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, | 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.
Peter J. Boettke, Liya Palagashvili, Jayme Lemke | Oct 28, 2013
More than 40 years ago, Elinor Ostrom began her adventures with the police. In order to combat the conventional view that ‘bigger means better’, Ostrom pioneered a fieldwork-based framework for measuring police services that utilized consumer surveys and thereby created a community-centered model of analysis for public services.

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 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.
Jan 10, 2013

Intellectually, Buchanan revolutionized economics and political economy in the second half of the 20th century. His contributions in public finance, public choice and constitutional economics changed the way that it is taught and practiced. But besides his methodological and analytical contributions, which will be justly celebrated in various retrospectives on Buchanan and public choice, it is important to stress that Buchanan also made fundamental contributions to social and political philosophy.
Jun 12, 2012

It is with great sadness that we share the news that Elinor “Lin” Ostrom passed away this morning after a courageous battle with cancer. Our thoughts are with her husband and colleague Vincent. For over half a century the Ostroms collaborated side-by-side, first at UCLA and then at Indiana University, where they established the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis.


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.


' '