Douglass C. North (1920-), is Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. His interests include property rights, transaction costs, economic and social change, and a theory of institutional change. He argues that belief systems, and especially religion, are a crucial factor in explaining economic change.
A free-market advocate, in 1984 he was one of the first participants in the Fraser Institute-hosted Economic Freedom of the World project , of which he says, "The closest thing we have to [an explanation of efficient markets] is the Economic Freedom of the World Annual Report." 
North is a pioneer of what he terms "New Institutional Economics". He is co-founder and past president (1997-1999) of the International Society for New Institutional Economics. He is also on the faculty of the Institute for Humane Studies.
In 1993 he shared the Nobel memorial prize in economics with Robert Fogel for his use of economic theory and quantitative methods to explain institutional change.
- James D. Gwartney & Robert A. Lawson, What Have We Learned from the Measurement of Economic Freedom?, conference paper, October 22-24, 2003.
- Increasing economic freedom leads to greater democracy and prosperity according to new report (press release), Economic Freedom Network, 8 July 2003.
- Douglass C. North's Homepage,