Will Wilkinson Portrait

Will Wilkinson

Vice President for Research

Will Wilkinson is vice president for research at the Niskanen Center, overseeing the Center’s research and publications. Before coming to the Niskanen Center, Mr. Wilkinson was U.S. politics correspondent for The Economist, and is currently a columnist for Vox‘s The Big Idea section. His policy work centers on domestic social and economic policy, with a particular focus on economic growth, social insurance, criminal justice reform, and issues around the measurement of freedom, equality, and happiness. Previously, he was a research fellow at the Cato Institute, where he wrote on an array of topics including Social Security reform, the policy implications of happiness research, and the political economy of inequality. He was a founding editor of Cato Unbound and has been a program director at the Mercatus Center and the Institute for Humane Studies. In addition to The Economist, Mr. Wilkinson’s commentary has appeared in The Washington PostThe New York Times, The Atlantic, Politico, Forbes, Boston ReviewBloomberg View, and other publications. He has been a columnist for The Week and a regular commentator on American Public Media’s radio program Marketplace.

Op-eds & Articles
The Tax Bill Show’s the GOP’s Contempt for Democracy, New York Times, December 20, 2017
Atlas Shrubbed: What Free-Market Economic Theory Can Teach Us about Rand Paul’s Dispute with His Neighbor, Politico Magazine, November 9, 2017
For Trump and the GOP, the Welfare State Shouldn’t Be the Enemy, New York Times, May 27, 2017
It May Be Time to Disobey the Commander-in-ChiefVox, May 26, 2017
The Trump Administration’s Anti-Islam Worldview Is Strange and Dangerous, Vox, May 6, 2017
Why Does Donald Trump Demonize Cities?, Washington Post, March, 17, 2017
Sleaze from Wingtips to Combover, New York Times, October 19, 2017
“Because You’d Be in Jail”, New York Times, October 9, 2016
How Godless Capitalism Made America MulticulturalVox, September 21, 2016
The Freedom Lover’s Case for the Welfare StateVox, September 1, 2016
How Political Idealism Leads Us AstrayVox, August 4, 2016
Bernie Sanders Is Right that the Economy Is Rigged. He’s Dead Wrong about WhyVox, June 15, 2016

Blog Posts
Nativist Anti-“Open Borders” Rhetoric Is a Big Lie, January 5, 2018
Libertarian Origins, Libertarian Influence, and the American Right, November 17, 2017
How Libertarian Democracy Skepticism Infected the American Right, November 3, 2017
Public Policy after Utopia, October 24, 2017
Why the Logic of Populism Favors Amnesty for Dreamers, September 7, 2017
Why Republicans Can’t Admit They Need a New Agenda, June 2, 2017
Should We Care Whether Trump Was the Legitimate Winner of the Election, May 26, 2017
A Tale of Two Moralities, Part One: Regional Inequality and Moral Polarization, January 19, 2017
Revitalizing Liberalism in the Age of Brexit and Trump, November 30, 2016
Tyler Cowen on Universal Basic Income, October 29, 2016
What If We Can’t Make Government Smaller?, October 19, 2016
The Great Enrichment and Social Justice, May 10, 2016
Libertarian Principle, Niskanen and Welfare Policy, March 29, 2016
Two Libertarians: A Dialogue, March 11, 2016
Thinking Through Your Libertarian Vote, February 17,
Is There a Libertarian Case for Bernie Sanders?, February 11, 2016
Radicalism as Strategy, February 4, 2016
Why Not Give Neoliberalism a Chance to Save the World?, January 21, 2016
On the Saying that “Moderation in Pursuit of Justice is No Virtue”, January 18, 2016
On the Saying that “Extremism in the Name of Liberty is No Vice”, January 5, 2016