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Professor of Economics, past President of the Foundation for Economic Education
Donald J. Boudreaux

Donald Joseph Boudreaux (born 10 September 1958) is an American economist, author, professor, and co-director of the Program on the American Economy and Globalization at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

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10 Sep 1958, Donald Joseph Boudreaux, in New Orleans, Louisiana


Dr. Donald J. Boudreaux's Biographical Sketch
At his personal homepage at George Mason University
His PhD in economics is from Auburn University (1986) and his law degree is from the University of Virginia (1992). He has lectured, in the United States, Canada, Latin America, and Europe, on a wide variety of topics, including the nature of law, antitrust law and economics, and international trade. He is published in The Wall Street Journal, Investor's Business Daily, Regulation, Reason, Ideas on Liberty, The Washington Times, The Journal of Commerce, the Cato Journal, and several scholarly journals ...

Awards Received

2009 Szasz Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Cause of Civil Liberties, by Center for Independent Thought, Thomas S. Szasz Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Cause of Civil Liberties, 2009


Cato Institute, Adjunct Scholar
Foundation for Economic Education, President, 1997-2001
Independent Institute, Research Fellow
George Mason University, Professor, 2001-present; Chairman of the Department of Economics, Aug 2001-Aug 2009
Institute for Humane Studies, Guest lecturer
Mises Institute, Adjunct Faculty (-2005)

Web Pages

Advocates for Self-Government - Libertarian Education: Donald J. Boudreaux - Libertarian
Includes profile, photograph and quote
Donald J. Boudreaux's resume includes positions at two of the most celebrated organizations in the libertarian movement: The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) and George Mason University. At FEE, an Irvington-on-Hudson, New York-based research center that promotes individual freedom, private property, limited government, and free trade, Boudreaux served as president from 1997 to 2001. Since 2001, he has served as chairman of the Department of Economics at George Mason University -- a Fairfax, Virginia institution that is known worldwide for its libertarian scholarship.
Donald J. Boudreaux | Competitive Enterprise Institute
Includes links to op-eds and articles as well as CIE studies
Donald J. Boudreaux - Online Library of Liberty
Includes link to a "Liberty Matters" (an online discussion forum) event led by Boudreaux
George Mason University
Faculty and Staff: Donald J. Boudreaux
Faculty page at George Mason University, Department of Economics; includes picture, profile, classes, and link to his personal homepage (ca. 2002)
Professor Donald J. Boudreaux was the Chairman of the Department of Economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, from August 2001 to August 2009. Previously, he was Director of the Center for the Study of Public Choice; president of the Foundation for Economic Education (1997-2001); Associate Professor of Legal Studies and Economics at Clemson University (1992-1997); and Assistant Professor of Economics at George Mason University (1985-1989). ... He is the author of Globalization (Greenwood Press, 2008) and has a blog (with Russ Roberts) entitled Cafe Hayek.


Toying with the Free Market, by Sheldon Richman, Freedom Daily, Dec 1998
Discusses the 1998 Toys "R" Us restructuring announcement and the 1996 Federal Trade Commission complaint that the firm had engaged in monopolistic practices
There is a similar free-rider problem in toy retailing. As Donald Boudreaux, the economist and president of the Foundation for Economic Education, has written, Toys "R" Us makes two big investments that benefit consumers and toymakers: it advertises particular toys heavily (providing specific information) and has buildings big enough to hold a full line of toys all year. By stocking virtually every toy, the chain pays to discover which toys are popular and which are not. The discounters free-ride off that investment and confine their inventories to the most popular toys.
Related Topics: Business, Free Market, Monopoly


Julian Simon, Lifesaver, The Freeman, Apr 1998
Reflections on the passing of Julian Simon; opening quote: "The real issue is not whether one cares about nature, but whether one cares about people", The Ultimate Resource 2 (1996)
Julian Simon’s unexpected death in February brought a major loss. With the passing of this noted free-market champion, humankind lost a genuine hero; the economics profession lost one of its most brilliant, if underappreciated, members; FEE lost the wisdom of an original member of its Council of Scholars; and I lost a kind and dear friend ... [T]hat's the beauty of the free market: it is so full of creative heroes that we cannot honor them all! Julian Simon was one such hero, a man who deeply cared about people. We are all poorer now that his genius and immense humanity are lost to us forever.
Politics and Prohibition, The Freeman, Mar 2002
Explains why, based on the story of alcohol prohibition, drug prohibition will not end solely on the realization of policy failure and side effects such as gang violence
Writing in the December 2001 Atlantic Monthly, Judge Richard Posner called for an end to the "war on drugs." He is among a small but growing number of eminent scholars and officials who openly advocate that the state get out of the drug-prohibition business ... So while I applaud Judge Posner and all others who advocate ending the drug war ... if the history of alcohol prohibition is a guide, drug prohibition will not end merely because there are many good, sound, and sensible reasons to end it. Instead, it will end only if and when Congress gets desperate for another revenue source.
Related Topics: War on Drugs, Prohibition
Read, Leonard E. (1898-1983), by Donald J. Boudreaux, Nick Slepko, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
Biographical essay, including bibliography of multiple other biographical articles
Leonard E. Read, an activist, a fundraiser, and an administrator, is best known for originating the oldest existing free-market nonprofit in the world, the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). At the time of its founding, FEE was "[t]he only organization that introduces newcomers to the idea of the free market as a moral institution ..." ... In his final book, The Path of Duty (1982), he reemphasized the "power of attraction ... [and how libertarians must] become so proficient in understanding and explaining freedom that others will seek [their] tutorship."
A scholar's scholar retires,, 21 Jul 2015
Discusses Higgs' retirement, highlighting his books Competition and Coercion and Crisis and Leviathan as well as his identification of "regime uncertainty"
My dear friends Bob and Elizabeth Higgs will soon move from Louisiana to a remote corner of Mexico. Bob says that visits north of the border will be few. The Higgses plan to retire away from it all with a completeness that few of us dare to attempt. Bob is one of our greatest living scholars. Specializing in economic history, Bob's first major work is his 1976 book, "Competition and Coercion." ... No summary can capture the depth, breadth and wisdom of Bob's work. But I hope that I've at least sparked interest in some readers to encourage them to read Bob's contributions directly.
Simon, Julian (1932-1998), The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
Biographical essay
Julian Simon was one of the most underappreciated economists of the 20th century. ... Julian Simon's legacy is profound. Free people are net producers—they are 'the ultimate resource.' Thus, controls on production, creativity, and industry designed to 'conserve' resources are likely to have the opposite effect in the long term. Simon's work demonstrates that those people who value continued abundance for future generations should support the free market, which rewards both efficiency and creativity in developing new resources.


Free markets king in Sweden, at least for a day: Ten minutes with ... Donald Boudreaux, by Donald J. Boudreaux, Bill Steigerwald, 18 Dec 2002
Comments on Vernon Smith's Nobel Prize and about the firing of Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill
It's not every day you get a call from Sweden from a giddy free-market economist. But Tuesday was a very big deal for Donald Boudreaux, the head of George Mason University's world-renowned Department of Economics. Earlier that afternoon, in Stockholm, one of Boudreaux's equally free-market-happy colleagues at GMU, Vernon Smith, had picked up a 2002 Nobel prize in economics at the gala Nobel awards dinner. That alone was thrilling for Boudreaux, who with several others had been invited along on the trip by Smith, the founding father of something called "experimental economics."

Books Authored

I, Pencil: My Family Tree as told to Leonard E. Read, by Donald J. Boudreaux (afterword), Milton Friedman (introduction), Leonard Read, Foundation for Economic Education (publisher), 1999
Read's most famous essay, in pamphlet form; electronic version at the Library of Economics and Liberty


Economics: Is Raising Minimum Wage A Bad Idea? - Learn Liberty, 14 Jan 2016
Discusses three reasons why mandating a $15 minimum wage is counterproductive: it kills jobs, it hurts those most in need of help and coercive laws aren't necessary since businesses voluntarily give raises to deserving employees
Related Topic: Minimum Wage Laws
Free Trade vs. Protectionism, by Don Boudreaux, 31 Aug 2011
Defines free trade and protectionism, the use of tariffs to implement the latter, and gives Hong Kong and the United States as examples of the benefits of free trade
Free trade is simply a policy of treating foreign goods and services no differently than domestic goods and services are treated. Free trade is a policy of allowing domestic consumers to buy from abroad just as freely as they can buy at home. Protectionism is a policy of discriminating against foreign goods and services ... As a consequence, we have this huge free-trade zone in America and it's unquestionable that the free trade that takes place within this huge transcontinental nation is a major reason for Americans' high standard of living and continued economic growth.

The Real "Truth About the Economy:" Have Wages Stagnated?, 31 Jan 2012
Responds to Robert Reich's video "The Truth About the Economy" (13 Jun 2011) focusing on three points: measures of inflation, benefits other than wages and distinguishing between statistics and individuals
Related Topic: Wages


The Cato Institute at 40, by Peter Goettler, Aaron Ross Powell (host), Trevor Burrus (host), Free Thoughts, 10 Mar 2017
Interview with Peter Goettler, President and CEO of the Cato Institute since March 2015, discussing the institute's 40 year history
Peter Goettler: ... I remember a few years ago Don Boudreaux, the economist at George Mason University on his blog Café Hayek, wrote a really good ... description of what he saw Cato's role is. Because he was commenting on the important role Cato has played over the decades of his existence. He talked about the difference between being someone who's oriented towards politics, versus someone who's oriented towards ideas and principles. He said he was an idea guy ... What Don was saying in this is that that little bit of the iceberg that sits above the water is what's politically feasible at any point in time.

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Donald J. Boudreaux" as of 13 May 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.