Rachael K Behr

Rachael K Behr

Rachael K Behr

Graduate Research Assistant

Austrian economics, economic sociology, political economy

Rachael K. Behr is a fourth year Ph.D. Candidate in Economics at George Mason University and a Fellow in the F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.  
Her research focuses on political economy, economic sociology, Austrian economics, and applied microeconomics, particularly as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic. Her dissertation is focused on exploring the COVID-19 pandemic through the political, social, and economic lens, and her committee chairman is Virgil Storr. 

Her work has been published by Cambridge, The Review of Austrian Economics, Studies in Comparative International Development, and Routledge, and is currently under review at several journals, including Constitutional Political Economy. She is currently working on several projects on the economic and political consequences of COVID-19 policies, including the political incentives of mask mandates and the disruption to commercial relationships following shutdowns. 

She received her B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College (2018), an M.A. in economics from George Mason University (2020), and Ph.D. (2022, expected) in economics from George Mason University. 

Selected Publications

Research Papers

[1] “Trust and Envy: The Political Economy of Business Groups in Developing Countries” (with Nathaniel Leff, Jeffry Frieden, and Shelby Grossman), Studies in Comparative International Development, July 2021.

[2] “Commercial Friendships During a Pandemic” (with Virgil H. Storr and Michael Romero), The Review of Austrian Economics, forthcoming.

Book Chapters

[1] “Tocquevillian Association and the Market” (with Virgil H. Storr) in Richard Boyd (ed.), Cambridge Companion to Democracy in America, Cambridge University Press, forthcoming. 

[2] “Elements of Economic Sociology in Classical Political Economy” (with Virgil H. Storr) in Milan Zafirovski (ed.), International Handbook of Economic Sociology, London: Routledge, forthcoming.

Book Reviews

[1] Review of The Lonely Century: How to Restore Human Connection in a World That’s Pulling Apart, by Noreena Hertz, The Review of Austrian Economics, 2021.


Please see my website for PDFs of these publications.

Grants and Fellowships

Graduate Teaching Fellow, Department of Economics, George Mason University (2020-2021)

Graduate Fellowship, F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, Mercatus Center (2018-2021)

Graduate Research Fellow, Mercatus Center Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowship (2019-2021)

Summer Fellowship, Hertog Foundation (2018)

Departmental Award (Second Prize), for GPA and Academic Success, Hillsdale College Department of Economics (2018)

Research Fellowship, Hillsdale College Department of Economics (2018)

Research Fellowship, Hillsdale College Department of Politics (2015-2018)

George Washington Fellowship, Hillsdale College (2015-2018)

Oppenheim Scholarship, Hillsdale College (2014-2018)


Please see my CV for a complete list of grants and fellowships.

Courses Taught

Lecturer, Catholic University of America                                                                              

  • Environment and Economics, (in progress), Fall 2021

Graduate Lecturer, George Mason University

  • Intermediate Microeconomics, (Evaluation: 5.0/5), Spring 2021                                                          
  • Intermediate Macroeconomics, (Evaluation: 4.6/5), Fall 2020                                                            
  • Environmental Economics for the Citizen, Asynchronous, (Evaluation: 4.63/5, 4.5/5), Fall 2020, Spring 2021

Teaching Assistant, George Mason University

  • Economies in Transition, Summer 2020                                                                                               


Hillsdale College, B.A. in Politics and Economics, 2014-2018

George Mason University, M.A. in Economics, 2018-2020

George Mason University, Ph.D. in Economics, 2018-present

Recent Presentations

Association of Private Enterprise and Education, Fort Lauderdale, FL, April 2020

  • “Commercial Friendships During COVID-19.”                                                   

Southern Economic Association, New Orleans, LA, November 2020

  • “Aristotelian Friendship in the Market.”                               
  • “Collective Narratives Around Mask Wearing.”