Barry R. Weingast

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Barry Robert Weingast (born September 1, 1952) [1] is an American political scientist and economist, who is currently the Ward C. Krebs Family Professor at Stanford University and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. Weingast's research concentrates on the relationship between politics and economics, particularly economic reform, regulation, and the political foundation of markets. [2]

Economist professional in the social science discipline of economics

An economist is a practitioner in the social science discipline of economics.

Stanford University Private research university in Stanford, California

Leland Stanford Junior University is a private research university in Stanford, California. Stanford is known for its academic strength, wealth, selectivity, proximity to Silicon Valley, and ranking as one of the world's top universities.

The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace is an American public policy think tank and research institution located at Stanford University in California. It began as a library founded in 1919 by Republican and Stanford alumnus Herbert Hoover, before he became President of the United States. The library, known as the Hoover Institution Library and Archives, houses multiple archives related to Hoover, World War I, World War II, and other world history. According to the 2016 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report, Hoover is No. 18 in the "Top Think Tanks in the United States".


Early life

He was born in Los Angeles, California. After his secondary education, he studied at the University of California, Santa Cruz where he obtained a B.A. in mathematics in June 1973. Thereafter, he moved on to graduate studies in economics at the California Institute of Technology, which awarded him a Ph.D. in June 1978 for his thesis, "A representative legislature and regulatory agency capture." [3]

Los Angeles City in California

Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles is often called by its initials L.A.. It is the most populous city in California; the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City; and the third most populous city in North America, after Mexico City and New York City. With an estimated population of nearly four million people, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. The city is known for its Mediterranean-like climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood, the entertainment industry, and its sprawling metropolis.

California U.S. state in the United States

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents across a total area of about 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2), California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

University of California, Santa Cruz public University of California campus in Santa Cruz

The University of California, Santa Cruz is a public research university in Santa Cruz, California. It is one of 10 campuses in the University of California system. Located 75 miles (120 km) south of San Francisco at the edge of the coastal community of Santa Cruz, the campus lies on 2,001 acres (810 ha) of rolling, forested hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Monterey Bay.

Academic career

Following his graduate studies, he became an assistant professor of economics at the Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) in 1977, where he also worked as a research associate at the Center for the Study of American Business before he was promoted to associate professor in 1983 and to full professor in 1986. Later, Weingast became affiliated with the Hoover Institution, first as a senior research fellow in 1987 and then as a senior fellow in 1990, which he still holds. After he left WUSTL in 1988, he was appointed as professor of political science at Stanford University in 1992, reflecting his transition from economics to political science after he left WUSTL. His current position, the Ward C. Krebs Family Professor, was awarded to him by Stanford University in 1997.

Assistant professor is an academic rank used in universities or colleges in the United States, Canada, and some other countries.

Washington University in St. Louis university in St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Washington University in St. Louis is a private research university in St. Louis, Missouri. Founded in 1853, and named after George Washington, the university has students and faculty from all 50 U.S. states and more than 120 countries. As of 2017, 24 Nobel laureates in economics, physiology and medicine, chemistry, and physics have been affiliated with Washington University, nine having done the major part of their pioneering research at the university.

Associate professor is an academic title with two principal meanings.

In addition to his professorship in political science, Weingast has held a courtesy appointment in economics at Stanford University since 1989 and works at several institutes affiliated with Stanford University, including the Stanford Center for International Development, the Stanford Center for International Studies, and the Woods Institute for the Environment. Before that, he was a visiting professor or scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, Cornell Law School, Virginia Law School and the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. Weingast has also been a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 1996.

University of California, Berkeley Public university in California, USA

The University of California, Berkeley is a public research university in Berkeley, California. It was founded in 1868 and serves as the flagship campus of the ten campuses of the University of California. Berkeley has since grown to instruct over 40,000 students in approximately 350 undergraduate and graduate degree programs covering numerous disciplines.

Cornell Law School is the law school of Cornell University, a private Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York. It is one of the five Ivy League law schools and offers three law degree programs along with several dual-degree programs in conjunction with other professional schools at the university. Established in 1887 as Cornell's Department of Law, the school today is one of the smallest top-tier JD-conferring institutions in the country, with around two-hundred students graduating each year. Since its inception Cornell Law School has always ranked among the top law schools in the nation.

American Academy of Arts and Sciences United States honorary society and center for independent policy research

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the oldest learned societies in the United States. Founded in 1780, the Academy is dedicated to honoring excellence and leadership, working across disciplines and divides, and advancing the common good.

In the past, he has acted as the Chair and as the Director of Graduate Studies of Department of Political Science at Stanford University and as the Director and President of the International Society for the New Institutional Economics. He is also a member of the American Economic Association, American Political Science Association and the Economic History Association, among others, and he is on the board of directors of the Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics , Constitutional Political Economy , Journal of Policy Reform , Public Choice and Business and Politics . [4]

American Economic Association Learned society in the field of economics

The American Economic Association (AEA) is a learned society in the field of economics, headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. It publishes one of the most prestigious academic journals in economics: the American Economic Review. The AEA was established in 1885 in Saratoga, New York by younger progressive economists trained in the German historical school, including Richard T. Ely, Edwin Robert Anderson Seligman and Katharine Coman, the only woman co-founder; since 1900 it has been under the control of academics.

American Political Science Association professional association of political science students and scholars in the United States

The American Political Science Association (APSA) is a professional association of political science students and scholars in the United States. Founded in 1903, it publishes four academic journals. APSA Organized Sections publish or are associated with 15 additional journals.

The Economic History Association (EHA) was founded in 1940 to "encourage and promote teaching, research, and publication on every phase of economic history and to help preserve and administer materials for research in economic history". It publishes The Journal of Economic History with the Cambridge University Press, holds an annual meeting that usually takes place in September, and awards prizes and grants. It is also the home to the EH.Net Encyclopedia of Economic and Business History.


His research interests focus on political economy, new institutional economics, regulation, and the application of rational choice theory to legal, legislative, and constitutional institutions. [5] The bibliographic database IDEAS/RePEc ranks him among the top 5% of economists according to different metrics, including average rank score, number of citations, and number of distinct works. [6] His most cited research article, co-authored with Nobel Memorial Prize laureate Douglass C. North in 1989, analyzes the development of constitutional arrangements in 17th-century England after the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and posits based on evidence from capital markets that new institutions successfully enabled the government to commit credibly to upholding property rights. [7] Further important research contributions to economics by Weingast include the following:

Political economy Study of production, buying, and selling, and their relations with law, custom, and government

Political economy is the study of production and trade and their relations with law, custom and government; and with the distribution of national income and wealth. As a discipline, political economy originated in moral philosophy, in the 18th century, to explore the administration of states' wealth, with "political" signifying the Greek word polity and "economy" signifying the Greek word "okonomie". The earliest works of political economy are usually attributed to the British scholars Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, and David Ricardo, although they were preceded by the work of the French physiocrats, such as François Quesnay (1694–1774) and Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot (1727–1781).

New institutional economics (NIE) is an economic perspective that attempts to extend economics by focusing on the social and legal norms and rules that underlie economic activity and with analysis beyond earlier institutional economics and neoclassical economics. It can be seen as a broadening step to include aspects excluded in neoclassical economics. It rediscovers aspects of classical political economy.

Regulation is an abstract concept of management of complex systems according to a set of rules and trends. In systems theory, these types of rules exist in various fields of biology and society, but the term has slightly different meanings according to context. For example:

Weingast's recent work includes: the central role of violence in the political-economics of development (with Gary W. Cox and North); the political and constitutional foundations of Ancient Athens (with Federica Carugati and Josiah Ober).

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  1. Curriculum vitae of Barry R. Weingast on the website of the Department of Political Science, Stanford University Archived November 29, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  2. "Barry R Weingast". Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  3. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-11-29. Retrieved 2014-11-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-11-29. Retrieved 2014-11-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-11-29. Retrieved 2014-11-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. D.C., Weingast, B.R. (1989). Constitutions and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutions Governing Public Choice in 17th-Century England. Journal of Economic History, 49(4), pp. 803-832.
  7. Weingast, Barry R; Shepsle, Kenneth A & Johnsen, Christopher (2 February 1981). "The Political Economy of Benefits and Costs: A Neoclassical Approach to Distributive Politics". Journal of Political Economy. 89 (4): 642–664. doi:10.1086/260997 . Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  8. McCubbins, Mathew D; Noll, Roger G & Weingast, Barry R (2 February 1987). "Administrative Procedures as Instruments of Political Control". Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization. 3 (2): 242–277. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  9. Greif, Avner; Milgrom, Paul & Weingast, Barry R (2 February 1994). "Coordination, Commitment, and Enforcement: The Case of the Merchant Guild". Journal of Political Economy. 102 (4): 745–776. doi:10.1086/261953 . Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  10. Yingyi Qian & Barry R. Weingast (2 February 1997). "Federalism as a Commitment to Preserving Market Incentives". Journal of Economic Perspectives. 11 (4): 83–92. doi:10.1257/jep.11.4.83 . Retrieved 19 November 2014.