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National Academic Advisory Board


Public Interest Institute has an Advisory Board consisting of ten leading scholars in the fields of economics, management, political science, and public administration. Each has earned considerable distinction in his or her field for the defense of individual liberty, limited government, and the free market.

Dr. Richard Wagner of George Mason University chairs the board, which includes:

Dr. Richard Wagner

Dr. Wagner is the Holbert R. Harris Professor of Economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia where he has taught since 1988. His writings have covered a broad range of topics in political economy, public policy, and public finance. He has written over 20 books, including Public Debt in a Democratic Society, Democracy in Deficit (both co-authored with Nobel laureate James Buchanan), and To Promote the General Welfare. Dr. Wagner has also served as Scholar-in-Residence at Public Interest Institute.


Dr. Robert Bish

Dr. Robert Bish is Professor of Public Administration and Economics at the University of Victoria, in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. He also co-directs the Local Government Institute, a well-known clearinghouse for research on the innovative delivery of local government services.


Dr. Bish brings to the Advisory Board years of experience in research, teaching, and consulting on local government organization, operation, and finance in the U.S. and Canada.


He has authored more than ten books and many articles on local government and public finance.


His work includes the first public choice analysis of local government organization (The Public Economy of Metropolitan Areas, 1971) and a detailed study of municipal reform proposals (Understanding Urban Government: Metropolitan Reform Reconsidered, 1973).


Dr. Edgar Browning

Dr. Edgar Browning is an economist at Texas A&M in College Station, Texas. Dr. Browning earned his Ph.D. at Princeton University, after obtaining his Bachelor's degree at University of Virginia.


He specializes in the study of taxation and public finance. In addition to his research responsibilities, he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in microeconomics, public policy, and public finance.


Dr. Browning has authored four books and over 60 articles in professional and scholarly journals. His most recent books include a college economics textbook, now in its fourth edition, Microeconomic Theory and Applications, and Public Finance and the Price System. He co-authored both books with Jacqueline Browning.


As a member of the Advisory Board for Public Interest Institute, Professor Browning also contributes his valuable experience and insight gained as Adjunct Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and as a former President of the Southern Economic Association.


Dr. Richard McKenzie

Dr. Richard McKenzie is Walter B. Gerken Professor of Enterprise and Society in the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Irvine. He is also an Adjunct Fellow at the Center for the Study of American Business at Washington University in St. Louis.


Professor McKenzie has written more than twenty books and monographs, including The Paradox of Progress: Can Americans Regain Their Confidence in a Prosperous Future? (Oxford University, 1997). He has also published, The Home: A Memoir of Growing Up in an Orphanage (Basic Books, 1996), which recounts his upbringing in the Barium Springs Home for Children in Piedmont, North Carolina.


Dr. McKenzie's current research focuses on manager-worker relations, and claims that future generations will have to adopt lower living standards. This year he plans to complete two new books, Getting Incentives Right! (Oxford University Press) and Rethinking Orphanages, with Dr. Dwight Lee, another associate of the Institute.


Dr. William Peirce

Dr. Peirce chairs the Department of Economics at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. His research interests include public choice analysis of the European Union, economics of industrial standards, and land value taxation.


In his role as an advisor to the Institute, Dr. Peirce brings over 30 years of experience in research and teaching. Included among his teaching specialties are energy economics, public finance, and the economics of technological change.


Dr. Peirce has authored many books and articles of special interest to Institute members. These include: Bureaucratic Failure and Public Expenditure (New York: Academic Press, 1981); Economics of the Energy Industries, Second Edition (Westport, Connecticut: Praeger, 1996); and "Government: An Expensive Provider," a chapter from Limiting Leviathan, from Public Interest Institute in 1998, edited by Advisory Board Chairman Dr. Richard Wagner and the Institute’s Executive Director, Dr. Don Racheter.


Dr. Peirce is also a Trustee of the American Institute for Economic Research.


Dr. Randy Simmons

Dr. Randy T. Simmons is Professor of Political Science at Utah State University where he specializes in political economy, public policy, and environmental and natural resource management.


Among Dr. Simmons’ undertakings is a book, Political Ecology: Revising the Endangered Species Act, with wildlife ecologist Charles Kay. It considers the politics, economics, and ecology of endangered species policy and proposes market-based policies to replace current regulations.


The project will add to the ever-growing list of Dr. Simmons’ published works which includes more than ten books and numerous articles. We are pleased to count Dr. Simmons among the members of our Advisory Board. We believe his insightful application of free market theory to environmental issues will prove a valuable asset to Institute staff and members.


Dr. Eugenia Toma

Dr. Toma is Director of the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration at Kentucky University, where she has taught economics, public policy, and public administration since 1986.


Completing a thesis entitled "The Economic Organization of Public Education in the U.S.," Dr. Toma earned her Ph.D. at Virginia Polytechnic University. Since beginning her teaching career in 1978, Dr. Toma has published over 30 articles and reports. She also co-edited the book Central Bankers, Bureaucratic Incentives, and Monetary Policy with her husband, Dr. Mark Toma.


Dr. Toma's research spans several areas. She specializes in the economics of public and private schooling. In 1996 she co-authored "A New Framework for Public Education in Michigan" for the Michigan Department of Education and also published an article, "Public Funding and Private Schooling Across Countries," in the Journal of Law and Economics. We are pleased to welcome Dr. Toma to the Advisory Board and look forward to our association together.


Dr. Richard Vedder

Dr. Richard Vedder is Distinguished Professor of Economics and Faculty Associate at the Contemporary History Institute at Ohio University, where he has taught for over 30 years. During the Reagan Administration Dr. Vedder also served as an economist for the Joint Economic Committee of Congress.


His research specialties include American and European Economic History, Public Finance, and Labor Market Analysis. Dr. Vedder has authored many books and articles, including Out of Work: Unemployment and Government in Twentieth-Century America, and The American Economy in Historical Perspective.


Dr. Bruce Yandle

Dr. Yandle is Alumni Distinguished Professor of Economics and Legal Studies at Clemson University, where he has been a faculty member since 1969. He is Senior Associate with Political Economy Research Center (PERC).


He has served in Washington on two occasions. From 1976 to 1978, he was a Senior Economist on the White House staff, where he reviewed and analyzed newly proposed environmental regulations. From 1982 to 1984, he served as Executive Director of the Federal Trade Commission.


Dr. Yandle has concentrated his research and teaching efforts in the area of government regulation. He has authored and edited books including Environmental Use and the Market, The Political Limits of Environmental Regulation, Regulatory Reform in the Reagan Era, Taking the Environment Seriously, and LAND RIGHTS: The 1990s' Property Rebellion.


A native of Georgia, he received an A.B. degree from Mercer University, and M.B.A and Ph.D. degrees from Georgia State University.