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Christopher Coyne

Christopher Coyne

  • Associate Director, F. A. Hayek Program

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, 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.
Christopher Coyne, Peter Leeson, Thomas Duncan | Jul 2014
Market-provided national defense famously suffers from a free-rider problem. According to conventional wisdom, markets must therefore underprovide defense. We argue that conventional wisdom is wrong.
Christopher Coyne, Abigail Hall | Jun 2014
The U.S. government is the dominant player in the global arms market. Existing literature emphasizes the many benefits of an international U.S. government arms monopoly including: regional and global balance, stability and security, the advancement of U.S. national interests, and domestic economic benefits from international sales.

Working Papers

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.
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.

Contact

Christopher Coyne

Books

Christopher Coyne | Apr 2013
In 2010, Haiti was ravaged by a brutal earthquake that affected the lives of millions. The call to assist those in need was heard around the globe. Yet two years later humanitarian efforts led by governments and NGOs have largely failed.

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.