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William Luther, Ph.D. - Florida Atlantic University. Boca Raton, FL, US

William Luther, Ph.D. William Luther, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor | Florida Atlantic University


Expertise is in monetary economics and alternative currencies, including Bitcoin.






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Capitalism, Socialism, & Open Borders w/ Bryan Caplan, PhD - Economics Professor, Author, & Blogger




Will Luther, Ph.D., comes to FAU as an experienced assistant professor, having previously been at Kenyon College. His expertise is in monetary economics and alternative currencies, including Bitcoin. He is also the director of the Sound Money Project at the American Institute for Economic Research, and an adjunct scholar with the Cato Institute’s Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives in Washington D.C.

The author of more than two dozen articles, he has published in such leading journals as "Economic Inquiry," "Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization," "Contemporary Economic Policy," "Journal of Private Enterprise," "Public Choice," and others. His work also has appeared in leading news outlets in the popular press, including "The Economist," "Forbes," and "U.S. News & World Report."

Will earned his Ph.D. from George Mason University.

Areas of Expertise (5)




Monetary Economics

Alternative Currencies

Education (3)

George Mason University: Ph.D., Economics 2012

Capital University: B.A., Economics 2008

George Mason University: M.A., Economics 2011

Selected Media Appearances (10)

Chuck E. Cheese welcomes back families, navigates bankruptcy



"We should expect more bankruptcies than usual," said Dr. William Luther, assistant professor of economics at Florida Atlantic University.

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Florida sees dramatic jobs rebound as unemployment rate drops to 7.4%

Sun Sentinel  


“In a normal year a 7.4% unemployment rate would be a huge cause for concern,” said William Luther an economist and assistant professor at Florida Atlantic University’s College of Business. “But just a few months ago we were staring down the barrel of a 19% unemployment rate. That we are back to 7.4% so quickly is good news. It doesn’t mean that everything is okay today. A lot of people are still unemployed. Some of those people don’t have jobs to return to because businesses have failed or down-scaled.”

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South Florida Hosts Presidential Campaigns As COVID-19 Economic Recovery Continues



South Florida Roundup host Tom Hudson discussed COVID-19 and the local economy with Alí Bustamante, a research affiliate with Florida International University, who authors an annual report called the State of Working Florida. They were joined by William Luther, an economics professor at Florida Atlantic University.

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Jobs are returning little by little. Here’s a look at who’s hiring ... and who’s not.

Sun Sentinel  


“The big thing for the hospitality sector is it is difficult to predict how demand for this season will compare to seasons past,” said William Luther, a professor of economics at Florida Atlantic University. “It’s reasonable to expect it will be a lot lower. But how much? It is difficult to gauge what that fear factor is going to be like a month from now” or beyond.

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What to Do if There Isn’t COVID-19 Student Loan Forgiveness



William J. Luther, director of the Sound Money Project at the nonpartisan nonprofit American Institute for Economic Research in Massachusetts, has previously called forgiveness bad policy. Even in light of recent events, he says “a student loan debt forgiveness policy does not target those who need it most.”

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Economists point to slow recovery, but some businesses hang tough

CBS 12 News  


“Certainly a prediction in this environment is very difficult,” said William Luther, Ph.D., an economist and associate professor at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.

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Communities didn't wait for lockdown orders from above

Florida Trend  


State and federal officials move slower in general because they have to marshal widespread support, he says. “It’s very easy to say, ‘Well, the state was too slow to respond,’ but that’s a feature of democracy, not a bug,” Luther said.

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Stock up on hurricane supplies during sales tax holiday

South Florida Sun Sentinel  online


“If people are more prepared, it will result in less devastating disasters,” said William Luther, a professor of economics at FAU. “It will limit the extent to which the state will need to provide assistance.” Luther estimates people may make a more conscious effort to shop for these items during this year’s tax holiday, given economic conditions as a result of global shutdowns.

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Florida throws open its doors — and holds its breath

Politico  online


According to new research from Florida Atlantic University economics professor William Luther, DeSantis can only take so much credit for Florida’s relatively good condition. Using Google Mobility, Luther found that local governments, business owners and citizens began social distancing before the DeSantis issued orders March and April. Roughly three-quarters of the change in residential, retail, recreation, workplace and public transportation activity preceded orders by states to shelter in place.

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Venezuela Puts the Crypt in Cryptocurrency

Wall Street journal  online


Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro is again unleashing armies of inspectors across the country to enforce price controls as a means of controlling hyperinflation, the Venezuelan newspaper Tal Cual reported last week.

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Selected Articles (5)

Cross-Country Differences in Personal Protection Equipment Use

AIER Sound Money Project Working Paper

2020 Why does the use of personal protection equipment (PPE) differ across countries? I develop a simple model and then offer several hypotheses. While the primary objective is to explain cross-country differences, the model suggests potential reasons for within-country and time-series variation, as well.

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Is Bitcoin a Decentralized Payment Mechanism?

AIER Sound Money Project Working Paper

2020 We make a distinction between centralized, decentralized, and distributed payment mechanisms. A centralized payment mechanism processes a transaction using a trusted third party. A decentralized payment mechanism processes a transaction between the parties to the transaction.

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Is bitcoin money? And what that means

The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance

2019 In a recent article, Yermack (2015) argues that bitcoin is not money because it functions poorly as a medium of exchange, unit of account, and store of value. We offer a more conventional view. We maintain that the standard approach classifies an item as money if and only if it functions as a commonly-accepted medium of exchange.

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Regulatory ambiguity in the market for bitcoin

The Review of Austrian Economics

2020 The standard economic approach to considering the effects of a policy tends to neglect the prospect of regulatory ambiguity. I describe four sources of regulatory ambiguity and survey the literature considering the effects of ambiguity on entrepreneurial activity. I also explain how jurisdictional redundancy, where multiple agencies regulate the same action or industry, increases the likelihood of regulatory ambiguity.

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Adaptation and central banking

Public Choice

2019 What or who governs central bank decisions? Most considerations focus on motivations. Instead, we consider the extent to which specific behaviors have adaptive value in the context of central banking. From that perspective, poor decisions are not the product of poor motivations.

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