Jon Murphy, Economist

Law & Economics and Smithian Political Economy

About Me


I am currently an economics PhD candidate and graduate lecturer at George Mason University.

My research broadly speaking covers Law & Economics, with emphasis on environmental issues, and Smithian Political Economy. I have also done some work on sports economics and international trade.

I currently run a blog here and my writing has been featured at the Online Library of Economics and Liberty as well as other forums like The Independent Review.

My current CV can be found here


My research is at the intersection of law, economics, politics, and transaction costs. I focus on the institutional arrangements that might prevent Coasian bargaining from arising, as well as the potential use of transaction costs (as opposed to Pigouvian taxes) as a means to address externalities.


Working Papers

SNAP Take-Up and Transaction Costs: An Analysis Using the Food Security Survey

Coase and Colorado: Exploring the Effects of Transaction Costs on Water Markets

His Memory Has Misled Him? Curious Errors in Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments (with Andrew Humphries)


Popular Writing

Does National Security Justify Tariffs? The Online Library of Economics and Liberty, May 2018

When is a Market Failure Not a Market Failure?, December 2018


Book Reviews

Clifford Thies, Global Economics: A Holistic Approach. The Independent Review, Forthcoming



Spring 2019:

Econ 415: Law & Economics (Syllabus)

Fall 2018:

Econ 390: International Economics (Syllabus)
Econ 385: International Economic Policy (Syllabus)

Summer 2018:

Econ 100: Economics for the Citizen (Syllabus)