"In most graduate programs, there will usually be a few faculty members who have very strong sentiments about the market as the main allocation mechanism and pessimism about the government in that role. They certainly would not dominate, but they will not be absent either."
- Peter Boettke, writing about top schools to study Austrian economics
My jaw dropped when I read these sentences. Using "free market economist" as a euphemism for "libertarian economist" - a euphemism that they will clarify if pressed - is one thing. I talked about some of that sort of usage of "free market economist" in this post. But this is a very explicit set of sentences from Boettke. I cannot think of a single economics professor teaching in the department at William and Mary or in the department at George Washington University who doesn't think that the market is "the main allocation mechanism", and who isn't pessimistic about government as an allocation mechanism. I would say unequivocally that this position "dominates" both departments, and almost all departments for that matter. To the extent that they do see a role for government, they certainly don't tout it's allocative advantages. I suppose he sincerely thinks this and I'm pretty troubled by the statement.
To undergraduates or even high schoolers looking to college I can assure you - the market is considered "the main allocation mechanism" in any department you are likely to be considering. You may not find a particularly libertarian department or a particularly Austrian department - that may take a little more searching. But the entire economics profession is in strong agreement about the market as an allocation mechanism. This is our "evolution by natural selection" - our underlying common thread that we all agree on and that informs essentially everything that we say. The allocative efficiencies of the market are the bedrock of the discipline.
The flip side of that is that if you have some kind of grudge against the market, you are not going to feel very comfortable anywhere.
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