Case Study: Joshua’s Story

Joshua Hall, associate professor of economics and co-director of West Virginia University’s Center for Free Enterprise, began his involvement with IHS at a Liberty & Society Summer Seminar in 1997. “I was  introduced to the scholarly side of academia,” he told us, “and first considered the possibility that I could be a producer as well as a consumer of scholarship in defense of liberty.”

He didn’t pursue an academic path at first, working instead as an analyst at the Joint Economic Committee and then at a free-market think tank for several years. When he enrolled in the economics PhD program at WVU in 2004, IHS supported him with Humane Studies Fellowships, participation in Summer Seminars and Advanced Topics Seminars, and a Summer Research Fellowship, helping him to complete his graduate work in just three years.

He landed his first teaching position at Beloit College, joining two other IHS alumni, and then returned to WVU where he accepted the challenge to become co-director of its Center for Free Enterprise.

Hall is a prolific scholar, continuing with a strong policy focus in his research, and is a regular co-author of the annual Economic Freedom of the World report. He holds editorial positions with a number of scholarly journals, and Stanford University Press recently published his edited volume, Homer Economicus: The Simpsons and Economics, using the popular TV show to drive home basic economic concepts for students. He is an exceptional teacher, winning multiple awards at WVU, and he serves as a faculty member and mentor to students participating in IHS programs.

Joshua Hall is winner of the 2016 Charles G. Koch Outstanding IHS Alum Award for his contributions to advancing liberty as a teacher, scholar, mentor, and academic entrepreneur.