• Senior Fellow, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics

Rachel Coyne is a Senior Fellow in the F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at George Mason University's Mercatus Center. Her research is focused in the areas of political economy, public choice, and economic development. Her work has been published in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Public Choice, the Journal of Public Finance and Public Choice, and The Independent Review. She co-edited (with Christopher Coyne) both The Handbook on the Political Economy of War and Flaws & Ceilings: Price Controls & the Damage They Cause.

Publications & Appearances

The Economics of Price Controls

It is not hard to see why price controls are appealing. They offer what appears to be a quick and simple solution to rising prices and allow policy makers to provide short-term benefits to certain groups of people. Economics, however, indicates that price controls are far from costless, and the associated costs are far reaching and potentially significant.

Flaws and Ceilings: Price Controls and the Damage They Cause

This book demonstrates why economists do not like price controls and shows why they are widely regarded as being amongst the most damaging political interventions in markets. The authors analyse, in a very readable fashion, the damage they cause. Crucially, the authors also explain why, despite universal criticism from economists, price controls are so popular amongst politicians.

The Political Economy of Human Rights Scandals

This paper develops the political economy of human rights scandals involving government agencies. Human rights scandals occur when violations of human rights are made public and cause, or threaten to cause, damage to the reputation of the agencies involved. It is argued that human rights scandals serve as “fire alarms” which alert legislators and the public that existing rules are failing to prevent discretionary human rights abuses by government agents. An analysis of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal is provided to illustrate the economic approach to human rights scandals.