Freedom: Guide to a Radical Capitalism, 1973
Partial contents: I: In Defense of Property - II: Libertarian Grab Bag or How to Sell the State in Small Pieces - III: Anarchy is not Chaos - Socialism, Limited Government, Anarchy, and Bikinis - IV: For Libertarians—An Expanded Postscript
Related Topic: Anarcho-Capitalism
Price Theory: An Intermediate Text, 1986
Partial contents: I: Economics for Pleasure and Profit - II: Price = Value = Cost: Competitive Equilibrium in a Simple Economy - III: Complications, or Onward to Reality - IV: Judging Outcomes - V: Applications - Conventional and Un
Related Topic: Prices


Exploring Liberty: The Machinery of Freedom, 6 Mar 2012
Prof. Friedman discusses the premises of The Machinery of Freedom

The Machinery Of Freedom: Illustrated summary, by David D. Friedman, Tomasz Kaye (illustrator), 4 Apr 2012
Excellent animated illustration of talk given by David Friedman (shortened)

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "David D. Friedman" as of 6 Jun 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.