Escape from Democracy: The Role of Experts and the Public in Economic Policy

May 04, 2017
2:00pm3:30pm
Mason Hall room D180 George Mason University Fairfax, Virginia

Event Speakers

Peter J. Boettke

Director, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics

David M. Levy (Author)

Professor of Economics, George Mason University

Sandra J. Peart (Author)

Dean and Professor, Jepson School of Leadership Studies, University of Richmond

Roger Congleton

BB&T Distinguished Chair of Free Market Thought, West Virginia University

Roger Koppl

Professor of Finance, Syracuse University

The orthodox view of economic policy holds that public deliberation sets the goals and then experts select the means to implement these goals. However, to what extent are experts able to move society toward its goals without disastrous results? Do experts necessarily hold the public interest above their own?

In Escape from Democracy: The Role of Experts and the Public in Economic Policy, David M. Levy and Sandra J. Peart examine the historical record to consider the cases in which trusted experts implemented policies that led to disastrous results, such as eugenics, the regulatory use of security ratings, and central economic planning. This history suggests that experts have not only the public interest but also their own, sometimes conflicting, interests in mind when pursuing social change. Levy and Peart provide an alternative and more transparent view of economic policy that subjects experts’ proposals to further discussion and criticism. They argue that this approach will help ensure that the public obtains the best insights of experts in economics while avoiding the pitfalls.

Please join the F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University for a panel discussion featuring Professors David M. Levy and Sandra J. Peart’s new book Escape from Democracy: The Role of Experts and the Public in Economic Policy.

The panel will include panel chair Peter Boettke and commenters Roger Congleton, BB&T Distinguished Chair of Free Market Thought, Economics at West Virginia University and Roger Koppl, Professor of Finance at Syracuse University and 2016 – 2017 F. A. Hayek Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.