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Henderson on Leland Yeager

Summary:
H.L. Mencken once called Henry Hazlitt "one of the few economists in human history who could really write." Another was Leland B. Yeager, who died April 23 at 93. A professor emeritus at both the University of Virginia and Auburn, Yeager passionately defended free trade, including in currencies. He defended economic freedom on the grounds that it was not only efficient but also ethical. This is from David R. Henderson (me), "Leland Yeager, an Economist Who Could Write," Wall Street Journal, May 6, 2018 (electronic) and May 7 (print.) I'll post the whole thing in 30 days. Thanks to George Selgin for giving me the facts (that he got from Roger Koppl) about Yeager's experience in World War II, Don

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H.L. Mencken once called Henry Hazlitt "one of the few economists in human history who could really write." Another was Leland B. Yeager, who died April 23 at 93. A professor emeritus at both the University of Virginia and Auburn, Yeager passionately defended free trade, including in currencies. He defended economic freedom on the grounds that it was not only efficient but also ethical.
This is from David R. Henderson (me), "Leland Yeager, an Economist Who Could Write," Wall Street Journal, May 6, 2018 (electronic) and May 7 (print.)

I'll post the whole thing in 30 days.

Thanks to George Selgin for giving me the facts (that he got from Roger Koppl) about Yeager's experience in World War II, Don Boudreaux for referencing Yeager's excellent 1954 monograph (which I read in its entirety before writing the piece) and for looking over a draft, Liberty Fund for publishing on-line that monograph, and to my wife, Rena Henderson, for her deft edit.

Finally I appreciate Journal editor James Taranto for changing my saccharine ending to the current ending. In the final paragraph, he replaced my final sentence with a sentence that helped amplify the theme:

I should also note Yeager's service in the U.S. Army during World War II. His love of foreign languages came in handy because, as a 19-year-old, he was a Japanese cryptanalytic translator--a codebreaker. In civilian life he was also a brilliant translator, of the sometimes abstruse language of economics into plain English.


David Henderson
David Henderson is a British economist. He was the Head of the Economics and Statistics Department at the OECD in 1984–1992. Before that he worked as an academic economist in Britain, first at Oxford (Fellow of Lincoln College) and later at University College London (Professor of Economics, 1975–1983); as a British civil servant (first as an Economic Advisor in HM Treasury, and later as Chief Economist in the Ministry of Aviation); and as a staff member of the World Bank (1969–1975). In 1985 he gave the BBC Reith Lectures, which were published in the book Innocence and Design: The Influence of Economic Ideas on Policy (Blackwell, 1986).

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