Mercatus Center

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Mercatus Center
Mercatus logo.png
Founder(s)Richard H. Fink
Established1980
DirectorTyler Cowen
Faculty71
Staff53
LocationArlington, Virginia
Address

3351 North Fairfax Drive

Arlington, Virginia 22201
Websitewww.mercatus.org
 
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Mercatus Center
Mercatus logo.png
Founder(s)Richard H. Fink
Established1980
DirectorTyler Cowen
Faculty71
Staff53
LocationArlington, Virginia
Address

3351 North Fairfax Drive

Arlington, Virginia 22201
Websitewww.mercatus.org

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University (GMU) in the United States is a non-profit[1] American market-oriented research, education, and outreach think tank. It works with policy experts, lobbyists, and government officials to connect academic learning and real-world practice. The Mercatus Center takes its name from the Latin word meaning "markets", and reflects the Center's free market-based approach to solving public policy problems.

History[edit]

The Mercatus Center was founded by Rich Fink as the Center for the Study of Market Processes at Rutgers University. After the Koch family provided more than thirty million dollars[2] to George Mason University, the Center moved to George Mason in the mid-1980s before assuming its current name in 1999.[2] The Mercatus Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit and does not receive support from George Mason University or any federal, state or local government, but rather is entirely funded through donations, including some from companies like Koch Industries[3] and ExxonMobil,[4] individual donors and foundations. As of 2011, the Center shows that 58% of its funding comes from foundations, 40% from individuals, and 2% from businesses.[1]

Mission[edit]

Stated mission[edit]

The organization describes itself as "the world’s premier university source for market-oriented ideas" that aims to bridge "the gap between academic ideas and real-world problems."[2] By advancing knowledge about how markets can work to improve lives and individual freedoms, by training graduate students, conducting research, and applying economic principles, they hope to offer solutions to society's most pressing problems.

Mercatus has several research and outreach programs: Capitol Hill Campus, the Government Accountability Project, the Regulatory Studies Program, and the Global Prosperity Initiative.

Observers' comments[edit]

Washington Post columnist Al Kamen has described Mercatus as a "staunchly anti-regulatory center funded largely by Koch Industries Inc."[3] Rob Stein, the Democratic strategist, has called it "ground zero for deregulation policy in Washington.”[2] The Wall Street Journal has called the Mercatus Center "the most important think tank you've never heard of."[2]

Recent activity[edit]

In 2012, Mercatus scholar Charles Blahous raised a controversy by releasing a study claiming that, contrary to the official Congressional Budget Office forecast, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) would worsen the federal deficit.[5] The study was generally criticized by supporters of the PPACA.[6][7] Jeanne Lambrew, deputy assistant to the president for health policy, wrote, "This new math fits the old pattern of mischaracterizations about the Affordable Care Act when official estimates show the health care law reduces the deficit."[8] Despite these criticisms, Blahous defended the findings of his research.[9]

In 2010, the Center collaborated with EconStories to produce a parody rap video about the conflict of ideas between F. A. Hayek and John Maynard Keynes.[10] A sequel, "Fight of the Century", was produced in 2011.[11]

In 2001, the Office of Management and Budget asked for public input on which regulations should be revised or killed. Mercatus submitted 44 of the 71 proposals the OMB received.[3]

Mercatus organizes an active African research activity, Enterprise Africa!, in cooperation with the Institute of Economic Affairs of the United Kingdom, the Free Market Foundation of South Africa, and the John Templeton Foundation. Mercatus holds that the only sustainable solution to alleviate Africa's seemingly continuous trifecta of serious socioeconomic problems – poverty, famine, and political corruption – is not from year-after-year of monetary aid provided by western governments, but rather from entrepreneurship and development from within Africa, to help destroy the problems from the ground up by supporting African innovators directly.

Organizational structure[edit]

Hazel Hall, home of the Mercatus Center and the Institute for Humane Studies on the George Mason University Arlington campus

The Mercatus Center is located on George Mason University's Arlington Campus, and is affiliated with GMU's Economics department. The Provost of George Mason University has the power to appoint a Faculty Director to head up the Mercatus Center.

Board of directors[edit]

Members of the Board of Directors include:[12]

* indicates Mercatus Fellow

Publications[edit]

Scholars affiliated with the Mercatus Center have published hundreds of journal articles and research papers, with topics including government transparency, subsidies, taxation, regulation, corruption, and Austrian School economics. They have also provided more than 100 testimonies to Congress.[13] Notable studies performed include:

Noted scholars[edit]

Scholars at Mercatus include:[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "About Mercatus Center". Mercatus Center. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Mayer, Jane (2010-08-30). "Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama.". The New Yorker (Condé Nast Publications). 
  3. ^ a b c Kamen, Al (July 12, 2006). "I Am OMB and I Write the Rules". Washington Post. p. A13. 
  4. ^ Exxon secrets Database
  5. ^ Montgomery, Lori. "Health-care law will add $340 billion to deficit, new study finds". The Washington Post. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  6. ^ Klein, Ezra. "The bizarre baseline games you need to play to make Obamacare increase the deficit". Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  7. ^ Spross, Jeff. "Charles Blahous’ Absurd ‘New Math’ In A Chart". Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  8. ^ Lambrew, Jeanne. "Official Sources Agree: The Affordable Care Act Reduces the Deficit". The White House Blog. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  9. ^ Blahous, Charles. "Why Obamacare Expands the Deficit: Charles Blahous Rebuts His Critics". Forbes.com. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  10. ^ ""Fear the Boom and Bust" a Hayek vs. Keynes Rap Anthem". Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  11. ^ ""Fight of the Century" Keynes vs Hayek Round 2". Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  12. ^ Mercatus Center Board of Directors
  13. ^ "Publications – Congressional Testimony". Mercatus Center. 
  14. ^ "Publications – Scorecard". Mercatus Center. 
  15. ^ a b "10th Annual Performance Report Scorecard: Which Federal Agencies Best Inform the Public?". Mercatus Center. 
  16. ^ "Freedom in the 50 States: An index of personal and economic freedom". Mercatus Center. 
  17. ^ "Executive Summary, Freedom in the 50 States: Third Edition (2013)". Mercatus Center. 
  18. ^ "All – Scholars | Mercatus". Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 

External links[edit]