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Center for Free Enterprise


Center for Free Enterprise

The Center for Free Enterprise connects business education to human welfare and engages students in rigorous education about the principles and institutions needed for free individuals to flourish with dignity in a civil society.

In the News

2017 Economic Freedom Award Luncheon

Center for Free Enterprise logo

The Center is a regional and national leader in free enterprise student engagement. Free enterprise exists where the rule of law, limited governance, and free markets intersect. It is based on the philosophy of individualism and freedom where individuals can utilize their inherent creativity for the benefit of themselves and others.

The Center:

  1. Educates students about the necessary conditions for free enterprise.
  2. Examines moral questions in relation to individual action in free enterprise systems and in planned economies.
  3. Communicates vital relationships between free enterprise, rule of law, personal freedom and pluralistic politics.
  4. Engages in impartial scholarship investigating the role institutions play in supporting a free civil society.
  5. The Center promotes the principles of free enterprise, individual liberty, the rule of law, and economic freedom on campus and to the public at large.

Latest Publications & Speaking Engagements By Center Members

  • Joseph S. Connors, Ph.D., Contributor: Counting the Cost: Christian Perspectives on Capitalism. Abilene Christian University Press; Abilene, Texas, 2017
  • Patrick T. Newman, Ph.D., Editor: The Progressive Era. Mises Institute; Auburn, Alabama, 2017
  • Antony W. Dnes, Ph.D., Brownlow, Graham, Co-Authors:  The Formation of Terrorist Groups: An Analysis of Irish Republican Organizations. Journal of Institutional Economics: Volume 13, Issue 3
  • Patrick T. Newman, Ph.D., Author: The Origins of the National Banking System: The Chase-Cooke Connection and the New York City Banks. The Independent Review: Volume 33, Issue 3, Winter 2018
  • Joseph S. Connors, Ph.D., Speaker: 2018 Creative Teaching Ideas for Your Basic Economics Course. Florida State University, February 2, 2018
  • Patrick T. Newman, Ph.D., Author: Revenge: John Sherman, Russell Alger, and the Origins of the Sherman Act. Public Choice: Volume 174, Issue 3-4, March 2018
  • Forthcoming in 2018: Antony W. Dnes, Ph.D., Author:  Principles of Law and Economics.Edward Elgar Publishing; Northampton, Massachusetts

More Resources For Free Enterprise

Center for Free Enterprise

The Center for Free Enterprise examines the important role free enterprise plays within the global economy.


Monday – Friday
8:00 AM to 5:00 PM


photo of doctor antony dnes

Antony W. Dnes, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics at The Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise; Director of the Center for Free Enterprise

photo of karen persun

Karen Persun
Program Coordinator

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History is absolutely crystal clear that there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.—Milton Friedman, 1979

The Politics, Law, and Economics Lecture Series

politics, law, and economics lecture series logo

The PLE Lecture Series is designed to highlight the ways in which politics, law and economics work together to sustain free enterprise. Nationally-renowned scholars, journalists and policy-analysts visit Florida Southern and share their insight and experience with students. Open to the public, this series is a great opportunity to meet experts in various fields.

We are grateful for generous financial support from:

2017-2018 Politics, Law & Economics Lecture Series

All lectures will be held at 6:00 PM in the Becker Business Building Room 112.

October 10, 2017
DR. SUZANNE K. SCHOLTE: The Battle for Human Rights in North Korea: Is There Hope for Peaceful Change?

Dr. Scholte will discuss what sets North Korea apart from any other human rights tragedy in the world; what amazing changes have occurred that the people of North Korea have accomplished, and how the free world should respond. She is considered one of the world’s leading activists in the North Korean human rights movement and currently President of the Defense Forum Foundation.

November 4, 2017
DR. ANDREW RETTENMAIER: Is Social Security Wealth?

Dr. Rettenmaier is the co-principal investigator on several research grants and is the author of numerous academic articles and numerous monographs. He has published in Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Health Economics, Health Economics, Southern Economic Journal, and Economic Inquiry, among other economic journals.

December 5, 2017
DR. ABIGAIL HALL BLANCO: Tyranny Comes Home: The Domestic Fate of U.S. Militarism

Dr. Blanco examines how the U.S. government is re-importing to America some of the broader range of social controls used in foreign countries. This "the boomerage effect" is beginning to change the national landscape and increasing the extent to which we live in a police state - including the rise of state surveillance, the militarization of domestic law enforcement, the expanding use of drones, and torture in U.S. prisons. Synthesizing research and applying an economic lens, Dr. Blanco and Dr. Coyne develop a generalizable theory to predict and explain a startling trend.

January 16, 2018
DR. VIKRANT REDDY: Tough or Soft on Crime?

Dr. Reddy will describe the troubled state of American criminal justice, provide a historical account of how America arrived at this point, and propose solutions that lead to greater freedom, prosperity, and dignity.

January 30, 2018
DR. NUNO GAROUPA: Can Judges be Trusted?

Judges are society’s elders and experts, our masters and mediators. We depend on them to dispense justice with integrity, deliberation, and efficiency. Yet judges lack the power of the purse or the sword - they must rely almost entirely on their reputations to secure compliance with their decisions, obtain resources, and maintain their political influence. Dr. Garoupa explains how reputation is not only an essential quality of the judiciary as a whole, but also of individual judges. Perceptions of judicial systems around the world range from widespread admiration to utter contempt, and as judges participate within these institutions some earn respect, while others are scorned. Judicial Reputation explores how judges respond to the reputational incentives provided by the different audiences they interact with—lawyers, politicians, the media, and the public itself—and how institutional structures mediate these interactions. The judicial structure is best understood not through the lens of legal culture or tradition, but through the economics of information and reputation. Dr. Garoupa examines the fascinating effects that governmental interactions, multicourt systems, extrajudicial work, and the international rule-of-law movement have had on the reputations of judges.

February 6, 2018
DR. DAVID SKARBEK: The Social Order of the Underworld

When many people think of prison gangs, they think of chaotic bands of violent, racist thugs. Few people think of gangs as sophisticated organizations (often with elaborate written constitutions) that regulate the social and economic life of the prison. Dr. Skarbek argues that gangs form to create order among outlaws, producing alternative governance institutions to facilitate illegal activity. His talk will be a fascinating look into the seemingly irrational, truly astonishing, and often tragic world of life among the society of captives.

February 20, 2018

Civil asset forfeiture is one of the greatest threats to property rights in the United States today. Since 1970, U.S. courts have significantly broadened its reach. Many of these expansions have been justified to fight the war on drugs and to curb the activities of drug cartels. More recently, however, an increasing number of innocent individuals have had their property confiscated through civil forfeiture. Calls for reform are getting louder as law enforcement agencies openly and grossly profit from asset seizures.

March 13, 2018
DR. CHRISTOPHER J. BOUDREAUX: Crony Capitalism = Destructive Entrepreneurship

Successful entrepreneurs must continually innovate to earn business. The political process, however, offers a potentially lucrative alternative-crony capitalism. Dr. Boudreaux explores entrepreneurship through the lens of public choice theory. He examines several aspects of crony capitalism including rent seeking, regulatory capture, political entrepreneurship, and special interest politics. Entrepreneurs spend considerable effort on the channels - whether productive, non-productive, or destructive - that provide the greatest return.

See list of past speakers

Center for Free Enterprise Sponsored Groups and Activities

The Center for Free Enterprise sponsors an active on-campus community to discuss and share ideas that support economic freedom.

Adam Smith Club

The Adam Smith Club is a community of students who discuss and share ideas that support economic freedom and free enterprise. Students engage with one another through a book club and related activities. Books discussed include Jason L Riley’s “Please Stop Helping Us”, and Frank Furedi’s “What’s Happened to the University?”

Meetings are held at 4:30 PM

Becker - 3rd Floor

January 11           January 18
February 1           Febuary 15
March 1               March 15
March 29             April 6

C.F.E. Research Group

The goal of the C.F.E. Research Group is to provide a forum where: 1. Center Fellows and invited guests can present their research projects and receive constructive feedback from fellow colleagues for academic publication; and 2. Students interested in graduate school/academia can get a taste of academic research.

Meetings begin at 4:30 PM

Becker 115

January 25 – Presenter: Antony W. Dnes, Ph.D.
February 22 – Presenter: Joseph S. Connors, Ph.D.
March 21 – Presenter: Chris Laincz, Ph.D. - Drexel University
April 5 – Presenter: Karla Borja, Ph.D. - University of Tampa

Free Enterprise Week

Each fall semester the Center for Free Enterprise hosts FREE ENTERPRISE WEEK, with a different theme each year. This week-long event includes speakers, a mini-conference, exhibits and additional special gatherings. Free Enterprise Week encourages us to reflect on the many benefits enjoyed through free enterprise, markets, and liberty-supporting social systems. FREE ENTERPRISE WEEK 2018 will be September 3-7, 2018 - more details to come!

Contemporary Issues Conference

Each spring semester the Center for Free Enterprise hosts a CONTEMPORARY ISSUES CONFERENCE. Nationally known journalists, editors and academics are on campus to speak at our day seminar on a very current and timely topic. Spring 2017 featured Robby Soave, Joe Cohn and Frank Furedi speaking on “IS FREE SPEECH AT RISK? This year we are excited to have F.H. Buckley, Peter Schweizer and Abigail Hall talking about IS GOOD FOR BUSINESS, GOOD FOR YOU? Join us on April 20th beginning at 2:30 PM! Contact the CFE office for details:  or 863.680.5069.



Integral to the Center’s educational outreach are two majors dedicated to the study of free enterprise: the Bachelor of Science in Political Economy and the Bachelor of Science in Business and Free Enterprise. Political Economy examines the ways in which politics, law and economics work together to support a full-functioning free enterprise system. The Business and Free Enterprise major emphasizes both economic analysis and political science, helping majors understand business transactions from a broader, social perspective.



Introduction to the Philosophy of Business

Many people have preconceived notions of what free enterprise means and what role business plays in our social order. This class challenges many preconceived notions of free enterprise by examining the relationship between individuals and the state and that between individuals and society. The course uses economic analysis to examine the role markets play in coordinating individual economic activity and creating widespread gains from trade. The course shows how business is inherently socially beneficial.

Advanced Philosophy of Business and Market Based Management

This course conducts an in depth examination of the institutional structure necessary for a flourishing social order. The course examines market behavior and applies economics to understanding the economy as an informational feedback mechanism allowing social cooperation and entrepreneurial activity. The course also discusses how societies provide quality assurance in the absence of government regulation. This requires the student to apply basic economic theory, particularly supply and demand and opportunity-cost analysis, and to apply the understanding of social science to business management.

Teaching High School Economics Seminar

The Teaching High School Economics workshop, sponsored by the Center for Free Enterprise teaches High school teachers from the 5 surrounding counties how economics can be taught in the classroom, for example “Gains from Trade & Exchange“;  “Property Rights & Markets“ and “Supply & Demand“. CFE looks forward to hosting a high school teacher workshop each semester to assist high school teachers as they educate their students to more fully understand the benefits of a free market economy.

Next workshop: April 27, 2018 with Dr. Bias and Dr. Connors: Using the Financial Crisis to Teach Personal Finance; How the Fed Uses Tools to Promote Price Stability; Teaching Financial Literacy with Penn State University Study Modules.

About the Center for Free Enterprise

The Center for Free Enterprise helps students understand and appreciate the important role free enterprise plays within the American economy. A free enterprise system promotes economic prosperity by creating a favorable environment where businesses compete with minimum regulatory interference, allowing them to develop vigorously providing wider gains from trade as they do so. Through extracurricular activities such as guest lectures, luncheons and off-campus seminars, students can explore the principles and institutions that sustain free enterprise.

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Antony W. Dnes, Ph.D.
Director of the Center for Free Enterprise; Professor of Economics; Lynn and Mark Hollis Chair in Free Enterprise

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Joseph S. Connors, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Economics; Center for Free Enterprise Fellow; Adam Smith Club Faculty Advisor
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Peter V. Bias, Ph.D.​
Professor of Business and Economics; William F. Chatlos Professorship in Business and Economics; Center for Free Enterprise Senior Fellow

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Joshua D. Hall, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Economics; Center for Free Enterprise Fellow
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Patrick T. Newman, Ph.D.​
Assistant Professor of Economics; Center for Free Enterprise Fellow