|Motto||Austrian Economics, freedom and peace|
|Founder(s)||Lew Rockwell, Murray Rothbard, Burton Blumert, Henry Hazlitt|
|Mission||Promoting Austrian economics, freedom, and peace in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises through research, publishing, and education. Defense of the market economy, private property, sound money, and peaceful international relations.|
|Focus||Economics education, Austrian economics, libertarianism|
|Key people||Lew Rockwell (Chairman)|
Jeff Deist (President)
Joseph Salerno (Editor
Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics)
The Mises Institute, short name for Ludwig von Mises Institute for Austrian Economics, is a nonprofit organization of economic education located in Auburn, Alabama, United States. It is named after Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) because it promotes teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics and Misesian views on social and political philosophy.
The Mises Institute was founded in 1982 by Lew Rockwell, Burton Blumert, and Murray Rothbard, following a split between the Cato Institute and Rothbard, who had been one of the founders of the Cato Institute. Additional backing for the founding of the Institute came from Mises's wife, Margit von Mises, Henry Hazlitt, Lawrence Fertig, and Nobel Economics Laureate Friedrich Hayek. Through its publications, the Institute promotes Austrian School economic method and theories, and libertarian political economy following the intellectual tradition of Mises and his disciples.
While the institute does not consider itself strictly a think tank, according to a popularity ranking of 2015 the Mises Institute ranked as the 9th most influential think tank in the United States.
The Ludwig von Mises Institute was established in 1982 in the wake of a dispute which occurred in the early 1980s between Murray Rothbard and the Cato Institute, another libertarian organization co-founded by Rothbard. Llewellyn Rockwell has stated that the Mises Institute met strong opposition from parties affiliated with the Koch family, Rothbard's former backers at Cato. Rothbard was the Mises Institute's vice president and head of academic programs until his death in 1995.
The Institute states that its founding ambition is to be "the research and educational center of classical liberalism, libertarian political theory, and the Austrian School of economics". It has reprinted works by Mises, Rothbard, Hayek, and others. It presents the annual "Austrian Economics Research Conference" (AERC) and "Mises University", at which Austrian School thinkers meet, and Institute personnel teach and advise students, respectively. The Institute reports that its library holds nearly 35,000 volumes, including Rothbard's personal library.
Early after its founding, the Mises Institute was located at the business department offices of Auburn University, and relocated nearby to its current site in 1998. According to a story in the Wall Street Journal, the Institute chose its Auburn location for low cost of living and "good ol' Southern hospitality". The article goes on "to make an additional point", that "Southerners have always been distrustful of government," making the South a natural home for the organization's libertarian outlook. The institute has a staff of 16 Senior Fellows and about 70 adjunct scholars from the United States and other countries.
In a 2006 article published on the Wall Street Journal's website, Kyle Wingfield credited the Institute for helping make the "Heart of Dixie a wellspring of sensible economic thinking." Wingfield pointed to the Institute's publication and promotion of the work of Mises and other Austrian economists, who he characterizes as advocating "limited government, lower taxes, stronger private property rights and less business regulation."
The Institute scholary work is founded in Misesian praxeology ('the logic of action'), that holds that economic science is a deductive science instead an empirical science. For the Institute, praxeology is an economic method based on premises about human action known with certainty to be philosophically true (using the analytic-synthetic distinction of Immanuel Kant). Developed by Ludwig von Mises, following the Methodenstreit opened by Carl Menger, is a self-conscious opposition to the mathematical modeling and hypothesis-testing used to justify knowledge in neoclassical economics. Externally, this economic method usually is considered a form of heterodox economics.
The Institute has published works by authors critical of various forms of government, including democracy, which was called coercive, incompatible with wealth creation, replete with inner contradictions, and a system of legalized graft. To many of these authors, the distinction lies not in the form of government, but in the degree of liberty individuals in a society actually enjoy. Lew Rockwell notably said "the best way to teach your kids about taxes is by eating thirty percent of their ice cream." 
Mises Institute has published the writing of Mises Academy instructor Stephan Kinsella in opposition to intellectual property. Kinsella believes that intellectual property law not only violates property rights, but undermines social well-being from a utilitarian perspective.
A 2000 "Intelligence Report" by the Southern Poverty Law Center, categorized the Institute as Neo-Confederate, "devoted to a radical libertarian view of government and economics." In 2003, Lew Rockwell responded to this criticism by saying: "The Mises Institute recently came under fire from one of these watchdog groups that claims to oppose intolerance and hate. What was our offense? We have published revisionist accounts of the origins of the Civil War that demonstrate that the tariff bred more conflict between the South and the feds than slavery. For that, we were decried as a dangerous institutional proponent of 'neoconfederate' ideology. Why not just plain old Confederate ideology."
The Mises Institute makes available a large number of books, journal articles, and other writings online, and archives various writings on its website. Its Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics discusses Austrian economics. It published the Journal of Libertarian Studies from 1977 to 2008.The Mises Review has been published since 1995, the quarterly review of literature in the social sciences being currently edited by David Gordon. Currently, the Mises Institute offers a free bi-monthly newsletter called The Austrian, available in print and digitally online. It is the successor of The Free Market (1983-2013).
The Institute presents the annual Schlarbaum Prize for "lifetime defense of liberty", a $10,000 prize given to a public intellectual or scholar. Laureates have included U.S. Congressman Ron Paul and economists Walter Block and Hans-Hermann Hoppe. Other honors include the Murray Rothbard Medal (also won by Block, Hoppe and Paul, as well as by economic historian Gary North), the Ludwig von Mises Entrepreneurship Award, the O.P. Alford III Prize, the Douglas E. French Prize, the Elgin Groseclose Award for money writing, and the Fertig Prize.
Noted scholars include:
The Mises Institute has been criticized by some libertarians for the incorporation of paleolibertarian and right-wing cultural views, including the positions taken by some of its leading figures on topics such as race, immigration, and the presidential campaign of Donald Trump. Often these criticisms affirm that there are aspects of the paleolibertarian ideology that supposedly are at odds with the views of the historical Ludwig von Mises, nevertheless the institute quotes Mises works to support the perspective that Mises had some right-wing views on cultural issues like morality, family and nation from a psychological and sociological basis. In an article written on Institute Chairman Lew Rockwell's website, Jacob Huebert observes that socially liberal libertarians have often accused the Mises Institute of racism. He calls the charges erroneous and argues that they might stem from the support of some Institute scholars for immigration restrictions, its support of Confederate secession, or its uncompromising stand on libertarian issues and property rights.
In 2003, Chip Berlet of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an American nonprofit legal advocacy organization specializing in civil rights and public interest litigation, described the Mises Institute as "a major center promoting libertarian political theory and the Austrian School of free market economics", also noting Rothbard's opposition to child labor laws and the anti-immigrant views of other Institute scholars.
In memoriam.(subscription required)