About Us

The Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise is dedicated to understanding the role that markets play in the economy and in society. The Institute’s mission is to generate intellectually rigorous research and an open dialogue to discover and understand how free enterprise affects peoples’ lives and the well-being of society.Unknown Object


Remembering Patrick D. Walker

The University of Kentucky has suffered a profoundly sad loss of a vibrant, kind, and engaging member of our community and Honors family. Patrick D. Walker, the inaugural Ruth Jones Lewis Faculty Scholar in Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise, an endowed position in the Lewis Honors College, passed away on June 17, 2021, in Lexington, KY. Patrick was also a faculty affiliate of UK African American and Africana Studies, Center for Equality and Social Justice, and the Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise (IFSE).

“It is difficult to put into words how much Patrick meant to the Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise during his two years as an affiliate. He was an endless source of ideas and enthusiasm, and it was a great privilege to support his initiatives that aimed to foster an entrepreneurial mindset among UK students and the development of African-American-owned businesses,” Courtemanche said. “He was also the driving force behind a series of events – jointly sponsored by Lewis, ISFE, and other university partners – on free enterprise and racial inequality. More personally, I will deeply miss Patrick’s unwavering positive energy, encouragement, and support.”  - ISFE Director Charles Courtemanche  

As we mourn the loss of Patrick D. Walker, we want to ensure that his legacy of service continues. The Patrick Douglas Walker Scholarship has been established for first-generation students who are members of underrepresented racial or ethnic groups in his memory at the University of Kentucky Lewis Honors College. Gifts may be sent to UK Philanthropy, P.O. Box 23552, Lexington, KY  40523, Attention: Patrick Douglas Walker Scholarship. You may also contact the Lewis Honors College at 859-319-6886. To make an online gift to the scholarship, please follow these steps:

• Visit https://uky.networkforgood.com/causes/4739-lewis-honors-college

• Click on the link that says "Patrick Douglas Walker Scholarship"

• Fill in amount you wish to give

• Select Memorial in the drop-down menu under "Honor or remember someone with your gift." 

• Fill in Patrick Douglas Walker under "Whom do you want to recognize?"

Annual Report

ISFE 2019-2020 Annual Report

In the News

Aaron Yelowitz, ISFE Affiliate, testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship in a hearing entitled "Small Business Franchising: An Overview of the Industry, SBA's Role, and Legislative Proposals."


A study by our affiliate, Aaron Yelowitz, and economist, Brian Blase, is referenced in this Committee on Ways and Means GOP article.


Congratulations to the winners of the 2022 Econ Games, an annual data competition, co-founded by Dr. Darshak Patel (University of Kentucky, ISFE Affiliate) and Dr. Abdullah Al-Bahrani (Northern Kentucky University).

1st place: University of Southern Indiana - $1,500 & 5-year Stata licenses

2nd place: University of Kentucky - $1,000

3rd place: University of Kentucky - $500

4th place: Northern Kentucky University

The prize money was sponsored by University of Kentucky's Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise and Stata


The Institute's affiliate, Ken Troske, and Mike Clark, director of the university's Center for Business & Economics Research, were quoted in nearly 200 media outlets recently related to the new Ford Motor Company electric car plant in Kentucky. 


Rob Gebelhoff of the Washington Post shares his view regarding the ecig research conducted by Chuck Courtemanche, our director, and co-authors. 


Most Recent Video

Coronavirus Economics #7: New study shows government restrictions are stopping COVID-19.

Dr. Charles Courtemanche explains his latest study published in the Health Affairs journal about the effect of stay-at-home orders, business closures and other government measures in the spread of COVID-19.