101: Chris Coyne on the Opportunity Cost of War, Exporting Democracy and the Nirvana Fallacy
Christopher Coyne is an Associate Professor of Economics at George Mason University and the Associate Director of the F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center.
He also serves as Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Economics.
Professor Coyne serves as the Co-Editor of The Review of Austrian Economics, the Co-Editor of The Independent Review, the Co-Editor of Advances in Austrian Economics, and the Book Review Editor of Public Choice.
Chris has authored numerous academic articles, book chapters, and policy studies and his research interests include political economy and military intervention.
Professor Coyne is the author or co-author of numerous books including Future: Economic Peril or Prosperity? and After War: The Political Economy of Exporting Democracy.
He is also the co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Austrian Economics and The Handbook on the Political Economy of War.
In 2016 Chris was selected as a recipient of George Mason University’s University Teaching Excellence Award.
His work can be found at www.ccoyne.com
In this episode, Chris discusses and mentions: economics of war, the Nirvana Fallacy, incentives, knowledge constraints, unintended consequences, the Capitalist-Peace hypothesis, dependency effects, public goods, praxeology, prohibition and society.
In this episode, Chris discusses and mentions: Ludwig von Mises, F. A. Hayek, Robert Higgs, Mike Munger, Peter Leeson, Rachel Coyne, James Buchanan, Gordon Tullock, Claude-Frédéric Bastiat and Henry Hazlitt.
Professor Coyne’s Daily Routine:
- Everyday is the same. I wake up every morning between 5 and 6 am and work out in the garage for 1 to 2 hours. Then I eat breakfast and get to work.
- I work in chunks – anywhere from 1 to 3 hours and I take little breaks in between.
- When I find myself losing focus, I do little things like getting a cup of coffee or do a chore around the house or going outside for a few minutes. It resets my mind.
- I’ll work from 8 or 9 am to lunch. I get lunch, maybe work a little more and then I shift more into administrative mode. It requires a different brain power than reading and writing.
Human Action by Mises: “That is an excellent book in terms of a systematic treatise on economics.” – Chris Coyne.
Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government by Robert Higgs: “It’s a wonderful treatment of how government grows through the onset of crises. He’s focused mainly on the United States. He talks about the evolution of the US government and he highlights these punctuated points of crises where government grew. Of course World War 2 and the Great Depression being among the main ones that he highlights. It’s excellent both for the history but also for the framework he lays out – called the ‘Ratchet Effect’ (how the government ratchets up in size. It’s a wonderful book that I highly recommend.” – Chris Coyne.
Papers Mentioned in the Episode:
- Coyne, C. and Hall. A. (2014). The Political Economy of Drones, Defence and Peace Economics, 25(5): 445-460.
- Coyne, C., Boettke, P. and Leeson, P. (2014). Earw(h)ig: I Can’t Hear You Because Your Ideas are Old, Cambridge Journal of Economics, 38(3): 531-544.
- Coyne, C. and Coyne, R. (2014). The Identity Economics of Female Genital Mutilation,” Journal of Developing Areas, 48(2): 137-152.
Coyne, C., Boettke, P. and Hall, A. (2013). Keep Off the Grass: The Economics of Prohibition and U.S. Drug Policy, Oregon Law Review, 91(4): 1069-1096.
Coyne, C. and Leeson,P. (2012). Sassywood, Journal of Comparative Economics, 40(4): 608-620.
Where to Find Professor Coyne:
- Human Action by Ludwig von Mises
- Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government by Robert Higgs
- Future: Economic Peril or Prosperity? by Chris Coyne
- Flaws and Ceilings: Price Controls and the Damage They Cause by Chris Coyne
- Doing Bad by Doing Good: Why Humanitarian Action Fails by Chris Coyne
- Media, Development and Institutional Change by Chris Coyne
- After War: The Political Economy of Exporting Democracy by Chris Coyne
- The Oxford Handbook of Austrian Economics
- The Handbook on the Political Economy of War.