About the Department

The economics department at George Mason University has developed a significant international reputation for a particular approach to economics. The Mason style of economics fuses scholarship in the fields of Public Choice (founded by Nobel Laureate and Mason Professor Emeritus James Buchanan), Austrian Economics and Experimental Economics (the latter founded by Nobel Laureate and Mason Professor Emeritus Vernon Smith). Masonomics is neither politically “left” nor “right”. Rather, it is founded in principles that stress the value of free markets in promoting peace and prosperity.

Masonomics trusts that the presence of liberty and basic human rights will enable people to create a political-economic system characterized by economic growth, stability and rule-of-law. Economists at Mason are involved in the process of discovering new institutions – including constitutions – that provide sufficient flexibility to ensure the efficient workings of markets. The passion for this discovery is common to all Mason economists, though they approach it in myriad ways. 

Overall, Mason’s economics program focuses on society and analyzes policy issues. The program is known for its innovative curriculum and its emphasis on public choice, public finance, constitutional political economy, institutional economics, experimental economics, Austrian economics, and Smithian political economy.

It goes without saying that Mason economics faculty and students continue to achieve at the highest level and are great sources of pride. Their extraordinary achievements further our department’s international reputation for creating visionary, outside-the-box economic ideas. The strength of our faculty and the students we produce has not been lost on the profession. Our doctoral students continue to receive offers to join our nation’s leading universities such as Harvard University, University of Wisconsin, Brown University, Stanford University, University of California Berkeley, Purchase College, Hillsdale College, Weber State University, Middlebury College, Emory University – among many others.