Donald J. Boudreaux

Member of: FEE Faculty Network

Donald J. Boudreaux is a senior fellow with the F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, a Mercatus Center Board Member, and a professor of economics and former... Read more

Donald J. Boudreaux is a senior fellow with the F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, a Mercatus Center Board Member, and a professor of economics and former economics-department chair at George Mason University. He holds the Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center. He specializes in globalization and trade, law and economics, and antitrust economics.

Boudreaux is committed to making economics more accessible to a wider audience, and he has lectured across the United States, Canada, Latin America, and Europe on a wide variety of topics, including antitrust law and international trade. He is the author of the books Hypocrites and Half-Wits: A Daily Dose of Sanity from Cafe Hayek and Globalization. His articles appear in such publications as the Wall Street Journal and US News & World Report as well as numerous scholarly journals. He writes a blog (with Russell Roberts) called Cafe Hayek and a regular column on economics for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has appeared numerous times on John Stossel’s Fox show to discuss a range of economic issues.

Previously, he was president of the Foundation for Economic Education and an associate professor of legal studies and economics at Clemson University. He also serves as an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute.

Boudreaux earned a PhD in economics from Auburn University and a law degree from the University of Virginia.

Donald J. Boudreaux's Articles

Beware of Corporate Do-Gooders

The profit-driven entrepreneur is dedicated to voluntary exchange and service. The moral busybody is dedicated to control "for your own good."

- September 27, 2016

Protectionism Is Akin to Mining Our Own Harbors

We should not be surprised that Uncle Sam is dithering on dredging Charleston’s harbor.

- September 23, 2016

In Defense of the Middleman

Consumers are free to visit farms and factories to purchase items directly from producers, but there's a reason they don't. Retailers and other middlemen perform valuable services because we observe consumers, everyday, voluntarily paying for these services.

- September 21, 2016

If the Pay Gap Were Real, Kristen Bell's "Pinksourcing" Would Be Too

Businesses have strong incentives to search for, and to compete to hire, workers, men and women, who are currently underpaid. This competition raises everyone's pay up to the value of their marginal products.

- September 20, 2016

The Problem with Wanting to "Change the World"

Most beneficial change occurs by adding small drops, not big splashes, to the pool of prosperity.

- September 16, 2016

Protectionism Is Theft Wrapped in Flags

Workers have no right to complain when losing their jobs for the same reason that businesses have no right to complain when they lose their customers. They chose not to negotiate for longer service agreements.

- September 15, 2016

Why Firefighters and School Teachers Make So Much Less than Movie Stars

The lower pay of fire fighters and school teachers simply reflects the happy reality that we’re blessed with a much larger supply of superb first-responders and educators than we are of superb jocks and thespians.

- September 04, 2016

Where Mainstream Economics Goes Wrong

Mathematical fireworks is worth nothing without more profound fundamentals.

- August 27, 2016

What We Mean by "Let the Market Handle It"

The choice is not between two alternative possible fixes: the market or the government. Instead, the choice is between a gigantically large and varied set of possible fixes (the market) or a tiny set featuring one possible fix (the government).

- August 17, 2016

Should Bill Gates Clean His Own Toilets?

Trade skeptics insist that Americans impoverish themselves by trading with people who earn lower wages. By the same twisted reasoning, Bill Gates should avoid hiring anyone for any reason.

- August 16, 2016

Mercantilist Myths that Refuse to Die

High productivity (and, hence, high wages) result from the deep market-directed specialization of labor made possible by global trade itself. Tarrifs will only lower their productivity.

- August 12, 2016

The Absurdity of Worrying about Trade Deficits

The trade deficit is a symptom or rising employment — not the cause of rising unemployment.

- July 16, 2016

France Is "Pro-Business" in the Worst Possible Way

The performance of a genuinely free-market economy is assessed by how well it satisfies, over time, the demands of consumers spending their own money and not by how well it satisfies the demands of business owners and managers.

- July 06, 2016

Minimum-Wage Supporters Believe in Magic

Minimum wage proponents believe that laws can do magic.

- June 14, 2016

When Was the Last Time You Paid for a Pencil?

Every time you touch a pencil, you hold the product of the efforts of (literally) millions of people. Yet, it is so cheap, it's almost costless.

- June 08, 2016

When Employers Compete, Workers Win; When They Can't, Workers Lose

Restrictions on what kind of jobs employers can offer will reduce competition for labor, lowering worker bargaining power.

- June 02, 2016

The Economically Illiterate Fear Successful Companies, Pine for Failures

The day will come when anti-capitalists bemoan the bankruptcy of McDonald’s and of Wal-Mart.

- May 31, 2016

Is Uber the Real Monopoly?

If this sounds backward and nonsensical, you're on to something.

- May 12, 2016

Saviors Need Victims

As H.L. Mencken quipped, "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule it."

- May 03, 2016

Here's a Minimum Wage Experiment Worth Trying

All the political "experiments" hiking the minimum wage can't answer the most important question: what would happen without it?

- April 26, 2016

Obama's Revealing Confession about the Pacific Trade Deal

Democratic elections causes politicians to act against the public’s best interest.


- April 25, 2016

Debunking the Big Myth about Sweden in 80 Seconds or Less

Johan Norberg refutes misconceptions about his country's "successful" welfare state.

- April 07, 2016

"How Can I Help You?" Means Something Very Different in Politics than Business

The state is not a business, voters are not customers, and politicians are not here to help.

- April 04, 2016

Darwin on the "Artificial Barrier" to Extending Sympathy to All Men

"As man advances in civilization ... there is only an artificial barrier to prevent his sympathies extending to the men of all nations and races."


- March 17, 2016

Free Trade Is Essential for a Free Society

The logic of protectionism doesn't end at the border; the benefits of freedom don't stop there, either.

- March 14, 2016

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