A Tribute to Mario J. Rizzo

by Andreas Hoffmann

Today is Mario J. Rizzo’s 70th birthday. There are very few economists who are as important to the development of contemporary Austrian economics as Mario.

To honor his birthday, I have received numerous messages and posts for ThinkMarkets that I will publish one after another. These posts portray Mario as a great contributor to the Austrian revival, an extraordinarily open-minded scholar and a great friend. And as is obvious by me writing this, Mario has influenced people all over the world and helped connect the international Austrian/Hayekian community with that in the U.S.

Personally, I can hardly imagine how different my life would be if I had not met Mario Rizzo. In 2007, I almost randomly emailed him with questions about my dissertation topic on Hayek’s cycle theory. Communication soon intensified. Mario then suggested visiting him and the Austrian economics group in New York. In the fall of 2009, I finally met Mario in person. I was there at big NYU discussing economics at the colloquium. Wow!

Mario and I got along well immediately. We had coffee regularly, discussing paper ideas, economic theory, and the world. Mario did not order tea in those days! Soon he offered me funding to be able to extend my stay. My generous dissertation advisor, Gunther Schnabl, was delighted and super-supportive. I ended up spending two exciting years in New York during which I have not only learned lots of economics but also met my wonderful wife, Andrea.

Seven years ago, on Mario’s 63rd birthday, I defended my dissertation at Leipzig U. Mario was there via video chat on a screen, as my external dissertation supervisor. As Mario had become one of my main mentors and academic friends, we have stayed in regular contact ever since.

Over the years, ties between our group at Leipzig U and Mario Rizzo have strengthened further. Mario gave, for example, a course in Leipzig’s doctoral program. He invited Pablo Duarte to visit NYU during his Ph.D. studies. And just recently, Mario gave a paper at our Leipzig Colloquium, which we based upon that in New York. I know that I speak for everyone here when I say that we are very grateful for Mario’s ongoing support. Thank you for everything!

Happy Birthday, Mario!




One thought on “A Tribute to Mario J. Rizzo

  1. Thank you, Andreas. I appreciate so much how you have kept up this blog during my “lazy” period finishing my book. Hopefully, I will return. Knowing you has been a great pleasure, especially since your work convinced me that there is still the possibility of good, emprical macro work in the Austrian tradition.

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