Richard Vedder

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

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Richard Kent Vedder is an economics professor at Ohio University.[1] He is listed as a Senior Fellow at The Independent Institute [2] and the American Enterprise Institute[3] and has also worked with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy on such issues as spending on public schools.[4] He has written about immigration and labor for the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution. He has also written articles about taxation and tobacco and other issues related to taxes. He is on the board of the National Taxpayers Union.[5]

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

Vedder is also listed as a "scholar" at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).[6] In 2008, he won ALEC's Adam Smith Free Enterprise Award.[7]

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's, and check out breaking news on our site.

ALEC, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, The Independent Institute, the American Enterprise Institute, the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution and the National Taxpayers Union have all received money from Koch foundations.



  • B.A. in Economics, Northwestern University in 1962 and a Ph.D. in Economics, University of Illinois in 1965

Vedder previously served as an economist with the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, with which, according to the ALEC Annual Meeting Program, "he maintains a consulting relationship." He also has previously served as the John M. Olin Visiting Professor of Labor Economics and Public Policy at the Center for the Study of American Business at Washington University in St. Louis.[8]


Tobacco, Taxes, and Immigration

In 1993 Richard Vedder and Lowell Gallaway did a study for the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution (AdTI) about the impact of immigration on the American economy.[9] In March 1994, AdTI published the report "Immigration and Unemployment: New Evidence" written by Richard Vedder, Lowell Gallaway and Stephen Moore, who is also affiliated with ALEC.[10][11]

Later that year, Vedder served as "peer-reviewer" for a pro-tobacco junk science report titled Science, Economics, and Environmental Policy: A Critical Examination, also published by AdTI. There are many documents in the Tobacco Institute documents online mentioning Richard Vedder. Many of them are confidental reports listing allied economists and academics who were willing to provide expert testimony for tobacco companies. One such document states,

Professor Richard Vedder (Ohio University) wrote an op-ed article on tax reform that appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer in April (newspaper in home district of Ways & Means Member Gradison). Copies were sent to Gradison and Ways & Means Member Pease.[12]

Richard Vedder also worked for some time together with Prof. Dwight R. Lee:

Member of the Tobacco Institute's Economists Network

Vedder was a member of the Tobacco Institute's clandestine Economists' network -- a group of academics that the tobacco industry recruited who worked behind the scenes to fight proposed tax increases on cigarettes and the declining acceptability of public and workplace smoking by generating favorable research for publication, presenting favorable papers at academic conferences and symposia, and being ready to challenge the "social costs" economic arguments employed by anti-smoking activist at public and legislative forums. Members of the Institute's Economists Network also assisted by writing letters-to-the-editor and lecturing to journalists on behalf of the industry.[13][14][15]


Related SourceWatch Resources

Related Links


  1. Mackinac Center for Public Policy Dr. Richard Vedder, organizational biography, accessed June 6, 2011
  2. The Independent Institute Richard K. Vedder, organizational biography, accessed June 6, 2011
  3. American Enterprise Institute Richard Vedder, organizational biography, accessed June 6, 2011
  4. Mackinac Center for Public Policy Dr. Richard Vedder, organizational biography, accessed June 6, 2011
  5. National Taxpayers Union NTU's Board of Directors, organizational website, accessed June 6, 2011
  6. American Legislative Exchange Council Board of Scholars, organizational web page, accessed July 9, 2011
  7. Independent Institute About Us/Awards, organizational website, accessed July 9, 2011
  8. American Legislative Exchange Council, 2011 Conference Program -- Board of Scholars, conference brochure on file with CMD, August 11, 2011
  9. Ohio University Curriculum Vita, Lowell E. Galloway, organizational website, staff biosketch, accessed July 9, 2011
  10. Richard Vedder, Lowell Gallaway, and Stephen Moore, Immigration and Unemployment: New Evidence, Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, Arlington, Virginia (March 1994)
  11. American Legislative Exchange Council Board of Scholars, organizational web page, accessed July 9, 2011
  12. Tobacco Institute Federal Markets, Confidential report on allies and academics in Ohio], 1985, 27 pp at page 20, (or TIFL 0512986), Tobacco Institute Bates No. TIFL0512967/2993
  13. James Savarese Memorandum to Fred Panzer, Jeff Ross and Susan Stuntz, Tobacco Institute documents collection, Legacy Tobacco Documents Library, January 6, 1987, Bates No. TI18230621 at page -0626
  14. Tobacco Institute Taxes/Witnesses, Confidential list, January, 1986, 13 pp, Bates No. TIFL0507522/7534
  15. Tobacco Institute PR Division Public Relations Resource Catalog, Tobacco Institute confidential list, 132 pp. Bates No.TIMN0272132/226 at (TIMN272146) or Page 15, January 1986

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