How Did Ice Get to India?
February 17, 2023
The year is 1837. Imagine that you live in Calcutta and a man with a thick Boston accent offers you some ice cream. There is no such device as a refrigerator, much less a freezer, and yet here is a man offering you a cold (and delicious) treat. How did it get there? In this lecture from the 2019 Acton Lecture Series, Dave Hebert explains how ice harvesters in 19th century Boston were able to create their own system of property rights that allowed each person living around a local pond to thicken ice as needed. The result? These entrepreneurs shipped blocks of ice to destinations as far flung as India, opening up a new market to places where ice (and all its benefits) did not exist.
David Hebert graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics from Hillsdale College in 2009, and then attended George Mason University, where he earned a master's in 2011 and a doctorate in 2014. During graduate school, he was an F.A. Hayek fellow with the Mercatus Center and a fellow with the Department of Health Administration and Policy. He also worked with the Joint Economic Committee in the U.S. Congress. Since graduating, he has worked as an assistant professor at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan, and Troy University in Troy, Alabama. He was also a fellow with the U.S. Senate Budget Committee, where he authored a comprehensive report on federal budget process reform.