Karol Boudreaux

Karol Boudreaux

  • Mercatus Center Affiliated Research Fellow

Karol Boudreaux is an affiliated senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center.  She formerly served as  lead researcher for Enterprise Africa, a research project that reported on enterprise-based solutions to poverty in Africa.  She also served as a member of the faculty of the George Mason University School of Law, and served on the Working Group on Property Rights of the U.N.'s Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor.

Ms. Boudreaux's main areas of interest include the institutional analysis of property rights, land tenure, natural resource management and, international development.  The main focus of her research is contemporary Africa and the ways in which particular institutional arrangements have either helped or hindered human flourishing and economic development on the continent.

Ms. Boudreaux currently serves as Africa Land Tenure Specialist at USAID.  Before joining the Mercatus Center she was assistant dean at the George Mason University School of Law. Additionally, she taught for four years at Clemson University in the legal studies department after which she served as director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education in Irvington-on-Hudson, NY.

Ms. Boudreaux earned her BA in English literature from Rutgers University (Douglass College) and her JD from the University of Virginia's School of Law.

Read her most recent articles:

"Entrepreneurship and Conflict Reduction in the Post-Genocide Rwandan Coffee Industry" in the Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

"Economic Liberalization in Rwanda’s Coffee Sector: A Better Brew for Success" in the book, Yes Africa Can Success Stories from a Dynamic Continent.

Published Research

Karol Boudreaux | May 12, 2010
This paper analyzes the recent transformation of Rwanda’s coffee sector. It begins with a brief discussion of the history of coffee production in Rwanda, then focuses on government efforts since the…
Karol Boudreaux | Mar 08, 2010
As a result of a very long history of discriminatory legislation, black South Africans suffered substantial harms at the hands of past governments. Following the political transition in 1994, the new…
Karol Boudreaux | Jul 11, 2009
In his 2005 best-selling book Collapse, Jared Diamond argues that some societies “choose to fail or succeed.”  One of the cases he explores in his book is the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, which he calls…
Karol Boudreaux, Puja Ahluwalia | Jun 2009
In the lead article of this volume of the Denver Journal of International Law & Policy, Enterprise Africa! Lead Researcher Karol Boudreaux and Stanford law student Puja Ahluwalia examine mechanisms…

Working Papers

Policy Briefs

Daniel Sacks, Karol Boudreaux | Sep 2009
In mid-July, the G-8 nations announced a $20 billion commitment to help farmers in developing countries increase their food production. Although these efforts are intended to increase food supplies and agricultural productivity over the short run, long-term institutional change is needed to help farmers improve output beyond one or two seasons.
Johan van der Walt, Karol Boudreaux | Mar 2009
As South Africa faces a new round of parliamentary elections in April 2009, the country confronts a host of difficult political challenges. This Mercatus on Policy provides recommendations for any…
Daniel Sacks, Karol Boudreaux | Nov 2008
The United States government spends over two billion dollars a year on food aid, suppos­edly to help poor, hungry people around the world fight off starvation. However, much of this money is not…
Daniel Sacks, Karol Boudreaux, Tyler Cowen | Aug 2008
Microcredit offers real benefits to people in developing countries. However, microcredit’s supporters overestimate its benefits. While some borrowers use microcredit loans to start business, most…

Research Summaries & Toolkits


Karol Boudreaux
  • phone: (703) 993-4930



Peter J. Boettke, Karol Boudreaux, Anthony Evans | Dec 2009
Three Mercatus Scholars contributed chapters to the Adam Smith Institute's "A Beginner's Guide to Liberty," the Institute's accessible introduction to the importance of liberty for human flourishing.


Karol Boudreaux, | September 21, 2010
Continuing Legal Education: Legal Challenges in African Development and Their Impact on U.S. Policies to Promote Trade and Human Rights…
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