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Donald J. Boudreaux

Donald J. Boudreaux

Donald Joseph Boudreaux (born 1958) is an American economist, author and professor. He is publicly known as a libertarian. Boudreaux was an Assistant Professor of Economics at George Mason University from 1985 to 1989. He was an Associate Professor of Legal Studies and Economics at Clemson University from 1992 to 1997, and President of the Foundation for Economic Education from 1997 to 2001. He is now Professor of Economics at George Mason University, where he served as chairman of the Economics Department from 2001 to 2009. During the Spring 1996 semester he was an Olin Visiting Fellow in Law and Economics at the Cornell Law School. Boudreaux is now an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, a Washington think tank.

Articles by Donald J. Boudreaux

Today’s Relevance of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations

September 1, 2020

The Scottish economist and moral philosopher’s landmark treatise, The Wealth of Nations (1776), is relevant today not only because it makes a still pertinent and compelling case for free trade, low taxes, and the “invisible hand” of the marketplace. It also resonates by calling out, with acumen and eloquence, the “folly and presumption” of any persons or group who believes themselves fit to direct the affairs of other people.

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Socialists and Their Silly Stories

August 21, 2020

Donald Boudreaux responds to a Marxist professor who thinks fully stocked supermarket shelves mean capitalism is failing. Yes, really. Read more at the American Institute for Economic Research.

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The Economy Is Not a Series of Supply Chains

August 21, 2020

Donald Boudreaux writes that Sen. Josh Hawley is wrong about "secur[ing] our critical supply chains," a policy that leads down a dark road toward autarky. Read more at the American Institute for Economic Research.

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Leviathan and Crises

August 21, 2020

Nearly every crisis leads to a permanent increase in the size and power of government, and Donald Boudreaux fears that COVID-19 will be no different. Read more at the American Institute for Economic Research.

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The disadvantage of misunderstanding comparative advantage

March 24, 2020

Haberler’s complaint about attempts to discredit the principle of comparative advantage (what Haberler called the ‘Law of Comparative Cost’) is as valid and relevant today as when he first issued it. Correctly perceived to be a key component of economists’ positive analysis of international trade – and, hence, central to economists’ normative case for free trade – the principle of comparative advantage has been regularly battered by those who wish to promote protectionist policies.

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Dumb Individuals, Brilliant Voters?

January 2, 2019

Don Boudreaux critiques the notion that one can respect the intelligence of the average American and also favor leaving an ever-increasing number of decisions to the state.

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Angry at Amazon

November 20, 2018

Amazon doesn’t need corporate welfare to succeed. Don Boudreaux explains why that makes the company’s decision regarding its headquarters so disappointing.

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A Patently False Excuse for Tariffs

November 5, 2018

Chinese IP theft is sometimes used as a justification for Trump’s tariffs. Don Boudreaux explains why that explaination doesn’t carry water at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

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Free Trade and How It Enriches Us

October 12, 2018

Donald Boudreaux published a discussion paper for the Institute of Economic Affairs that explores several issues regarding free trade: 
Free trade improves the well-being of all parties to it. The most significant way that trade achieves this outcome is by enabling and incentivising specialisation in production, and also encouraging mechanisation and innovation. As specialisation deepens, and as mechanisation and innovation advance, the per-person output of goods and services increases.
Total economic output rises as specialisation increases; specialisation increases as trade expands; and trade expands as the size of markets grows.
Specialisation that takes place according to comparative advantage increases total economic output even if it does not increase the productivity of any

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