Peter J. Boettke

Peter J. Boettke

  • Vice President and Director, F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
  • BB&T Professor for the Study of Capitalism
  • University Professor of Economics and Philosophy, George Mason University

Peter Boettke is the vice president and director of the F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center as well as the BB&T Professor for the Study of Capitalism and a University Professor of Economics and Philosophy at George Mason University. He specializes in Austrian economics, economic history, institutional analysis, public choice, and social change.

Boettke has authored and coauthored 11 books, including his most recent, Living Economics, and is editor of the Review of Austrian Economics, series editor of the New Thinking in Political Economy book series, and coeditor of the Cambridge Studies in Economics, Cognition, and Society.

Boettke is a former Fulbright Fellow at the University of Economics in Prague, a National Fellow at Stanford University, and Hayek Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics. He has held visiting academic positions at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow and the Stockholm School of Economics, among other institutions. Before joining the faculty at George Mason University, Boettke taught economics at New York University.

Boettke’s work has earned him numerous awards, including a doctorate honoris causa in social sciences from Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala and an honorary doctorate from Alexandru Iona Cuza in Romania.

Boettke received his PhD in economics from George Mason University.

View PDF of Curriculum Vitae.

Published Research

Peter J. Boettke, | Aug 2016
This essay praises Gerald Gaus’s The Order of Public Reason as a building block for all normative explorations into the institutional foundations of human sociability. It evaluates the normative implications put forth by Gaus in terms of the Kirzner’s “finder’s keeper’s ethic.” This raises a question about the relationship between the moral order and the political order that underlies market processes. Examining the role of entrepreneurship in the market process in relation to Kirzner’s “finder’s keeper’s principle” suggests a deeper ethical foundation that underpins the institutional conditions of “social morality.”…
Peter J. Boettke, Christopher Coyne, | Aug 2016
This chapter provides a comprehensive survey of the contributions of the Austrian school of economics, with specific emphasis on post-WWII developments.
Peter J. Boettke, Daniel J. Smith | Dec 2015
Attempting to find the technically optimal monetary policy is futile if the Federal Reserve’s independence is undermined by political influences. F. A. Hayek, Milton Friedman, and James Buchanan each sought ways to improve the performance of the Federal Reserve.
Peter J. Boettke, Christopher Coyne | Oct 2015
This chapter provides context for the The Oxford Handbook of Austrian Economics. The Handbook was designed to give an overview of the main methodological, analytical, and practical implications of the Austrian school of economics.

Working Papers

Peter J. Boettke, Jayme Lemke, Liya Palagashvili | Jul 24, 2015
Elinor Ostrom and her colleagues in The Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University in Bloomington conducted fieldwork in metropolitan police departments across the United States. Their finding in support of community policing dealt a blow to the popular belief that consolidation and centralization of services was the only way to effectively provide citizens with public goods.
Peter J. Boettke, Kyle O'Donnell | Oct 06, 2013
Hayek argued that the central question of economics is the coordination problem: How does the spontaneous interaction of many purposeful individuals, each having dispersed bits of subjective knowledge, generate an order in which the actors’ subjective data are coordinated in a way that enables them to successfully dovetail their plans and activities?
Peter J. Boettke, Kyle O'Donnell | Aug 15, 2013
The authors argue that the only social responsibility of economists is to maximize their career advancement within the scientific community of economists, and that the appropriate target for criticism and reform is the institutional framework of the scientific community. Good science does not require “good” scientists, but good rules of scientific engagement that fosters the constant contestation of ideas through open, critical discourse among scientists. If there is a problem of the corruption of economics, the true source is not corporate and special interests, however, but the state’s capture and politicization of the discipline.
Peter J. Boettke, Daniel J. Smith, | Oct 26, 2011
The authors assess the impact of two groups of economists; mainline economists who regard economics primarily as the science of exchange and mainstream economists who perceive economics primarily as the science of choice.

Testimony & Comments

Speeches & Presentations

Expert Commentary

Jan 11, 2016

Like Uber disrupts the transportation industry, charter schools and private schools can and are disrupting the education industry. It is through these rivalrous and decentralized efforts that best practices come about and can be replicated by others. It is by getting into the field and experimenting, not waiting for federal reform, that will foster innovations that are desperately needed.
Oct 13, 2015

Princeton University Professor Angus Deaton has won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, and it is a very worthy award. The 69-year-old Scottish-born economist has contributed to our understanding at a theoretical, empirical, and policy-relevant level throughout his very productive career. And he continues to challenge his fellow economists methodologically, analytically, and practically with new works. In many ways, this was a very inspiring choice.
Aug 20, 2015

The products of the Mercatus Center Gulf Coast Recovery Project continue to flow. Research projects among graduate students and alumni continue in the area of the entrepreneurial market process, the constitutional level of analysis and strategic behavior within government, and the informal rules that enable social groups to engage in effective collective action. Below is a list of books, journal articles, and policy papers that are a result of this research program to date.
Oct 30, 2013

Janet Yellen, President Obama's selection for chair of the Federal Reserve Bank, will likely sail through the confirmation process. Many Americans expect the high-profile economist to achieve greater financial stability and improve national prosperity. But the likely outcome is more of the same policies that have made the U.S. a virtually bankrupt nation.


Don Lavoie, Peter J. Boettke, Virgil Storr | Dec 2015
This study represents a serious challenge to conventional thinking in contemporary comparative systems, and the economics of socialism. It disputes the commonly accepted view of both the nature of the 'socialist calculation debate' of the 1930s and the lessons to be derived from it.


Peter J. Boettke, Russell Roberts | October 12, 2015
Peter Boettke talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the political and economic lessons he has learned as program director of research in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
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