Business and Economics

George Mason University recognized the legacies of Nobel Prize laureates James M. Buchanan (left) and Vernon L. Smith by renaming buildings in Fairfax and Arlington in their honor in a ceremony on Friday, Nov. 18, 2016. Both were affiliated with George Mason at the time of their awards. Mason Alumni Association


Grounded in research by two Nobel laureates, Mason’s stature in the economics field has changed the way economics plays out in society from where we dine to the effects of federal regulations on small businesses.

Research Centers

Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE)

The center serves as a central hub of entrepreneurship education and innovation activity. Its four areas of focus are students (both undergraduate and graduate from all disciplines); faculty and staff across George Mason University; community outreach, including alumni, Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., businesses, and international entities; and corporations and government agencies. It provides experiential learning through academic programs, as well as hands-on programs for students interested in innovation, invention, early-stage startups, and entrepreneurship.

Center for Regional Analysis (CRA)

The center is a clearinghouse for economic data and forecasts specific to the Washington, D.C. region. Business and government executives rely on its fiscal analyses, economic indicators, demographic studies, information services, and data products as they seek to stimulate investment and development and spur enterprise. The center can tailor its analyses to meet the needs of specific clients and has worked with nearly 30 private and public entities, including the World Bank, the Smithsonian Institution, and the International Monetary Fund.


Center for Entrepreneurship and Public Policy (CEPP)

The George Mason Schar School of Policy and Government’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Public Policy is a global leader in promoting knowledge development in public and private enterprises at the national, regional, and international levels. It is distinguished by a three-pronged educational and research focus on entrepreneurship opportunities in the technology, international, and federal sectors. The center places special emphasis on the role entrepreneurship plays in regional economic development by jointly sponsoring annual conferences on the subject in Amsterdam and Jonkoping, Sweden. It also hosts its own annual conference at George Mason University in conjunction with the School of Management.


Center for Federal Management Leadership (CFML)

Linking academic resources and abilities with national, regional and local communities, the center was created to apply the intellectual capital of Mason’s public administration faculty and students to the solutions of practical challenges in federal management and administration of public programs while strengthening the practical knowledge of students in the public administration program. The center is developing grant submissions, partnership arrangements, and practicums and training programs in several areas.


Center for Micro-Economics Policy Research (CMEPR)

As a forum for policy-relevant research using micro-economic and micro-econometric methods, the center organizes a seminar series. Speakers include prominent micro-economists from Mason and other universities, agencies, and research organizations in the Washington, D.C., area.


Center for Real Estate Entrepreneurship (CREE)

The center strives to advance real estate research and education in real estate development and finance. Working in partnership with real estate developers, professionals, and organizations in the Washington, D.C., area, the center develops relevant content for the business and academic communities. It also acts as a catalyst between the Master of Science in Real Estate Development academic program and the real estate industry, providing students with a forum for professional development and opportunities to connect with the real estate development community.


Center for the Study of Neuroeconomics (CSN)

Center researchers develop and use methods from both experimental economics and cognitive neuroscience to design experiments that help to better understand how neural activity results in an emergent cognitive capacity for economic behavior. The heart of our approach is the methodology of experimental economics pioneered by Nobel laureate Vernon Smith.


Institute for Immigration Research (IIR)

The Institute for Immigration Research’s mission is to focus the conversation on immigration among academics, policy-makers and the public, including the business community and media, by producing and disseminating objective, interdisciplinary academic research related to immigrants and immigration to the United States. Research conducted by the IIR will examine the economic impact of all immigrant groups, with particular emphasis on the contributions of immigrant entrepreneurs with a high level of education or skills. The IIR concentrates on economic questions while adding a sociological perspective. The Institute for Immigration Research is a joint venture between George Mason University and The Immigrant Learning Center of Massachusetts.


Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science (ICES)

Founded in 2001 by Nobel laureate Vernon Smith, the center brings together researchers and students interested in using experimental economics to answer research questions from a variety of fields. Using laboratory and field experiments, research is conducted in such areas as public choice, development, bargaining, neuroscience, and economic systems design.


Investor Protection and Corporate Fraud Research Center (IPCFRC)

The center strives to provide thought leadership on investor protection and fraud risk by sponsoring, conducting, and distributing research in these areas. It also focuses on investor protection activities such as the role of corporate governance, the role of auditors, insider trading, management disclosures, and the legal and regulatory environment of business. The center’s focus on fraud prevention includes detecting and understanding fraudulent financial and tax reporting, deliberate efforts by management to mislead stakeholders, and fraud investigation and discovery techniques.


Law and Economics Center (LEC)

The mission of the Law & Economics Center (LEC) is to be a nexus for academic research and education that focuses on the timely and relevant economic analysis of legal and public policy issues confronting policymakers worldwide. The center is committed to developing original, high-quality law and economics research and educational programs to enhance economic understanding and affect policy solutions by providing a consistent and rational voice that will add value to relevant policy decisions.


Mason Enterprise Center (MEC)

The Mason Enterprise Center focuses on enterprise creation and expansion, specializing in the areas of small business services, government contracting, international business, entrepreneurship, technology ventures, and telework initiatives. The center offers a combination of programs, services, and resources. It provides business owners in the region with access to faculty, students, alumni, researchers, information sources, inventions, and other resources required to help them expand their businesses, improve their organizations, and strengthen the regional economy.


Mercatus Center

The Mercatus Center is a university-based research center dedicated to bridging the gap between academic research and public policy problems. It advances knowledge about how markets work to improve people’s lives by training graduate students, conducting research, and applying economics to offer solutions to society’s most pressing problems.


Featured Research Faculty

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