Economics
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

A Note from the Chairman

Daniel houser nov2011

A Note from the Chairman

Dear Friends,

It’s great to have the chance to speak with you once again about the goings on at George Mason University’s Economics Department!  I know we are all very busy with seemingly unending obligations (I have a 12-year old son and understand quite well!) so I am especially grateful that you are taking the time to catch up a bit with us.

We live in challenging times, and Mason economists have been energetically pursuing opportunities to provide their perspective on the complex global economic situation. Tyler Cowen’s "The Great Stagnation" has become a New York Times best-seller. On most any day a perusal of the news channels will find Don Boudreaux, Garett Jones, Russ Roberts, Walter Williams or another Mason economist providing insights and our unique “Masonomics” perspective on world events. These perspectives also regularly appear in the press; Mason economists have recently written feature articles for the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal and many others. They have also testified before Congress on a number of issues such as the stimulus plan, the job market and great recession, trade agreements, and sound money. These topics are also regularly covered on our faculty’s economics blogs – now ranked as among the most visible and influential in the world! We are exceptionally proud of the energy that our faculty put into these activities – you can be sure that we are doing our very best to make a positive difference.

The Mason Economics Department continues to grow and attract some of the most significant young minds in economics today. Last year, we successfully hired three new professors: David Eil (PhD, UCSD); Mark Koyama (PhD, Oxford) and Mark Klee (PhD, Yale). David Eil joins Mason’s Experimental Economics group ICES (founded by Nobel Laureate and Professor Emeritus Vernon Smith), the branch of our department dedicated to testing and improving current economic theory. Mark Koyama joins the Center for Study of Public Choice (founded by Nobel Laureate and Professor Emeritus James Buchanan), where scholars continue to refine and improve our understanding of political and public decision making. Mark Klee has become our new director of undergraduate economics studies. Professor Klee brings substantial enthusiasm to this position. Previous director, Carrie Meyer, chose to step away from this role after 13 years of dedicated service. The number of majors more than doubled during her tenure; we are extremely grateful for her extraordinary contribution to our department. 

More good news from Mason Economics: Mason Social Sciences (in which Economics plays a major role) has recently been ranked 41st in the world, the highest ranking of any social science program in any university in Virginia! Our stature and visibility is evident in our recent PhD placements; last year our new Mason Economics PhDs took positions at institutions including Stanford, Virginia Tech, Troy University, Max Planck Institute in Germany, and the Air Force Institute of Technology. Further, Mason Econ PhDs now hold faculty positions at the world’s leading institutions including Carnegie Mellon University, University of British Columbia, Duke University and Middlebury College. It is exciting to witness the rapid spread of “Masonomics”!

In order to increase our ability to bring the Masonomics perspective directly to you, we will soon launch “The Economics Community Forum”. Our goal is to provide a series of discussions with Mason economists, in order to provide opportunities for our community of students, professors, alumni, friends, and parents to listen to our Mason Economics faculty discuss the economic issues that affect you. We do hope you have a chance to attend; we’d love to see you there!

Warmest wishes for a safe and happy 2011 Holiday Season!

Respectfully yours,

 

Daniel Houser,
Chairman, Economics Department
George Mason University

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