Monday , January 21 2019
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The author Peter Boettke
Peter Boettke
Peter Joseph Boettke (January 3, 1960) is an American economist of the Austrian School. He is currently a University Professor of Economics and Philosophy at George Mason University; the BB&T Professor for the Study of Capitalism, Vice President for Research, and Director of the F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center at GMU.

Coordination Problem

Police Services, Local Public Economics, and The Theory of Fiscal Attention

Two of my close colleagues and research partners -- Jayme Lemke and Liya Palagashvili -- have a great video out on the issue of community policing. We have been working on these issues of community policing, local public economics, and the theory of fiscal attention together for well over a decade.  There is an old idiom that goes as follows: "He who pays the piper calls the tune."  This basic idea is critical to understanding the rise and fall of...

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Some New Books To Add to Your List This Spring

The series I edit with Timur Kuran at Cambridge -- Cambridge Studies in Economics, Choice and Society -- will be adding two new books this spring -- Humanomics by Vernon Smith and Bart Wilson, and Persecution and Toleration by Noel Johnson and Mark Koyama. While neo-classical analysis works well for studying impersonal exchange in markets, it fails to explain why people conduct themselves the way they do in their personal relationships with family, neighbors, and friends....

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Demsetz: Competition, Property Rights, Nirvana Economics, and Barriers to Entry

We are mourning the passing of one of the greatest economists of all times who influenced me a great deal: Harold Demsetz. I met Demsetz at a Mt Pélerin's meeting in 1992. He was a joyous fellow and was totally available to speak with me (a student at the time). I'll never forget his smile when I explained to him how influential his work was. It is because of Demsetz, Kirzner and Alchian that I got interested in competition, firms and entrepreneurship. So I have a great intellectual...

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Harold Demsetz (1930-2019) — a champion of price theory and the Economic Way of Thinking

Harold Demsetz speaking at GMU 2009 I received the sad news this morning that Harold Demsetz has passed away.   A lot of folks who think in terms of "fresh water" and "salt water" economists, or "free market economists" versus "interventionist" economists, get confused about the economics taught at places like UCLA (1950s, 1960s and 1970s), University of Washington (1970s), and UVa (1950s and 1960s), VPI (1970s) and George Mason University (1980s--).  UCLA was not...

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Logic and contingency in politics

A few projects that I am involved with at the moment have brought me back to my original research and teaching interest in political economy -- comparative economic systems and the political and economic history of the Soviet Union.  One of those projects is that I am teaching my graduate course in comparative systems this spring, but I have changed the course once again so in preparation I have been reading some new books and articles.  In the process I turned to the website of...

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Holcombe’s _Political Capitalism_

During the run up to his election as President in 2016, candidate Trump often bragged that he knew full well about the pay to play schemes in politics because he was a master of using them to advance his own business interest.  It was time, he said to clean out the swamp. But no swamp cleaning is going on. What was unique about Trump was his brazen admission of his own complicity in the entanglement of business and politics that characterizes the rent-seeking society.  Most...

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Paul Romer’s Nobel Lecture

The tension between the restraining force of scarce resources and the positive force of discovery and innovation. Economics must shift the balance, I'd argue, from allocation to exchange, from maximization to choice, from equilibrium conditions to processes of adaptation and adjustment, from the constraints given by nature to the constraints we choose in terms of institutions that evolve, that we craft, that we adopt. This is not to deny the...

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Come Work With Us at Ball State

We have two tenure-track openings at Ball State and we'd love to hire two people with fields in health econ and I-O/Law and Economics. You'll join a department with a long-standing commitment to teaching and research that appreciates the power of markets and that is inclusive of work from Austrian economics, public choice, and other traditions in political economy. And you'll have the opportunity to work with not just 7 or 8 colleagues engaged in that work, but also the BSU...

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Wirth Institute 2018 Conference on the Austrian School of Economics

For over a decade, the Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies has been hosting a biannual conference exploring the history, philosophy, and relevance of the Austrian School of Economics.  The Wirth Institute is located at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and was established in 1998 and serves as an academic and culture center, and is part of a larger network of academic and cultural institutes dedicated to the study of Central European history and...

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Wirth Institute 2018 Conference on the Austrian School of Economics

For over a decade, the Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies has been hosting a biannual conference exploring the history, philosophy, and relevance of the Austrian School of Economics.  The Wirth Institute is located at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and was established in 1998 and serves as an academic and culture center, and is part of a larger network of academic and cultural institutes dedicated to the study of Central European history and...

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