Richard Lyndell Stroup

January 3, 1943November 18, 2021

Richard Lyndell Stroup died of cancer on November 18, 2021, in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Known to his friends as Rick, he was born January 3, 1943, to Inez Kellett Stroup and Edgar Ivan Stroup, in Sunnyside, Washington. He attended Sunnyside High School and received his B.S, M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in economics from the University of Washington. In 1969 he moved to Bozeman, Montana, where he became a professor of economics at Montana State University.

He taught for more than 37 years in Montana State’s Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics and briefly served as department head. He became an emeritus professor at Montana State, as well as emeritus professor at North Carolina State University, where he taught after retiring from Montana State.

While at Montana State he became one of the originators of the New Resource Economics, the academic approach behind what is popularly known as free market environmentalism. This approach recognizes that many environmental problems stem from poorly defined or poorly defended property rights. The positive role of property rights in environmental protection is now accepted by many economists, environmentalists, and policymakers.

In 1980, Dr. Stroup helped found the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) along with his colleagues Terry Anderson, John Baden, and P.J. Hill.

During the Reagan administration, Dr. Stroup directed the Office of Policy Analysis at the Department of the Interior, which in practice meant serving as the chief economist of the Interior Department.

He became a widely published author and frequent speaker on economics, natural resources, and environmental issues. His primer on environmental economics, Eco-Nomics: What Everyone Should Know about Economics and the Environment, was published by the Cato Institute and received the 2004 Sir Antony Fisher Memorial Award.

Dr. Stroup is also recognized for introducing the public choice school of economics in a leading economics principles textbook coauthored with James D. Gwartney. Economics: Private and Public Choice. (Public choice economics applies the economic way of thinking to people in government.) The book, in its 17th edition, now includes Russell S. Sobel and David A. MacPherson as coauthors. Rick was also a coauthor of an innovative text, Common Sense Economics: What Everyone Should Know about Wealth and Prosperity.

He is survived by his wife, Jane Shaw Stroup; his sister, Margaret Allan and her husband, Larry Allan and daughters Brooke Davis and Alison Minar; son Michael Dean Stroup and his wife, Lori Taylor Stroup; son, Craig Lee Stroup and his wife, Lesa Deeds Stroup; son, David Richard Stroup and his wife, Allyssa Ward Stroup; granddaughter, Sarah Stroup Fuentes and her husband, Michael Fuentes; grandchildren, Sean Stroup, Tygren Stroup, Lauren Stroup, Weston Ward Stroup, and Calla Jane Stroup; great-granddaughter, Elise Roselyn Fuentes; and his sister-in-law, Barbara Anne Steidemann. His first wife, Sandra (née Price) Autrey, the mother of his two older sons, also survives him.

The family thanks our friend Grace Mwaura for her dedicated service over the past months.

Services will be held Friday, December 17, at 2 pm at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Raleigh.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC), 2048 Analysis Drive, Suite A, Bozeman, Montana 59718,, or to the Economics Enhancement Fund at North Carolina State University (

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 300 Saint Mary's St. Raleigh, NC 27605.


17 December

Memorial Service

2:00 pm

St Michael's Episcopal Church

1520 Canterbury Rd
Raleigh, NC 27608


Richard Lyndell Stroup

have a memory or condolence to add?

Kathleen Monahan

December 3, 2021

Dear Jane and Family - Please accept my deepest sympathy on your great loss. I have fond memories of Rick. I remember when he first moved here to the Cardinal. He was sitting alone in the Bistro. I went up to him and asked if he were a new resident. He said, "Yes", so I introduced myself and said "Welcome". He popped up from his chair, shook my hand, and told me his name. Wow! Such a gentleman! I was impressed! He proceeded to tell me that his wife's name was Jane, and said that I could remember them by "Rick and Jane", similar to Dick and Jane from our elementary school readers! Ha! So, of course, that's how I did remember them as a couple. I told him that my husband, Chuck, and I had been at this Senior Community since the beginning, and that we were very happy here. I wished him good luck. Since then, I have become very friendly with dear Jane, and, of course, I was very impressed to read about all of Rick's accomplishments in his obituary. Be assured of my continuing prayers for Rick, Jane, and all of the family. Sincerely, Kathy Monahan

Brent Haglund

November 30, 2021

Rick Stroup was one of the first faculty members that I met when starting graduate study at Montana State University. He was also one of the first two economists from whom I got useful perspective and with whom I engaged in serious conversation.

He became a friend and through his professional expertness and willingness to engage me, the non-economist, Rick exerted a strong, constructive influence on my career in advancing conservation through the work of incentivized private landowners.

He also taught me the value in drinking good port.

With deepest sympathy to Jane Stroup Shaw and so many others in Rick Stroup' family,
Brent Haglund

cynthia corliss ( Goldstein)

November 28, 2021

Jane, David and family,
I have only gratitude and warm fondness with the Bozeman memories of Kenny and David as best pals ! Many occasions to share smiles, witness growth and milestones together.
Rick was a keen mind and a bright light and I trust he will illuminate and elevate the perfection of eternity. His goodbye for now, is hard on hearts as life goes on. I believe he will not let heaven keep him to far away or time diminish his story.

I am grateful our stories shared a beautiful chapter of friendship and family.

Take good care -
Cynthia Corliss (Goldstein)

Stanley Relyea

November 26, 2021

My thoughts and prayers go out to Rick's family and friends. It was a pleasure growing up with Rick in Sunnyside. He was a friend to all who knew him. His contributions in his chosen career are numerous and he will be missed by many.

Ginni Vick

November 26, 2021

Rick was a beloved and admired member of the class of l961 in Sunnyside WA. We were in awe of all that he accomplished in the field of economics. It was so enjoyable chatting with him at our reunions. He will be missed. My condolences to Jane, his family, and to all of the people his life touched. May you savor the memories you have and may they bring you joy.

Gayle Pykonen

November 24, 2021

Condolences to Ricks wife sons and their families. Special condolences to Peggy and daughters. I grew up in snd out of the Stroup family home in Sunnyside Wa. Rick has always been a ‘larger than life’ man to me. I was in awe of what a small town graduate could become!

Josh Weaver

November 21, 2021

Dr. Stroup once gave me a signed copy of an economics pamphlet he probably wrote in the 1990's. I was invited many times to nice dinners at his house on Westridge Drive near the Nature Trail along Spring Creek. I also have a couple distance memories of his former house near Kirk Park. I would like to send my condolences to his family.