Adam Smith Program

Writings Online



Course Syllabi


GMU Department
of Economics

Econ Journal

Ratio Institute



Adam Smith Program

at GMU Econ


Adam Smith

(Disambiguation: This program is not

the Mercatus Adam Smith Fellowships Program.)

Director: Daniel Klein

Other faculty (the following have served on field exam committee and/or Smithian dissertation committees): Donald Boudreaux, Russell Roberts (now departed from GMU), Lawrence White, Peter Boettke, Garett Jones, David Levy, Tyler Cowen

Other key faculty friends of the program: Daniel Houser (Chair of Econ), Mark Koyama (Econ), Yong Yoon (Econ), Erik Angner (Philosophy), Nelson Lund (Law), Bobbi Herzberg (Mercatus)

There are four regular activities:

1. The two-course sequence & field exam in Smithian Political Economy (SPE).

  • Klein teaches SPE I in the Fall, focusing on The Theory of Moral Sentiments.
  • Professor Boudreaux teaches SPE II in the Spring, focusing on The Wealth of Nations.
  • Beginning in August 2011, twice a year a PhD field exam is offered (here is a bank of 82 sample exam questions).

2. A Readings course, the one for Fall 2017 was David Hume's History of England, for advanced Smith students.

3. The Adam Smith Reading Group, 5 meetings per semester, hosted by Klein and Garett Jones.

4. The Invisible Hand seminar, 5 Saturday meetings per semester, hosted by Klein. Many of these kindly co-sponsored by IHS/Templeton.

Project underway: Adam Smith, David Hume, Liberalism, and Esotericism

Photo from an April 2015 dinner event with Smith students and several faculty:


Below, photo from Aug 2016 pizza and beer:



GMU PhDs supervised by Prof. Klein:

Michael J. Clark, The Virtuous Discourse of Adam Smith: The Political Economist’s Measured Words on Public Policy (2010)

Brandon Lucas, The Influence of Adam Smith: The Hayekian Narrative, Honest Profit, and the Invisible Hand (2010)

Christopher S. Martin, Sympathy, Poverty, and Justice: Three Essays on the History of Economics with an Emphasis on Adam Smith (2012)

Mark J. Bonica, Adam Smith on Liberty and Reputation: Is Reputation Property? Are Defamation Laws Coercive? (2013)

Anthony J. Quain, Positional Externalities as an Argument for Tax Progressivity: A Critical Analysis (2013)

Paul D. Mueller, Learning from Adam Smith: Propriety in Individual Choice, Moral Judgment, and Politics (2015)

Jason Briggeman, Searching for Justification of the Policy of Pre-Market Approval of Pharmaceuticals (2015)

John A. Robinson, Property and Exclusivity: Ownership in the Scottish Enlightenment, Adam Smith, and English Literature (2016)

Scott Drylie, Interpreting Adam Smith's Views on Education of the Poor in the Age of Benevolence (2016)

Michael Smith, Simple Protections from the Abuse of Market Power: The Complicated Reality (2017)

Jonathon Henry Diesel, The Jural Relationships and a Case For Esotericism: Three Essays on Adam Smith (2017)

Erik W. Matson, Hume and Smith on Reason, Political Economy, and the Spirit of Philosophy (2017)


Smith group photos from 21 Nov 2016 SEA meeting, Wash.DC:

Standing: Dylan DelliSanti, Erik Matson, Eric Hammer, John Robinson, Scott Drylie, Jason Briggeman. Seated: Paul Mueller, Jon Diesel, Dan Klein, Colin Doran


Below: Standing: John Robinson, Pavel Kuchar, Harrison Searles, Niclas Berggren, Dylan DelliSanti. Seated: Jon Diesel, Dan Klein, Scott Drylie



Below: Smith Program poster-session party July 2017