Virgil Storr

Virgil Storr

  • Senior Research Fellow
  • Senior Director, Academic and Student Programs
  • Senior Fellow, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Virgil Storr is a senior research fellow and senior director of Academic and Student Programs at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Prior to joining the Mercatus Center, he was the Don C. Lavoie Research Fellow in the Program in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, Department of Economics, George Mason University.

Dr. Storr's book on the Bahamas' economic culture, Enterprising Slaves & Master Pirates, was published by Peter Lang. In it, he argues that two ideal typical entrepreneurs dominate the economic life in the Bahamas: the enterprising slave (encouraging Bahamian businessmen to work hard, to be creative and to be productive) and the master pirate (demonstrating how success is more easily attained through cunning and deception). His writings in political economy have been published or are forthcoming in The Cambridge Journal of Economics, The American Journal of Economics and Sociology, The Review of Austrian Economics, and several other scholarly publications.

Dr. Storr received his Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University and his B.A. from Beloit College. Born and raised in the Bahamas, Dr. Storr now lives in Washington, DC, with his wife Nona Martin. His personal web page may be found at

View PDF of Curriculum Vitae. 

Published Research

Virgil Storr, Stefanie Haeffele-Balch | Apr 01, 2014
During his first presidential term (1885-89), Cleveland opposed the partisan “spoils system” in the civil service, private legislation to benefit particular constituents, federal disaster relief, and protectionism. Public choice theory provides an illuminating framework for examining the challenges he faced.
Virgil Storr, Ryan Langrill | Dec 2012
Market supporters have consistently emphasized that markets make it so that selfinterested or even greedy individuals can only help themselves by serving their fellow men and women. This channeling of self-interest away from predation and toward profit seeking explains why market economies tend to be materially prosperous. Yet if markets only succeed in providing a wealth of goods and services at the cost of turning people into myopic hedonists, then it might very well be reasonable to despise them. The moral meanings of markets, however, are not suspect. This article offers a critique of the traditional defenses of the morality of markets and explains how markets depend on and promote virtue.
Virgil Storr, Stefanie Haeffele-Balch | Sep 01, 2012
Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast on 29 August 2005, leaving a great deal of destruction, pain, and uncertainty in its wake. Post-disaster community rebound is a collective action problem where every individual’s decision to rebuild is impacted by the likelihood that others in the community will rebuild.
Virgil Storr, | Mar 01, 2012
In The Art of Not Being Governed (2009), Scott revises the state generated narratives of the hill people of Zomia which describes them as an aboriginal population that have simply failed to become more civilized. As an alternative, Scott views hill peoples as state-repelling societies or even anti-state societies. As we suggest in this article, by at least implicitly employing a rational choice framework, Scott is able to make sense why people would attempt to avoid being state subjects by taking to the hills as well as why their descendants have remained in the hills.

Working Papers

Emily Chamlee-Wright, Virgil Storr | Jan 2011
This article examines the relationship between social capital and rent seeking in the post-Katrina recovery in New Orleans.
Virgil Storr, Stefanie Haeffele-Balch | Apr 05, 2010
Using data from interviews with affected residents and community leaders in New Orleans after Katrina, this article explores the effectiveness of private disaster recovery efforts and whether or not…
Virgil Storr | Nov 2009
Inspired by Berger and Luckmann’s work The Social Construction of Reality, this paper describes the social construction of the market, specifically focusing on the Austrian understanding of the…
Emily Chamlee-Wright, Virgil Storr | Oct 2008
This paper investigates the “sense of place” that residents in Ninth Ward New Orleans neighborhoods identify in their narratives about their pre- and post-Hurricane Katrina…

Expert Commentary


Virgil Storr



Virgil Storr, Stefanie Haeffele-Balch, Laura Grube | Oct 2015
Rebounding after disasters like tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods can be daunting. Communities must have residents who can not only gain access to the resources that they need to rebuild but can overcome the collective action problem that characterizes post-disaster relief efforts.
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