PRI’s History Timeline

  • 2020

    2020 - 

    Encounter Books publishes False Premise, False Promise: The Disastrous Reality of Medicare for All by Sally C. Pipes, which becomes a Number 1 bestseller for health law books.





    During Covid-19 pandemic, PRI launches popular webinar series featuring at-home conversations with Heather Mac Donald, Stephen Moore, Michael Anton, and others.




  • 2019

    2019 - 

    PRI hosts first annual “California Ideas in Action” policy conference in Sacramento.




    PRI releases mini-documentary “Welcome to Change” on Life Learning Academy, a charter school serving at risk youth on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay.

  • 2018

    2018 - 

    PRI puts out a Pension Chart Book to support the research study “Reforming Public-Sector Pensions to Improve California’s Fiscal Outlook” by Wayne Winegarden

The roots of Pacific Research Institute (PRI) go back to 1957, when Sir Antony Fisher founded the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in London to spread the influence of leading free-market thinkers such as F.A. Hayek and Milton Friedman, both of whom became Nobel laureates. In 1979, Sir Antony teamed with San Francisco businessman James North to establish the Pacific Research Institute. Sally Pipes became president of PRI in 1991.

PRI began by publishing groundbreaking books, leading the way for dramatic policy reforms in education, the environment, and health care. PRI is still recognized as a premier publisher, but we expanded to pioneer innovative methods of public outreach that empower individuals and communities nationwide.


PRI established five research centers to provide compelling policy analysis and solutions: Education Studies, Business and Economic Studies, Environmental Studies, Health Care Studies and Center For California’s Future. The center directors and policy fellows respond to current policy challenges with rigorous, cutting-edge research and thought-provoking public commentary.


PRI strives to change the perception of lawmakers and the public so that the starting point for any policy solution is a private, voluntary action, rather than unnecessary, and even harmful, government intervention. The Institute fills a critical role in the public debate because of California’s influence as a national trendsetter and the economic and demographic importance of the state.


Our “outside the beltway” independence enables PRI to address important issues before they reach national prominence, and to lead the way in anticipating future threats to liberty.


PRI’s staff is often invited to give testimony to state legislatures and Congress, and lawmakers across the political spectrum have praised the Institute’s work. PRI policy staff has appeared on NBC’s “The Today Show”, CNBC, CNN, MSNBC, and the Fox News Channel. PRI’s work has been cited and published in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Newsweek, Time, USA Today, The Economist, The Atlantic Monthly, Investor’s Business Daily, Washington Times, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and many other leading publications throughout the world.