Christopher Coyne

Christopher Coyne

  • Associate Director, F. A. Hayek Program

Christopher Coyne is associate director of the F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and F. A. Harper Professor of Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He is also a professor of economics and director of graduate studies in the economics department at George Mason University. He specializes in Austrian economics, economic development, emerging democracies, postwar and disaster reconstruction, political economy, and social change.

Coyne is the author, coauthor, or coeditor of four books, including, most recently, Doing Bad by Doing Good: Why Humanitarian Action Fails. He is a prolific writer of articles for scholarly journals, has published numerous policy briefs, and also has written for the Daily Caller, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and others.

Coyne is the co–editor in chief of the Review of Austrian Economics, the coeditor of the Independent Review, and the book-review editor of Public Choice. He is a member of the Board of Scholars for the Virginia Institute for Public Policy.

Coyne was a Hayek Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics and worked in the internal consulting services at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Coyne received his PhD in economics from George Mason University and his BS in business administration from Manhattan College.

Published Research

Christopher Coyne | Dec 01, 2013
Nobel laureate James M. Buchanan laid down a new foundation for political economy and classical liberalism. To understand its development, it’s helpful to note Buchanan’s indebtedness to the writings of Frank Knight, Knut Wicksell, and Italian public-finance scholars.
Peter J. Boettke, Christopher Coyne, Peter Leeson | Sep 2013
Investigations of a society's competitiveness aim to trace the causal mechanisms behind patterns in wealth and poverty across societies. This paper argues that to be productive such investigations must be comparative, historical, and political economic in nature. Comparative historical political economy is how social scientists generate useful knowledge about the wealth and poverty of nations. Our contribution is a methodology – or rather a collection of methodologies – for understanding national competitiveness and attempts to improve it: one focuses on political-economic analysis, another on historical analysis, and a third on comparative analysis.
Christopher Coyne, | Sep 2013
Led astray by Marxist and Keynesian dogma, the literature on the origins of the permanent war economy has overlooked a leading cause of the elevated levels of U.S. military spending since the end of World War II: the economic rents created by the federal government’s monopoly on national defense, and the pursuit of those rents by the labor, industry, and military lobbies. Although the permanent war economy benefits powerful special interest groups, it generates a significant negative externality by diverting resources from other, private uses.
Christopher Coyne | Oct 11, 2011
A crisis is an unexpected event that creates uncertainty and poses a direct or perceived threat to the goals and norms of an organization or society. While crises are ubiquitous, how societies respond to crises, and the way crises affect societies, is largely a matter of constitutional political economy. Drawing on a variety of insights from James Buchanan's research, this paper develops the political economy of crisis.

Working Papers

Christopher Coyne, | Aug 01, 2012
Peter J. Boettke, Christopher Coyne, Peter Leeson | Mar 2011
The efficiency of “quasimarkets” — decentralized public goods provision subjected to Tiebout competition — is a staple of public choice conventional wisdom.
Christopher Coyne | Mar 01, 2011
This paper analyzes the political economy of the creeping militarization of U.S. foreign policy. The tools of political economy are used to analyze some of the implications.
Peter J. Boettke, Christopher Coyne | Feb 2011
This paper explores the relevance of Smith’s juggling trick in the context of dominant fiscal and monetary policies.

Media Clippings

Expert Commentary


Christopher Coyne


Christopher Coyne | Apr 2013
In 2010, Haiti was ravaged by a brutal earthquake that affected the lives of millions. The call to assist those in need was heard around the globe. Yet two years later humanitarian efforts led by governments and NGOs have largely failed.


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