The Austrian School of Economics benefited from a great influx of talent in the 1970s. Walter Block, Gerald O'Driscoll, Joe Salerno, Jack High, Don Lavoie, Rich Fink, Larry White, Roger Garrison, Bruce Caldwell, etc. all studied for their PhD's and entered into the community of economic researchers with their articles and books. Each of these individuals made significant contributions to the literature and with their teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level. They represent a special group of scholars and many of them benefited greatly from the programs run by the Institute for Humane Studies and also Israel Kirzner's Austrian Economics Program at NYU.
Personally, these guys were who I looked up to and learned from when I decided I wanted to be an academic economist. Hans Sennholz introduced me to Austrian Economics and to FEE (and the great Bettina Bien Graves who mentored me). But it was Walter Grinder at the Institute for Humane Studies who introduced me to all younger members of the Austrian School and showed me that I could have a career as a college teacher and researcher in Austrian economics. In the summer of 1984, I was invited to attend the Austrian Economics Summer Seminar at Marquette University. Gerald O'Driscoll, Roger Garrison, Mario Rizzo and Israel Kirzner gave lectures. At my first Institute for Humane Studies Liberty and Societ seminar the following summer Don Lavoie and Larry White spoke along with libertarian greats such as Ralph Raico. At FEE I met Roy Childs for the first time and absolutely loved to talk to him about economics, politics and philosophy. Anyway, I was so impressed with all these guys and wanted to be like them.
Of course, meeting Israel Kirzner, Murray Rothbard, Ludwig Lachmann, W. H. Hutt, James Buchanan and Kenneth Boulding were amazing experiences for a gradaute student. But it was in meeting that next generation of Austrians that I found out that the ideas were alive. Among those early exposures to the next generation of Austrians, Mario Rizzo stood out in my mind as an intellectual powerhouse. Even though Mario sort of snubbed me for asking a stupid question at the Marquette seminar, I was blown away by him. As a graduate student I read paper after paper of his in law and economics and also methodology. His paper "Law Amid Flux" is one of my favorite papers of all time, he read a paper at the Center for the Study of Public Choice on the political economy of nuclear energy that I remember as if it was yesterday, and I remember the excitement that Dave Prychitko and I had in reading the pre-publication version of The Economics of Time & Ignorance that Don Lavoie somehow smuggled in for us. Dave and I, in fact, have the first 2 US copies of the book and we got it signed by Mario and Gerry as soon as it got delivered to the old CATO building after being held up in customs the day of their book talk on the US release of The Economics of Time and Ignorance. Dave beat me out, so he has #1 and I have #2 --- and I still think the first 90 pages of that book is an amazing discussion of the role of time in human activity and of great importance to further development of market process analysis.
Mario, however, was slow to join the technological revolution. Roger Garrison is a master of the power point, Larry White is an expert not only on surf music, but also everything electronic from e-money to blogging, but Mario --- like Israel --- stayed away from computers. When I joined the faculty at NYU in 1990, Israel had Larry White's old computer in his office and it still had never been turned on in 1998 when I left. Mario had resisted the computer for years, but by 1998 he was at least emailing on the computer (with a hunt and peck version of typing that was charming). He did not, however, use the computer as others do to ease his research burden, etc.
However, Mario is now joining the modern world with a new website that will make his research more widely available. I am thrilled to say the least. Though I have a request of Mario --- please put up your essays on "Praxeology and Econometrics" and "Law Amid Flux" so that a new generation can read them.
For readers who have never read Rizzo and Cowan's paper on the causal genetic moment in economics, the paper is one of the most serious and philosophically subtle discussions of praxeology ever written so read it today and learn from it. Reading Rizzo can produce a "mind-quake" in a way that very few within the Austrian and libertarian world can generate.