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

Emily Chamlee-Wright, Virgil Storr | Oct 2015
Contemporary Austrian scholars have attempted to develop a research program in social economy (including a focus on mental models, generalized norms, social networks, and culture) to complement the school’s already well-developed research program in political economy. Rather than settling on a single approach or adopting a single perspective, however, they have pursued a number of different strategies. As a result, Austrian contributions to understanding how social factors affect economic action have yet to be systematized as part of a coherent social economy research program.
Virgil Storr, Ryan Langrill | Oct 2015
Contemporary Austrian economics and the new economic sociology have much in common. This chapter seeks to tease out the connections between the two schools and discuss possible gains from trade between them.
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.

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

Jul 11, 2016

The entangled relationship between public and private entities results in high administrative and overhead costs with little relief to those who need it the most.
Feb 01, 2016

We should embrace the key role that our neighbors play during and after disasters. Returning to normalcy means working together to clear the snow, supporting the business owners who remain open to sell supplies and embracing the importance of local entrepreneurs.
Dec 21, 2015

Lessons from post-disaster recovery suggest that donating to local social entrepreneurs can be a worthy endeavor.
Dec 21, 2015

With the holiday season upon us, many people will be looking to find ways to not only give gifts to their loved ones and friends but to also give back to their communities and donate to worthy causes. There are many options to choose from, including large multinational NGOs as well as local nonprofits and religious organizations, and determining where to donate your time and money is a difficult decision to make. However, lessons from post-disaster recovery suggest that donating to local social entrepreneurs can be a worthy endeavor.


Virgil Storr



Peter J. Boettke, Virgil Storr, Don Lavoie | 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.
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