This site deals only with the corporate corruption of science, and makes no inference about the motives or activities of individuals involved.
There are many reasons why individuals become embroiled in corporate corruption activities - from political zealotry to over-enthusiastic activism; from gullibility to greed.
Please read the OVERVIEW carefully, and make up your own mind.
Mario J Rizzo
— Professor Mario Rizzo is on the list of cash-for-comments economists, but there is no record of him actively providing witness or op-ed services to the tobacco industry. —
Tobacco lobbyist James Savarese and Professor Robert Tollison of George Mason University collaborated in the 1980s to provide the tobacco industry, through the Tobacco Institute, with networks of academics in various disciplines who would be willing to write and sprout propaganda material ... always provided the payments for these services were not directly traceable back to the Institute or to any of the cigarette companies.
The idea was simply that these academic 'sleepers' would be available on a cash-for-services basis when needed to counter attempts to increase excise taxes or to ban public smoking ... or just to appear as 'independent experts' at Congressional hearings and promote the industry causes. These were the economic equivalents of the 'WhiteCoat' scientists.
Associate Professor Mario Rizzo teaches Austrian economics, law and economics, ethics and economics, behavioral economics and paternalism at the New York University. In his spare time, he briefly signed up to service the tobacco industry — but didn't appear to do anything.
His expertise is in the Chicago/Hayek 'Austrian' school of economics, and his grants come from the far right-wing sources you would expect. He lists:
Funding from the Sarah Scaife Foundation, Bradley Foundation, Earhart Foundation, Smith-Richardson Foundation, Fred C. Koch Foundation, Pfizer, Inc., Chase Bank, Inc., and others.
See the Tobacco Institute's list of cash-for-comments economists
Some key documents
• Note also Dr Richmond ('Ray') Rizzo, Vice President of Region II, Tobacco Institute.
• Mario Rizzo's C/V See NY Uni C/V
1948 Jul 6: Born
1970: BA (Econ.), Fordham University,
1973: MA (Econ.), University of Chicago,
1977: PhD (Econ.), University of Chicago,
1987 Feb 6: James Savarese has finalised his list of compliant economists, and sends them to Susan Stuntz at the Tobacco Institute. It lists all the familiar cash-for-comment economists. [See hotlinks on left]
Now well-established network economists: plus four new ones.
Lee Anderson, Terry Anderson, Dom Armentano, Cecil Bohanon, Thomas Borcherding, Henry Butler, Jeffrey R Clark, John David, Allan Dalton, Arthur Denzau, Clifford Dobitz, Robert Ekelund, David Gay, Anne Harper-Fender, Dennis Hein, John Howe, William Hunter, Joe Jadlow, Michael Kurth, Suuner LaCroix, Dwight Lee, C Matt Lindsay, Dennis Logue, Chuck Mason [Masen], Charles Maurice, Fred McChesney, Robert McMahon, Arthur Mead, Wm Mitchell, Allen Parkman, William Peterson, Thomas Pogue, Barry Poulson, Raymond Raab, Simon Rottenberg, Mark Schmitz, Richard Vedder, Richard Wagner
- Greg Neihaus, [aka Neuhaus]
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
- Mario Rizzo,
New York University NY
- Roger Riefler,
Uni of Nebraska, Lincoln
- Boon Yoon,
State Uni of New York, Binghamton, NY
1987 Feb 6: This is the Tollison/Saverese network list of economists recruited until the end of 1986. It has 64 names, but it still doesn't cover all 50 States. Some States have two or three network members, so newspapers [and sometimes Congressmen] need to be specified for each member to ensure there is no accidental duplication.
Telephone numbers (office and home) are often included in case an urgent op-ed or ordinance hearing is needed. These are grouped by State:
Professor Mario Rizzo
New York University
269 Mercer Street Room 700 New York, New York 10003 212-598-7516
Professor Boon Yoon
Department of Economics, State University of New York
- Binghamton Binghamton, New York 13901 607-777-2689
1987 Feb 11: Jeff Ross of Ogilvy and Mather has written to the Tobacco Institute sending them the "final list of economists" who have agreed to write op-ed articles and appear as witnesses in defense of public smoking.
They now have 41 states covered, with both Mario Rizzo and Boon Yooin available for New York.
To his credit, Rizzo no longer appears in the tobacco archives, or in the cash-for-comment economists list. He must have had second thoughts..
2010 May 20: Like many Public Choice economists, his angle is as much political as it is economic. Most of them focuses a lot on "Ethics" in order to add another philosphical dimension.
Here are Mario Rizzo's arguments against the 'welfare state'.