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Abigail Hall

Abigail Hall

  • Dissertation Fellow

Abby Hall is a fourth year PhD student in the Department of Economics at George Mason University and a Mercatus Center Dissertation Fellow. While an undergraduate, she was an intern at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Louisville Branch. She earned a BA in Economics and Business Administration from Bellarmine University. Abby has presented at the Eastern Economic Association annual conference and has published over a half dozen popular press pieces on economic freedom, militarization, and development.

Published Research

Christopher Coyne, Abigail Hall | Dec 2014
Recent scholarship regarding the idea of a U.S. Empire has raised serious questions as to the feasibility and desirability of imperial ambitions. This paper traces the debate over the net-benefit of empire back to the Classical economists. Adam Smith argued that the British Empire was a net cost while John Stuart Mill concluded the same empire was a net benefit. Contemporary arguments about a U.S. Empire map neatly to the divergent views of Smith and Mill. In addition to engaging in an exercise in history of thought, the authors use Smith’s political economy as a means of adjudicating between the different claims regarding the feasibility of empire.
Christopher Coyne, Abigail Hall, Patrick McLaughlin, Ann Zerkle | Dec 2014
This paper analyzes a hidden cost of war: the effect of the mass mobilization of reserve troops on the response times of domestic emergency services to accidents.
Christopher Coyne, Abigail Hall | Sep 2014
Coercive government actions that target another country often act like a boomerang, turning around and knocking down freedoms and liberties in the “throwing” nation. Two developments in the United States illustrate the boomerang effect: the rise of government surveillance and the growing militarization of the police.
Christopher Coyne, Abigail Hall | Jul 2014
This paper provides a political economy analysis of the evolution of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), or ‘drones’ in the USA. Focus is placed on the interplay between the polity and private economic influences, and their impact on the trajectory of political, economic, and military outcomes.

Working Papers

Christopher Coyne, Abigail Hall | Mar 17, 2014
This paper analyzes how foreign interventions can result in a broadening of government powers and a concurrent reduction of citizens’ liberties and freedoms domestically. The authors develop an analytical framework to examine the effects of coercive foreign interventions on the scope of domestic government activities. Facing limited or altogether absent constraints abroad, coercive foreign interventions serve as a testing ground for domestically-constrained governments to experiment with new technologies and methods of social control over foreign populations.
Christopher Coyne, Abigail Hall | Sep 15, 2013
The purpose of this paper is to balance this largely one-sided treatment of the U.S. government’s dominant position in the international arms market. We discuss several negative consequences and costs associated with U.S. arms sales which call into question the net benefit of the U.S. government’s control over global arms.
Christopher Coyne, Abigail Hall | Jul 19, 2013
This paper analyzes the private provision of public and quasi-public goods in a free society. In particular, the authors examine philanthropy as an avenue through which such goods are already produced and may be provided in a society without a central government.
Abigail Hall, Christopher Coyne | Jun 26, 2013
This paper provides a political economy analysis of the evolution of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or “drones”, in the United States. Focus is placed on the interplay between the political and private economic influences; and their impact on the trajectory of political, economic, and, in this case, military outcomes.

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