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, Alain Marciano | Apr 2015
We present a short history of the Virginia School of Political Economy in its institutional settings of University of Virginia (UVA), Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, or Virginia Tech (VPI), and George Mason University (GMU). We discuss the original research and educational project as envisioned by Buchanan at UVA, its maturity into a normal science at VPI, and its continuation at GMU.
Peter J. Boettke, Douglas Rogers | May 2014
In Homer Economicus a cast of lively contributors takes a field trip to Springfield, where the Simpsons reveal that economics is everywhere. By exploring the hometown of television's first family, this book provides readers with the economic tools and insights to guide them at work, at home, and at the ballot box.
Peter J. Boettke, | Feb 18, 2014
We argue that in order to answer the challenges that James Buchanan put to contemporary political economists, a reconstruction of public choice theory building on the work of Buchanan, F.A. Hayek and Vincent Ostrom must take place. Absent such a reconstruction, and the significant challenges that Buchanan raised will continue to go unmet.
Peter J. Boettke | Dec 01, 2013
The absence of dominion and discrimination in human relationships is a cardinal feature of a free and just society, according to James Buchanan. If classical liberals emphasized this benefit, they would help assuage the public’s fears about having to take on greater responsibilities if the welfare state were repealed.

Working Papers

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.
Peter J. Boettke | Jun 2011
The study of endogenous rule formation in economic life should be studied in-depth.

Testimony & Comments

Speeches & Presentations

Expert Commentary

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.
Sep 03, 2013

With great sadness, we relay news that economist Ronald Coase passed away on September 2, 2013, at the age of 102.


Peter J. Boettke, David Prychitko,, Paul Heyne | Jul 2013
Teach your students how to think like economists. The Economic Way of Thinking goes beyond explaining the basic principles of micro- and macroeconomic analysis by showing students a method of reasoning that teaches them how to apply these principles as tools. The authors expose students to a method of reasoning that makes them think like an economist through example and application and also shows them how not to think, by exposing errors in popular economic reasoning.


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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