Economics

Economics

Research

Bruce Yandle | Jun 01, 2015
Last quarter’s Economic Situation began with a question. Has the US economic engine lost its steam? This report provides an answer: It surely looks that way, at least for now.
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.
Daniel Klein,, Xiaofei Pan, Daniel Houser, Gonzalo Schwarz | Feb 2015
Emile Durkheim said that when all of the members of a tribe or clan come together, they can sanctify the sacred and experience a spiritual “effervescence.” Friedrich Hayek suggested that certain genes and instincts still dispose us toward the ethos and mentality of the hunter-gatherer band and that modern forms of political collectivism have, in part, been atavistic reassertions of such tendencies.
Bruce Yandle | Dec 01, 2014
There are potholes in the road, but no doubt about it, the future is looking a lot brighter. We see this reflected in major GDP forecasts, which I report here.
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.
Bruce Yandle | Dec 09, 2013
With autumn leaves falling and leftover Halloween jack-o-lanterns still grinning, first estimates for 3Q2013 GDP growth and news of October’s employment went bump in the night and rattled the spirits of Washington’s chatterbox. GDP growth came in with a “lofty” 2.8 percent real growth, which was much more than most soothsayers expected. Tapering is on the way! Or so it seemed. The stock marked tanked. Then the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that 204,000 jobs had been added to the economy in October; this also exceeded analysts’ expectations. The market recovered; the economy can handle tapering!

Testimony & Comments

Veronique de Rugy | Dec 04, 2013
Despite Washington’s recent focus on the disastrous Affordable Care Act website rollout, policymakers are missing what the rollout glitches symbolize: the fundamental flaws that imbue government intervention. The work of public choice economists such as Nobel laureate James Buchanan, Gordon Tullock, Mancur Olson, and William Niskanen has shown that, despite good intentions and lavish use of taxpayer resources, government solutions are not only unlikely to solve most of our problems—they often make problems worse.
Richard Williams | Jun 11, 2012
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has requested comment on the 2012 Draft Report to Congress on the Benefits and Costs of Federal Regulations and Unfunded Mandates on State, Local and Tribal Entities (hereafter referred to as “the OMB report”). This comment has been produced by Richard A. Williams, Ph.D., of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, an education, research, and outreach organization that works with scholars, policy experts, and government officials to bridge academic theory and real-world practice.
Keith Hall | Jun 06, 2012
For BLS to effectively disseminate data directly to the public and maintain credibility as an independent, objective provider of data, DOL should not interfere with BLS’ dissemination of economic data through any means.
| May 09, 2012
A reverse mortgage for seniors is a reasonable idea, but should not be guaranteed by the Federal government. It is an ownership decision and the Federal government must stop trying to micromanage this decision, particularly since there is an easy alternative that does not require government guarantees.
| Apr 25, 2012
Let us be wary of creating another Jurassic Park policy change. We are in unchartered waters for housing finance and Federal Reserve policies and any further changes should be enacted with extreme caution.
J. W. Verret | Apr 17, 2012
After a careful review of the legislative requirements that the SEC consider investor protection, efficiency, competition and capital formation in adopting new rules, I would like to simply offer a list of six items that would demonstrate a sincere commitment by the SEC to fulfill its statutory mission. The first five I will list are in fact required by law if one carefully reads the legislative and judicial history of the SEC’s mandate to consider the economic impact of new rules.

Research Summaries & Toolkits

Christopher Koopman, Nita Ghei | Aug 27, 2013
In the mid-1970s behavioral economics began to challenge the neoclassical rational actor model by fusing the insights of psychology and economics. Over the course of the next 40 years, a prescriptive framework built around these insights shifted focus toward attempting to mitigate the harm individuals cause themselves as a result of what the agencies view as “irrational” behavior.
Kenneth Button | May 17, 2012
A new Mercatus Center study looks at the evolution and outcomes of government regulations in air transportation since the 1978 law was enacted.
Michael L. Marlow, Sherzod Abdukadirov | Mar 01, 2012
Obesity is not the result of market failure. Americans do not lack the knowledge, rationale, or motivation to improve their health. Thus, pursuing regulations intended for a market failure will not solve the problem.
Richard Williams, Sherzod Abdukadirov | Feb 07, 2012
The United States’ regulatory system long has failed to consistently produce efficient, cost-effective regulations that deliver promised benefits. For decades, presidents and Congresses have attempted to fix the regulatory system through a series of statutes and executive orders aimed at increasing transparency and improving analysis. Yet the pattern of poor regulatory choices persists, suggesting the problems are not political but deeply embedded in the institutions themselves.
| Nov 2011
A new working paper, “Why the United States Needs to Restructure the Corporate Income Tax,” by Mercatus Center at George Mason University senior scholar Jason Fichtner suggests successful reform of the U.S. corporate tax code must address its fundamental problems: 1) the uncompetitive corporate income tax rate; and 2) the outdated “worldwide” system for corporate tax collection.
Richard Williams | Jan 11, 2011
In this research summary, Richard Williams discusses how regulations affect investment and jobs.

Speeches & Presentations

Tyler Cowen, Arnold Kling, Garett Jones, Peter Wallison, Jeffrey Rogers Hummel, | Jan 23, 2012
EJW and the Mercatus Center at George Mason University present this symposium on what a sovereign debt crisis in the United States would look like and what might bring it about.
Peter J. Boettke | Apr 12, 2010
Professor Peter J. Boettke's remarks upon receiving the 2010 Adam Smith Award from the Association of Private Enterprise Education.
Peter J. Boettke | Aug 07, 2007
This paper is Peter J. Boettke's speech at the twelfth Sir Ronald Trotter Lecture in New Zealand. Sir Ronald Trotter was the first chairman of the New Zealand Business Roundtable, who was knighted in…
Frederic Sautet | Jun 09, 2005
Frederic Sautet on Voice of America…
Frederic Sautet | Nov 19, 2004
On October 19, 2004, Mercatus Center Senior Fellow Frederic Sautet delivered a presentation on institutions and entrepreneurship to the New Zealand Business Roundtable (NZBR). This talk was part of…
Peter J. Boettke | Oct 27, 2004
Is there a unique Austrian School of Economics that represents a viable research program in modern economics? Peter Boettke locates the intellectual position and opportunities for mutually beneficial…

Expert Commentary

Aug 24, 2016

To paraphrase John Cleese from Monty Python, the startup nation concept isn’t dead, it’s just resting. Whether in business or in politics, the compelling logic of the startup just isn’t going away.
Aug 23, 2016

You work and get paid. To whom do your after-tax earnings belong?
Aug 16, 2016

The goal should not be for either nation to copy the other, but rather to borrow the best policies of the other. Conservatives should note that when it comes to regulatory efficiency and business freedom, Denmark has a considerably higher score than does the U.S., at least according to the Heritage Foundation Index of Economic Freedom.
Aug 15, 2016

One of the less heralded truths of economics is that growth miracles, while they make for good press, are overrated. It’s an insight that could help us better understand the outlook for developing countries such as China.
Aug 11, 2016

Moreover, if there is hope for a Detroit revival, it won't be in the form of the Motor City, nor should it be. For Detroit to hearken back to the days of automotive glory would have been like the Motor City in its prime trying to progress by shifting its focus toward propping up an obsolete horse-and-buggy industry.
Aug 11, 2016

The speech suggests that [Theresa May's] new road map for British economic policy stands to destroy everything that the Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher, who governed from strong conservative policies, fought to create and defend.

Charts

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the economy grew by a modest 2 percent in the third quarter of 2012. While this was stronger growth than the preceding quarter, all of the increase in GDP growth came from the biggest increase in federal government spending in over two years.

Experts

Paul Dragos Aligica is a senior research fellow and senior fellow at the F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center at 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.
Donald J. Boudreaux is a senior fellow with the F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, a Mercatus Center Board Member, and a professor of economics and former economics-department chair at George Mason University. He holds the Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center. He specializes in globalization and trade, law and economics, and antitrust economics.
Bryan Caplan is a senior scholar at the Mercatus Center and a professor of economics at George Mason University. He specializes in public economics, public choice, psychology and economics, public opinion, economics of the family and education, genoeconomics, and Austrian economics.
Emily Chamlee-Wright is a senior research scholar and Board Member at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Her primary research interests include development economics, cultural economics, and indigenous markets in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Podcasts

Donald J. Boudreaux | September 24, 2015
Donald Boudreaux addresses the moral aspects of capitalism in light of Pope Francis’s US visit for Tim Farley on POTUS (Sirius XM Radio).

Recent Events

In the first half of 2016, the US economy skirted close to recession territory but so far has registered positive growth. What are the major forces that seem to be driving the slow-growth economy? Is the economy getting stronger? Or, will we hit recession territory before the end of the year?

Books

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.

Media Clippings

Donald J. Boudreaux | Jun 27, 2014
This excerpt originally appeared in Vox.
Garett Jones | May 27, 2014
This excerpt originally appeared in Forbes.
Peter J. Boettke | Mar 03, 2014
Mercatus cited at The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Alexander Tabarrok | Feb 07, 2014
Alex Tabarrok cited at The Economist.
Tyler Cowen | Nov 07, 2013
Tyler Cowen's book, "Average is Over" cited at The New Yorker.
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