We bridge the gap

The Mercatus Center is a research center at George Mason University that advances knowledge about how markets solve problems and help us lead happier, healthier, and richer lives. For more than 40 years, Mercatus has supported leading talent and scholarship in the mainline economics tradition, applying rigorous research to real-world concerns. Through our continuing efforts to bridge the gap between theory and practice, we strive to realize a world where markets operate at their full potential to increase abundance, civility, and well-being.

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We train tomorrow's academic leaders

In 1980, when Mercatus got its start in supporting graduate study of economics, its initial group consisted of just three students. Today, Mercatus is the largest supporter of graduate students at Mason and offers fellowships at all levels of study, both for students at Mason and other colleges and universities around the world. Many of our alumni go on to pursue influential careers in academia, government, and policymaking.

Peter Boettke with a group of students around a table

We bring insights to decision-makers

Taking full advantage of markets to solve problems requires far more than publishing papers. Unlike traditional academia, which often views public engagement as a distraction, Mercatus scholars put as much care into effective communication and outreach as they do in the research itself.

In 2022, our scholars conducted more than 600 briefings with policymakers and were featured 30,000 times in media outlets at the local, state, and national level.

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Image collage of various Mercatus Initiatives

We cultivate a vibrant intellectual community

No market is more essential than the one for ideas. Human ingenuity is the ultimate resource, lifting societies from want into abundance. Our initiatives aim to cultivate the talent, culture, and institutional effectiveness needed to support a thriving marketplace of ideas.