The Washington Post

Manhattan Institute awards Matt Ridley $50,000 Hayek Prize

The Manhattan Institute, on Monday, awarded the think tank’s Hayek Prize to former The Economist editor Matt Ridley for his book, “The Rational Optimist.”

“Through this effort we hope to inspire scholars to follow Hayek’s example, and help us to reignite the nation’s economic engine and put the country on the path to a sound, sustainable fiscal future,” said Lawrence Mone, the Manhattan Institute’s president, in a statement.

The award, conceived and funded by institute trustee Tom Smith, carries a $50,000 prize for a book published in the previous two years that “best reflects Friedrich Hayek’s vision of economic and individual liberty.”

“As Hayek understood, it is human collaboration that is necessary for society to work . . . the key feature of trade is that it enables us to work for each other not just for ourselves; that attempts at self-sufficiency are the true form of selfishness as well as the quick road to poverty; and that authoritarian, top-down rule is not the source of order or progress,” said Matt Ridley, in his acceptance speech.

Recent awardees include Benn Steil and Manuel Hinds for ““Money, Markets and Sovereignty,” Amity Shlaes for “The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression” and William Easterly for “The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good.”

Allen McDuffee writes about politics and policy and covered think tanks for The Washington Post from 2011 to 2013. He freelances and hosts a podcast at and is currently working on a book about the influence of think tanks in Washington.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Video curated for you.