Derek Yonai, Ph.D.

Professor of Economics and Free Enterprise

 “Far too often students come to college asking, ‘How do I do this?’ rather than ‘Why are we doing this?’ I see my task as training their mind rather than training their hands. As a business professor, I want my students to not only understand how to earn a living but to understand the role they play in our dynamic society. Only by understanding that can they live an examined meaningful life.”

Derek K. Yonai is the Director of the Center for Free Enterprise and an Associate Professor of Economics in the Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise at Florida Southern College. He is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics.

As the Director of the Center for Free Enterprise, Dr. Yonai is responsible for developing and supervising Florida Southern's new free enterprise education.

He has given numerous radio interviews discussing the connection between economic freedom and human flourishing. He has also given radio interviews discussing a 2012 Supreme Court case dealing with the first sale doctrine of copyright law. He has been a guest on radio shows in North Carolina, Florida, Iowa, Colorado, Montana, South Dakota, and Alaska.

Dr. Yonai conducts research in the fields of legal history, law and economics, and religion and economics. He has written for both scholarly and popular outlets. His published research discusses the economic role of property rights and the law. His popular writings deal with the importance of understanding basic economics and the importance of economic freedom.

From 2003 to 2013, Dr. Yonai was the Lundy Chair of the Philosophy of Business in the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business and an Adjunct Professor at the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University. While at Campbell he oversaw their free enterprise education program and their economics program. He also taught the school of business's signature course, Philosophy of Business, which introduces students to the ideas of free markets, personal liberty, and limited government.

Dr. Yonai earned a Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of California at Irvine and graduated with honors from Whittier College School of Law. In addition, he earned a Master of Arts in economics and a Ph.D. from George Mason  University. While at George Mason University, he was a research assistant for Gordon Tullock.

Education

B.A., Economics, Minor in English, University of California, Irvine
J.D., Whittier Law School
M.A., Economics, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia
Ph.D., Economics, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

Honors and Awards

  • Spirit of Inquiry Award, Pope Center of Higher Education Policy, 2010
  • Dean's Excellence in Teaching Award, 2006
  • CALI Excellence for the Future Award: Constitutional Law Seminar 1999
  • CALI Excellence for the Future Award: Federal Courts 1998
  • Whittier Law School Dean's List, Spring 1999; Fall 1998; Spring 19998
  • Whittier Law School Honor Roll, Spring 1999; Fall 1998; Spring 1998
  • Honorable Mention in Oral Advocacy, Suffolk University Law School, 1997

Publications or Exhibitions

Yonai, D. K. (2014). “I’m a Lawyer, Not an Economist: A plea for plain language
law and economics.”  Interdisciplinary Journal of Economics and Business Law
(Forthcoming).
 
Yonai, D. K. (2011). Study Guide to Economics: The Basics. Second Edition
McGraw-Hill.
 
Yonai, D. K. (2008). Study Guide to Economics: The Basics. First Edition
McGraw-Hill.
 
Yonai, D. K. (2007). "Conceptions of Property Rights and Norms." Constitutional Political Economy 18(3): 161-176.
 
Yonai, D. K. (2006). "Kelo and the Games People Play: A Game Theoretic Analysis of
Kelo v. City of New London." Campbell Law Review 29: 83-107.
 
Yonai, D. K. (2005). "Protect Markets: Defend your business." Sales and Service Excellence
5(4): 10.
 
Book Review
"The Free Market: Coercion or True Freedom? Review of Defending the Free Market
by Rev. Robert Sirico" CatholicismUSA June 24, 2012.
 
Popular Press Publications
“Free Enterprise is not Pro-Business –it’s Pro-Human” CatholicismUSA, May 24, 2014.
 
“Teachable Moments in Business –Blind dates and the problem with ‘too big to
fail’” CatholicismUSA, May 17, 2014.
 
“Avoiding Sin –Always a good business practice” CatholicismUSA, May 8, 2014.
 
“Politicians are deluded thinking they can fix the economy —free markets
improve lives…” CatholicismUSA, May 3, 2014.
 
“The beauty of business and markets —they requires human interaction…” CatholicismUSA,
April 26, 2014.
 
“Pumping money into the economy —may his blood be on us and our children…” CatholicismUSA, April 12, 2014.
 
“Take the long view: Free markets encourage cooperation…” CatholicismUSA,April 5, 2014.
 
“Stand up for the Invisible Hand! —it is a gift that leads to economic freedom…” CatholicismUSA, March 29, 2014.
 
“Coffee, symbolism and the free market: A divine plan for communication —and
a good brew…” CatholicismUSA, March 22, 2014.

“The economics of vocation —do what you do best and trade for the rest…” CatholicismUSA,
March 15, 2014.
 
“Avoiding sin —always a good business practice…” CatholicismUSA, March 8, 2014.
 
“Economic Freedom? – US falls from 2nd to 18th in twelve years...” CatholicismUSA,
October 6, 2012.
 
“QE3 Shows the Fed Worshipping Animal Spirits...” CatholicismUSA, September 20, 2012.
 
"False Saviors Use Reactionary Monetary Policies..." CatholicismUSA, August 5, 2012.
 
“Free Nevada and Unleash the Entrepreneur.” The Las Vegas Review-Journal, May 27, 2012.
 
“Plagiarism, College, and Getting a Job.” The Community Leader, May 4, 2005.
 
“North Carolina or North Canada.” The Community Leader, April 27, 2005.
 
“A Modest Proposal.” The Community Leader, April 20, 2005.
 
“Star Wars and U.S. History.”  The Community Leader, April 13, 2005.
 
“Pope John Paul II and Human Dignity.” The Community Leader, April 6, 2005.
 
“On Circles, Matching, and Incentives.” The Community Leader, March 30, 2005.
 
“Philosophy of Business and Leadership.” The Community Leader, March 23, 2005.
 
“It’s Called Minimum Wage for a Reason.” The Community Leader, March 16, 2005.
 
“Can–Do Learning is Better Than College.” The Community Leader, March 9, 2005.
 
“I’m an Economist, not a One Trick Pony.” The Community Leader, March 2, 2005.
 
“Can Harnett County Become Botswana?” The Community Leader, February 23, 2005.
 
“Is Government a Religion?” The Community Leader, February 16, 2005.
 
“On Freedom, Markets, and Democracy.” The Community Leader, February 9, 2005.
 
“Businessmen, Help the Everyman.” The Community Leader, February 2, 2005.
 
“Markets Promote Ethics.” The Community Leader, January 26, 2005.
 
“Ideas Have Consequences.” The Community Leader, January 19, 2005.
 
“Could We Be to Blame?” The Community Leader, January 12, 2005.
 
“Striking Harm.”  The Community Leader, January 5, 2005.
 
“A Move Towards the Median.”  The Community Leader, December 29, 2004.
 
“Blind Leading the Blind.”  The Community Leader, December 22, 2004.
 
“The Cost of the Education Debacle.”  The Community Leader, December 15, 2004.
 
“What Country Do You Think This Is?”  The Community Leader, December 8, 2004.
 
“Flu Vaccines, a Moral Dilemma?” The Community Leader, December 1, 2004.
 
“An Introduction and a Few Thankful Thoughts.” The Community Leader, November 24, 2004.
“How to Provide Low Cost Housing.” The Washington Post, October 18, 1999.
 

Papers in Progress

 
“Game Theory, Vatican II, and Catholic Commitment”
 
“A Rational Choice Analysis of Two Chapter Gospel Dominance”
 
“Conceptions of Property and Economic Development”
 
“Re-entering the Fold: A Rational Choice Analysis of Anglicanorum Coetibus
 
Kelo v. City of New London and Gaming the System”
 
“Recovering Property” (with J. Robert Subrick)
 
“The Adversarial System v. The Inquisitorial System: a Hayekian Approach”
 
“Trials as Markets for Truth”
 
“What Happened to Property in Austrian Economics?” (with J. Robert Subrick)
 
“Common Law vs. Civil Law: Which Better Protects Liberty?”
 
“A Game Theoretic Foundation for a Belief in Reincarnation”
 

Presentations

 
“Messaging Capitalism in the Bible Belt” BB&T Moral Foundations of Capitalism Conference (Clemson, SC, May 2014)
 
“The Lundy Chair of the Philosophy of Business: A case study in student engagement”
Association of Private Enterprise Education (Las Vegas, NV, April 2014)

“Spreading the Good News of Economics: An evolutionary impediment to a dialog
with Evangelicals” Economics and Finance Workshop (Troy,AL, February 2014)

“A Rational Choice Analysis of Two Gospel Dominance” Western Economic Association International Meeting (Seattle, June 2013). Southern Economic Association Meeting (New Orleans, November 2012)
 
“Conceptions of Property and Economic Development”. Western Economic Association International Meeting (San Francisco, July 2012)
 
“Economics and Communicating the Cultural Mandate”. Association of Private Enterprise Education (Las Vegas, April 2012)
 
“I’m a Lawyer, Not an Economist: A plea for plain language law and economics”. Eastern Economic Association Meeting (Boston, March 2012). Western Economic Association International Meeting (San Diego, June–July 2011)

“Re-entering the Fold: A Rational Choice Analysis of Anglicanorum Coetibus”. Western Economic Association International Meeting (Portland, June–July 2010)
 
“Game Theory, Vatican II, and Catholic Commitment”. Eastern Economic Association Meeting (Philadelphia, February 2010). Western Economic Association International Meeting (Vancouver, June–July 2009)
 
Kelo v. City of New London and Gaming the System”. Eastern Economic Association Meeting (New York, February 2009).
 
“Recovering Property”. Eastern Economic Association Meeting (New York, February 2009)
 
“Law and Economics: Is there common ground for discussion?” Eastern Economic Association Meeting (Boston, March 2008). Western Economic Association International Meeting (Seattle, June–July 2007)
 
“A Game Theoretic Analysis of Kelo v. City of New London”. Western Economic Association International Meeting (San Diego, June–July 2006)
 
“Trials as Markets for Truth”. Eastern Economic Association Meeting (Philadelphia, February 2006). Western Economic Association International  Meeting (San Francisco, July 2005).
 
“Between Multiple Equilibria: Hayek, Norms, and Social Planning”. Eastern Economic Association Meeting (New York, March 2005).
 
“Why Ideas Matter for Growth”.  Campbell University (MBA Seminar II “Globalization and Economic Development,” Fall 2004)
 
“The Relevance of the Keynes-Hayek Debate Today”.  Campbell University (MBA Seminar I “Globalization and Economic Development,” Fall 2004)
 
“Between Multiple Equilibria: Law, Norms, and Common Knowledge”.  Western Economic Association International Meeting (Vancouver, June–July 2004).
 
 “What Happened to Property in Austrian Economics?”  History of Economics Society Meeting (Toronto, June 2004).  Eastern Economic Association Meeting (New York, February 2003)
 
 “Conception of Property Rights and Norms”.  Eastern Economic Association Meeting (Washington D.C., February 2004).  Western Economic Association International Meeting (Denver, July 2003)
 
 “A Game Theoretic Rationale for a Belief in Reincarnation”.  Western Economic Association International Meeting (Seattle, July 2002).
 
 “An Invisible Hand Behind the Constitutional Convention of 1787”.  Institute for Civil Society (Young Scholars Conference, January 1998)

 

 

Connect with
Derek Yonai


863.680.4291
dyonai@flsouthern.edu