Peter Boettke

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Peter Boettke
Born (1960-01-03) January 3, 1960 (age 61)
Rahway, New Jersey
Nationality United States
Field Market Process Theory, Comparative Political Economy, History of Economic Thought and Methodology, Economic Development, Economic Methodology, Austrian Economics, Political Economy, Informal Institutions
School or tradition
Austrian School
Alma mater George Mason University (Ph.D.), 1989[1]
Influences Ludwig von Mises,[2] Friedrich Hayek, Hans Sennholz[3] Adam Smith, Jean-Baptiste Say, Frédéric Bastiat, Israel Kirzner, Murray Rothbard, Kenneth E. Boulding, Richard Cornuelle, James M. Buchanan, Ronald Coase, Vernon L. Smith, Elinor Ostrom
Influenced Peter Leeson, Christopher Coyne, Edward Stringham, Benjamin Powell, Virgil Storr, Daniel D'Amico, Adam Martin, Scott Beaulier, Anthony Evans, David Skarbek
Information at IDEAS / RePEc

Peter Joseph Boettke (/ˈbɛtki/; born January 3, 1960) is an American economist of the Austrian School. He is currently a University Professor of Economics and Philosophy at George Mason University; the BB&T Professor for the Study of Capitalism, Vice President for Research, and Director of the F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center at GMU.

Early life and education

Boettke was born in Rahway, New Jersey to Fred and Elinor Boettke and remained there until he moved to Pennsylvania to attend Thiel College in Greenville and later Grove City College. It was at Grove City College that he became interested in economics, when he took a course taught by Hans Sennholz[3] and there that he developed his religious convictions.[4] After completing a B.A. (1983) in economics at Grove City, Boettke attended George Mason University where he earned an M.A. (1987) and a Ph.D. (1989) in economics with thesis titled The political economy of Soviet socialism, 1918–1928 under the supervision of Don Lavoie.[1]

Professional life

After receiving his doctoral degree, Boettke taught at several schools, including Oakland University, Manhattan College, and New York University.[5] In 1998, he returned to George Mason University as a faculty member. In 2004, he was named a Hayek Fellow at the London School of Economics. He has also been a Faculty Fellow at the Charles University/Georgetown University American Institute for Political and Economic Studies in Prague and a Visiting Scholar at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. As of 2011, Boettke has also been made an affiliated member of the Philosophy Department at George Mason University and in 2012, he was awarded a Doctorate honoris causa in Social Sciences from Universidad Francisco Marroquín.

In addition to his academic positions, he is also Vice President for Research at Mercatus Center and Director of the F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. Until 2007, Boettke held the position of Director of Graduate Studies for the Ph.D. program in economics at George Mason. He serves as editor of George Mason University's Review of Austrian Economics[6] and is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society.[7]

He lives in Fairfax, Virginia with his wife and two sons.

Analytical anarchism

Analytical anarchism is the name given by Peter Boettke, to the positive political economy of anarchism, or anarchism from the economic point of view, in the libertarian tradition of Murray Rothbard's For a New Liberty (1973) and David Friedman's The Machinery of Freedom (1973). Boettke claims that analytical anarchism has developed out of this tradition, and is currently being pursued by economists such as Peter Leeson, Edward Stringham, and Christopher Coyne.[8] These professors are related to Mercatus Center and to the faculty of economics at George Mason University.


  • Books
    • Living Economics: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (Independent Institute and Universidad Francisco Marroquin 2012) ISBN 978-1-59813-072-0.
    • Context Matters: Institutions and Entrepreneurship (co-authored with Christopher Coyne (professor)) (Now Publishers, 2009) ISBN 978-1601982063
    • The Battle of Ideas: Economics and the Struggle for a Better World
    • Is an Independent Non-Profit Sector Prone to Failure? (co-authored with David Prychitko)
    • The Political Economy of Soviet Socialism: The Formative Years, 1918–1928 (Kluwer, 1990) ISBN 0-7923-9100-4.
    • Why Perestroika Failed: The Economics and Politics of Socialism Transformation (Routledge, 1993) ISBN 0-415-08514-4.
    • Calculation and Coordination: Essays on Socialism and Transitional Political Economy (Routledge, 2001) ISBN 0-415-77109-9.
    • The Economic Way of Thinking with Paul Heyne and David Prychitko (Pearson, 2014) ISBN 978-0-13-299129-2.
    • Aligica, Paul Dragos; Boettke, Peter (2009). Challenging Institutional Analysis and Development: The Bloomington School. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-77820-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Books as editor
    • Market Process: Essays in Contemporary Austrian Economics with David Prychitko. Edward Elgar, 1994.
    • The Collapse of Development Planning. New York University Press, 1994.
    • The Elgar Companion to Austrian Economics. Elgar, 1994
    • The Market Process, 2 volumes, with David Prychitko. Elgar, 1998
    • The Legacy of F. A. Hayek: Politics, Philosophy, Economics, 3 volumes. Edward Elgar, 1999
    • Socialism and the Market: The Socialist Calculation Debate Revisited, 9 volumes. Routledge, 2000.
    • The Economic Role of the State (ed. with Peter Leeson). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, under contract.
    • The Legacy of Ludwig von Mises: Theory and History, ed. with Peter Leeson. 2 vols. Aldershot: Edward Elgar, 2006. ISBN 978-1-84064-402-9
    • The Economic Point of View, the first volume of Israel Kirzner's Collected Works, edited with Frederic Sautet and published by Liberty Fund, December 2009.
    • Handbook On Contemporary Austrian Economics, Edward Elgar, 2010.
    • Market Theory and the Price System, the second volume of Israel Kirzner's Collected Works, edited with Frederic Sautet and published by Liberty Fund, May 2011.
    • Essays on Capital, the third volume of Israel Kirzner's Collected Works, edited with Frederic Sautet and published by Liberty Fund, 2012.
    • The Oxford Handbook of Austrian Economics, with Christopher Coyne. October 2015.
  • Other

Personal life

Outside of the classroom, Boettke has pursued a parallel career in athletics. A former high school and college basketball and tennis player, Boettke first worked as a tennis teaching professional before pursuing his graduate degree in economics. After graduate school, he began coaching youth basketball and eventually coached at the high school and elite AAU level, qualifying for the AAU 16U National Championships in 2007. Several of his former players are now competing in college. In 2009, he was inducted as a coach into the local basketball Hall of Fame in Northern Virginia.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Boettke's faculty bio at George Mason University
  2. Boettke, Peter. "'Human Action': The Treatise in Economics." The Freeman 59, no. 7 (September 2009): 16-18.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Spreading Hayek, Spurning Keynes: Professor Leads an Austrian Revival," Wall Street Journal, August 27, 2010,
  4. "Religion and Economics" (PDF). Spiritually—that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savoir [sic] and that one must commit to a personal relationship with God and to strive to live a Christ-centered life. Historically—the role of the Christian Church in the development of Western Civilization. Intellectually—the philosophical and epistemological importance of Christian presuppositionalism.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Peter J. Boettke – Biographical Information
  7. "Mont Pelerin Society Directory" (PDF). DeSmogBlog. Retrieved 28 Jan 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Analytical Anarchism research program

External links