Bastiat Society

Through the Bastiat Society program, AIER works with businessmen and women to help them learn about and appreciate the principles of a free society. With chapters around the world, including the U.S., Venezuela, Sri Lanka, Iceland, Kenya, Ecuador, Mexico, and more, AIER is expanding its reach into communities around the world.

Focusing on economic freedom, sound money, individual liberty, and responsible governance, attendees learn what it means to be a principled business person. Furthermore, our attendees and members connect with each other, become mentors, build meaningful relationships and bring our ideas to their friends and colleagues. Discussions center on policy rather than politics.

The Bastiat Society’s network has grown to host more than 140 events in over 16 countries where thousands of lay people meet to discuss issues which are central to AIER’s mission and philosophy.

Sound Money Project

The Sound Money Project of AIER was founded in January 2009 to conduct research and promote awareness about monetary stability and financial privacy. The project is comprised of leading academics and practitioners in money, banking, and macroeconomics. It offers regular commentary and in-depth analysis on monetary policy, alternative monetary systems, financial markets regulation, cryptocurrencies, and the history of monetary and macroeconomic thought.

As an example, in a discussion titled “Cronyism and the Morality of Sound Money,” project director, Dr. William Luther and other scholars explored the destructive effects of the Federal Reserve’s discretionary monetary policies and asserted that through its discretionary policies, the Fed is actually “stealing from the average Americans. “An ideal monetary system should maximize gains from exchanges,” explained Luther, who provided a consequentialist approach when tackling the question of the morality of sound money, and noted, “Changes in the supply of money should not be aimed at fooling individuals to producing or consuming more than they’d like to. … Money should be neutral.”

The Sound Money Project also hosts an annual essay contest designed to promote scholarship in monetary and macro-economics. More specifically, it aims to encourage those working at the cutting edge of the discipline to consider the monetary institutions that would reduce nominal disturbances and promote economic growth. The contest is open to graduate students, post-graduates, untenured professors, and tenured professors from any discipline.

The prizes for the essay contest are, First Prize $10,000, Second Prize $2,000, and Third Prize $1,000. The winners are also invited to attend the Sound Money Project annual meeting in Great Barrington which brings together prominent and emerging scholars to discuss cutting-edge ideas in monetary economics and macroeconomics.

Teach the Teachers

AIER’s Teach the Teachers program targets an audience of high school teachers with in-person seminars coupled with online lesson plans and follow-ups to improve the economic literacy of their students. Lessons are designed in conjunction with leading scholars from renowned universities and research centers.

A sample of lessons includes:

Through these lessons, students are exposed to alternative views and the value of free enterprise.


AIER interns work closely with staff on projects relating to their interests. Their skills can be applied to scholarly research, program/event planning, marketing, graphic design, communications, editorial writing, and development/fundraising.

Residency is provided in the AIER manor or cottages right on campus, close to the beautiful town of Great Barrington. Those visiting from outside of New England are also eligible for a $750 travel stipend. Many meals are also included. Applications are welcome throughout the year.

Harwood Graduate Colloquium

These four-day events are intended for graduate students and consist of a combination of interactive discussions and provocative lectures based on pre-assigned readings. Participants are given ample time to interact with each other and prominent scholars. Topics vary by year and may include: Alternative Governance, Monetary Policy, Economic Freedom, The Business Cycle, Economic Methodology, and Property Rights.

The goal of the program is to encourage promising graduate students to push the frontiers in their understanding of governance institutions, forge new research collaborations and network with their peers and established scholars from this field.

Upon successful completion of the colloquium, participants are awarded an honorarium ($1000 for US & Canada / $1500 for others). Meals and accommodations are provided.

Visiting Scholars Program

AIER works closely with scholars in the fields of economics, political science, philosophy, history, and law. Those involved in other disciplines are also considered. Our visiting scholars include professors, post-doctoral fellows, PhD students, and master’s students. Applications from independent researchers and authors are also welcome. Selected fellows are encouraged to reside on the AIER campus in Great Barrington for the majority of their fellowship.

AIER provides visiting scholars with a $250/week living stipend and lunch during most work days. A travel stipend of $750 is also provided for fellowships lasting 10 weeks or more ($1500 for those outside of the US & Canada). Applications are accepted throughout the year.

Regional Conferences

AIER hosts regional conferences for like-minded scholars, think-tank leaders, students, business people, and philanthropic foundations.