Letter to the WSJ: Armen Alchian’s Wise Economics

My letter to the editor was published in today’s Wall Street Journal. In response to the obituary of Prof. Alchian, the WSJ published on 20 February 2013, I wrote the following:

David R. Henderson’s obituary of the great economist and pedagogue Armen Alchian (“An Economist Who Made the Science Less Dismal,” Feb. 20) brings back fond memories from the summer of 1966, when I was one of Prof. Alchian’s students.

One of the many take-aways from Alchian’s 1966 lectures was his “95% Rule”—95% of what you read in professional journals that passes for economics is either wrong or irrelevant. Over the years I have verified this and regularly conveyed Alchian’s rule to my students.

Prof. Steve H. Hanke

The Johns Hopkins University


Prof. Alchian met his maker on 19 February 2013. He was 98 years old.