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Christopher Coyne

Christopher Coyne

  • Associate Director, F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
  • Director of Graduate Programs, George Mason University

Christopher Coyne is associate director of the F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and F. A. Harper Professor of Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He is also a professor of economics and director of graduate studies in the economics department at George Mason University. He specializes in Austrian economics, economic development, emerging democracies, postwar and disaster reconstruction, political economy, and social change.

Coyne is the author, coauthor, or coeditor of four books, including, most recently, Doing Bad by Doing Good: Why Humanitarian Action Fails. He is a prolific writer of articles for scholarly journals, has published numerous policy briefs, and also has written for the Daily Caller, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and others.

Coyne is the co–editor in chief of the Review of Austrian Economics, the coeditor of the Independent Review, and the book-review editor of Public Choice. He is a member of the Board of Scholars for the Virginia Institute for Public Policy.

Coyne was a Hayek Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics and worked in the internal consulting services at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Coyne received his PhD in economics from George Mason University and his BS in business administration from Manhattan College.

View PDF of Curriculum Vitae.

Published Research

Christopher Coyne | Mar 2015
In Out of Poverty, Benjamin Powell concludes that the answer to this question is a resounding “No!” In stark contrast to the way that most people think about sweatshops, Powell argues that sweatshops are part of the development process, a process which makes the lives of workers better off.
Christopher Coyne, Claudia Williamson | Feb 2015
The authors analyze the relationship between foreign aid and the “culture of contracting.” Contracting culture refers to cultural characteristics — trust, respect, level of self-determination, and level of obedience — which allow for impersonal exchange. Theoretically, aid may affect the culture of contracting for better or worse. The authors empirically analyze this possibility and find that aid generates negative effects on the culture of contracting.
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.

Working Papers

Christopher Coyne | Sep 25, 2014
The opening lines of F.A. Harper's 1951 article, "In Search of Peace," read as follows: "Charges of pacifism are likely to be hurled at anyone who in these troubled times raises any question about the race into war. If pacifism means embracing the objective of peace, I am willing to accept the charge. If it means opposing all aggression against others, I am willing to accept that charge also. It is now urgent in the interest of liberty that many persons become "peacemongers"."
Christopher Coyne | Aug 24, 2014
Economists often model national defense as a pure public good optimally provided by a benevolent and omnipotent "defense brain" to maximize social welfare. This paper critically considers five assumptions associated with this view.
Christopher Coyne, | May 16, 2014
The governments of American states often attempt to incentivize businesses to locate within their borders by offering targeted benefits to particular industries and companies. These benefits come in many forms, including business tax credits for investments, property tax abatements, and reductions in the sales tax. Despite good intentions, policymakers often overlook the unseen and unintended negative consequences of targeted-benefit policies. This paper analyzes two major downsides of these policies: (1) they lead to a misallocation of resources, and (2) they encourage rent-seeking and thus cronyism. We argue that these costs, which are often longer-term and not readily observable at the time the targeted benefits are granted, may very well outweigh any possible short-term economic benefits.
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.

Contact

Christopher Coyne

Books

Christopher Coyne, Rachel Coyne | Mar 27, 2015
This book demonstrates why economists do not like price controls and shows why they are widely regarded as being amongst the most damaging political interventions in markets. The authors analyse, in a very readable fashion, the damage they cause. Crucially, the authors also explain why, despite universal criticism from economists, price controls are so popular amongst politicians.

Podcasts

Christopher Coyne | May 09, 2014
Chris Coyne discusses his new book Doing Bad by Doing Good: Why Humanitarian Action Fails on The Tom Woods Show.