Reflections on the NYU Experience for Mario Rizzo’s 70th Birthday

by Robert P. Murphy

Like many others, I have been enjoying the birthday wishes offered to Mario. (Happy birthday Mario!) But these notes of congratulation have also included reminiscences of the Austrian Colloquium. As a PhD student on the Austrian fellowship at NYU from 1998-2003, I have some of my own reflections to share. (Disclaimer: I am fairly confident in these memories, but these events happened almost 20 years ago so proceed with caution.)

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Tanti auguri, professore!

by Malte Dold

Two of my favorite articles by Mario Rizzo are “Abstract Morality for an Abstract Order: Liberalism’s Difficult Problem” (Supreme Court Economic Review, 2015) and “Behavioral Economics and Deficient Willpower: Searching for Akrasia” (The Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy, 2016). Both of these recent articles wonderfully illustrate the depth, breadth, and originality of Mario’s thinking. On one hand, they reflect his deep knowledge of the history of economic and philosophical thought. On the other hand, they deal with contemporary challenges in economic, legal, and psychological theory.  Many of my co-congratulators correctly emphasized how well-read Mario is in economics and philosophy. Personally, I love and admire his ventures into psychology.

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Happy Birthday to a Great Mentor, Coauthor, and Friend

by Glen Whitman

When I arrived at NYU in Fall of 1994, I knew Mario only as a distant scholarly figure, someone whose work I had read along with Hayek and Mises.  He seemed as unapproachable as those intellectual giants – which is really something, given that both Hayek and Mises were already dead.  Fortunately, the Mario I met in person was neither dead nor unapproachable.  He invited me into the Austrian Economics Colloquium, as it was then called, where I met many other living-and-breathing Austrian thinkers and fellow travelers. In the years that followed, Mario became my teacher, then my dissertation advisor, and finally – I’m proud to say – my coauthor, with five published articles and counting.  Not to mention the long-awaited book on behavioral paternalism that we will submit to the publisher later this month.  (Mario would probably tell me to stop wasting time on a silly blog post and get back to editing.)

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On the dawn of your 8th decade…

by Sandy Ikeda

Back in the early 1980s I took Industrial Organization (two semesters) with Mario in which I got a decent grounding (and not a bad grade) in Chicago-style I.O. and antitrust, which unlike Chicago-style pizza is not too messy or excessively deep.  This has served me well in analyzing some economic problems and policies, such as why people tend to be more productive in coffeehouses than at home.  I also took a semester of Economic Analysis of Law with him – something, something, transactions costs, something….  In each of those courses, Mario’s approach was to present a well-prepared lecture followed by questions and discussion, using somewhat of a Socratic style.  If not always eloquent, they were engaging and insightful.

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Many happy returns to a 21st century Whig

by Nick Cowen

I met Mario Rizzo in person for the first time just two years ago when I joined the Classical Liberal Institute. I have since had the pleasure of teaching alongside him on his course on Classical Liberalism at the NYU School of Law. For much longer, I have benefitted from his influence from his public writing and through the academic networks that he has helped establish.

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Happy birthday to Mario, my longtime friend and associate

by Larry White

Mario and I go back many years. Decades, if truth be told. When we first met (summer 1975 Austrian Economics conference in Hartford, CT, if I recall correctly) he was a graduate student and I was an undergraduate. Six years later we became colleagues at New York University, where we shared the privilege of working with Israel Kirzner. Mario managed to stay at NYU (and it’s hard to imagine him in any other city); I had to move on in 1988. These days we frequently cross paths in New York and Fairfax and at conferences elsewhere.

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by Giandomenica Becchio

On this special birthday, I wish Mario Rizzo all the best and I praise him for being a great Austrian economist and a great scholar. I always learn a lot when reading his works. Also, a special thanks for having been always supportive and helpful to me. Tanti auguri caro Mario, best birthday wishes, dear Mario. You are a special person.

On behalf of the Roman Empire children, Let me claim: “we are proud of you.”

Mon ami, Mario…

by Frederic Sautet

I first met Mario Rizzo in 1995 while he was lecturing at a seminar in the US. I remember an evening I spent at his dinner table along with other students. I was shy and remained silent almost the entire time, listening to him talk about a variety of subjects. At the end, however, we started to chat, notably of his liking of Europe and especially of Italy and France — he has been a regular attendee of the Université d’été in Aix-en-Provence for a long time. Eventually, he encouraged me to come to NYU to study, which I did in January 1996. To make a long story short, I ended up writing my doctoral dissertation under his auspices, with the help of Pete Boettke and Israel Kirzner. I then spent another year at NYU as a post-doc.

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Happy Birthday, Mario

by Steve Horwitz

I’m not sure when I first met Mario, but it was probably when I was in grad school at GMU in the late 80s. Mario probably remembers it better than I do, mostly because, as Pete Boettke and Dave Prychitko can confirm, I was not shy about imposing myself on more senior scholars. (Frankly, neither were they, but somehow I got the bad reputation.) Whatever the circumstances under which we first met, they were not reason to shun me in succeeding years.

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Birthday Greetings from an NYU Disciple

Dear Mario,

Felicitations on your birthday. Your leadership and dedication have been a blessing to many in need of friendship and support. Your kindness and goodwill have helped our networks succeed. Your scholarship and teaching have advanced liberal understanding. You’re making a great difference, and your birthday is a great day to say: Thank you!

Warm sincere regards, Dan Klein


Warmest congratulations

by Israel Kirzner

Warmest congratulations to Mario Rizzo on the occasion of his 70th birthday. Having been associated with Mario for close to a half-century (ever since, as he never forgets to remind me, I arrived late to deliver a talk which he had arranged) – I count myself as one of the many who have been uplifted and illuminated by Mario’s steel-trap mind, depths and subtlety of understanding, and unswerving intellectual integrity.

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Happy Birthday, Professor Rizzo!

by Pete Boettke

I want to wish Mario Rizzo the very best on his 70th birthday. To this day, the phone call I received from him in March of 1990 remains the highlight of my professional career. Mario called me at my office at Oakland University to tell me I was going to be offered an Assistant Professorship in the Economics Department at NYU.  I ran home, rang the doorbell, and did my best Frank Sinatra impression of “New York, New York” for Rosemary and we hugged and jumped up and down.  The next 8 years of my professional life were critical in so many ways, and I owe that to Mario and Israel Kirzner, their mentorship and their guiding example. So, on a personal-professional level, my debt to Mario is very deep, and my friendship with him at an intellectual and personal level is something I cherish greatly.

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Happy Birthday

by Jerry O’Driscoll

I am writing to wish very best birthday greetings to Mario Rizzo, who will be 70 on July 6th. It is a landmark I reached last October.

Mario is my most longstanding friend. Our friendship goes back to undergraduate days at Fordham University. We met in intermediate macroeconomics. We resisted the textbook Keynesian message. Our instructor was patient, and even allowed us once to address the class in a debate format. We generally upheld a classical economic position.

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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.

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Krugman Redistribution or Ponzi Scheme

by Chidem Kurdas

A nice thing about Paul Krugman, he does not mince his words. Thus his new book, End This Depression Now!, repeats as boldly as possible the central point he’s repeatedly made in his New York Times columns and blogs for years. Namely, governments have to spend a lot more. They have to run gigantic deficits, much more than they’re doing now. His penchant for going straight for the jugular means that the full implications of the scheme he advocates are crystal clear. Continue reading