PCS Officers and Staff

Christian . Bjørnskov

Professor of Economics
Aarhus University
Aarhus, Denmark DK-8210
Contact the President

John . Aldrich

Pfizer-Pratt University Professor
Duke University
Political Science
Durham, NC 27708

Edward Lopez

Executive Director and Past President
Western Carolina University
College of Business
Cullowhee, NC 28723
Contact Edward

Georg Vanberg

Secretary and Past President
Duke University
Department of Political Science
Durham, NC 27708
Contact Georg

Peter Calcagno

Treasurer and Past Director
College of Charleston
Center for Public Choice and Market Process
Charleston, SC 29424
Contact Peter

Lynne Kiesling

Immediate Past President
University of Colorado - Denver
Institute for Regulatory Law & Economics
Denver, CO 80204
Contact Lynne

Reagan Sobel

Operations Manager and Executive Assistant
Western Carolina University
College of Business
Cullowhee, NC 28723
Contact Reagan

Melinda Patience

Conference and Database Manager
College of Charleston
Center for Public Choice and Market Process
Charelston, SC 29424
Contact Melinda

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee consists of Past Presidents in addition to a rotating Board of Directors.

Past Presidents
Name Primary
Year(s) as President
Lynne Kiesling Economics 2023-24
David Skarbek Political Science 2022-23
William F. Shughart II Economics 2020-22
Roger Congleton Economics 2018-20
Georg S. Vanberg Political Science 2016-18
Roberta Q. Herzberg Political Science 2014-16
Edward J. Lopez Economics 2012-14
Lawrence W. Kenny* Economics 2010-12
Nicholas R. Miller Political Science 2008-10
Randall G. Holcombe Economics 2006-08
Steven J. Brams Political Science 2004-06
Geoffrey Brennan* Economics 2002-04
Bernard N. Grofman Political Science 2000-02
William A. Niskanen* Economics 1998-00
Michael C. Munger Political Science 1996-98
Robert D. Tollison* Economics 1994-96
Melvin J. Hinich* Political Science 1992-94
John A. Ferejohn Political Science 1990-92
Vernon L. Smith Economics 1988-90
Peter Ordeshook Political Science 1986-88
Dennis C. Mueller Economics 1984-86
Elinor Ostrom* Political Science 1982-84
John O. Ledyard Economics 1980-82
Gerald H. Kramer Political Science 1978-80
Charles R. Plott Economics 1976-78
James S. Coleman* Sociology 1974-76
Mancur Olson* Economics 1972-74
Otto A. Davis* Economics 1970-72
Vincent A. Ostrom* Public Administration / Political Science 1967-69
William H. Riker* Political Science 1966
Gordon Tullock* Law, Economics 1965
James M. Buchanan* Economics 1964
* Deceased
Directors (Term of Service)

Caitlin Ainsley (2022-24; 24-26)
Associate Professor of Political Science
University of Washington

Bryan McCannon (2022-24; 24-26)
Associate Professor of Economics
West Virginia University

Thomas Stratmann (2022-24; 24-26)
Professor of Economics
George Mason University

Marta Podemska-Mikluch (2023-25; 25-27)
Associate Professor of Economics
Gustavus Adolphus College

Gary Wagner (2024-26; 26-28)
Professor of Economics
University of Louisiana-Lafayette

Jennifer Murtazashvili (2024-26; 26-28)
Professor of Political Economy
University of Pittsburgh

Marek Kaminski (2022-24; 24-26)
Associate Professor of Political Science
University of California - Irvine

John Meadowcroft (2023-25; 25-27)
Reader in Political Economy
Kings College London

(*Indicates partial first term)

Past Directors (Years of Prior Service)

Bonnie Wilson (2018-20*; 20-22; 22-24)
Professor of Economics
St. Louis University

Christian Bjornskov (2020-22; 22-24)
Professor of Economics
Aarhus University

Daniel Bennett (2018-19*; 19-21; 21-23)
Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship
University of Louisville

Kevin Grier (2018-19; 19-21; 21-23)
Professor of Political Science and Gordon Tullock Professor of Political Economy
Texas Tech University

David Skarbek (2018-2022)
Associate Professor of Political Science
Brown University

Lynne Kiesling (2017-2022)
Research Professor
University of Colorado - Denver

W. Mark Crain (2016-2020)
Simon Chair of Political Economy
Lafayette College

Diana Thomas (2017-2020)
Professor of Economics
Creighton University

Roger Congleton (2016-2018)
Professor of Economics
West Virginia University

Peter T. Calcagno (2012-2018)
Professor of Economics
College of Charleston

Keith Dougherty (2013-2018)
Professor of Political Science
University of Georgia

Joshua C. Hall (2012-2016)
Associate Professor of Economics
West Virginia University

Georg Vanberg (2012-2016)
Professor of Political Science
Duke University

Daniel Sutter (2012-2014)
Professor of Economics
Troy University

Statement of Purpose

The Public Choice Society is a tax-exempt public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. The Society's bylaws and IRS form 990 disclosures are available on request by emailing us at the Contact Form on this website.

The goal of the Society to facilitate the exchange of research and ideas across academic disciplines in the social sciences, particularly economics, political science, law, philosophy and related fields, on questions related to all aspects of collective action, primarily through the organization of an annual conference, and the maintenance of a scholarly network. It started in 1963 as the Committee on Non-Market Decision Making, when scholars from multiple disciplines became interested in the application of essentially economic methods to problems normally dealt with by political theorists. An annual conference and new journal were launched. In 1967 the group renamed itself The Public Choice Society. As the public choice research program has advanced in new and fruitful directions, the Society remains as a valued interdisciplinary and international forum for scholarly inquiry and exchange of ideas on the range of topics included in non-market decision making that transcend the boundaries of any self-contained discipline. For more about the origins of the Society, see the essay by James M. Buchanan below.

How to Join

Click the Sign In link at the top right of this page. There you can easily set up your personal login credentials for this site, or simply login if you already have an account.

Scholars who attend and present their research at the annual conference enjoy a one year membership, which includes access to exclusive conference communications, and access to view papers being presented for the current year's conference.

To reserve your space at the annual conference, click the Register tab above beginning October 1 of each year.

History of the Public Choice Society

Public Choice: The Origins and Development of a Research Program
by James M. Buchanan

[Editorial note: This essay was published in 2003 by the Center for Study of Public Choice. In the opening line of the essay, Professor Buchanan defines "public choice as a research program rather than as a discipline or even a subdiscipline." The brief excerpt below is from the section of the essay in which Professor Buchanan has just described the origins and background of The Calculus of Consent, and he next recounts the role that he, Gordon Tullock, and others played in founding the Public Choice Society and related organizations. The entire essay is provided at the link below.]

Our book was well-received by both economists and political scientists. And, through the decades since its publication, the book has achieved status as a seminal work in the research program. The initial interest in the book, and its arguments, prompted Tullock and me, who were then at the University of Virginia, to initiate and organize a small research conference in Charlottesville in April 1963. We brought together economists, political scientists, sociologists, and scholars from other disciplines, all of whom were engaged in research outside the boundaries of their disciplines. The discussion was sufficiently stimulating to motivate the formation of a continuing organization, which we first called the Committee on Non-Market Decision-Making, and to initiate plans for a journal initially called Papers on Non-Market Decision-Making, which Tullock agreed to edit.

We were all unhappy with these awkward labels, but after several annual meetings there emerged the new name “public choice," for both the organization and the journal. In this way the Public Choice Society and the journal Public Choice came into being. Both have proved to be quite successful as institutional embodiments of the research program, and sister organizations and journals have since been set up in Europe and Asia.

William Riker, who organized some of the early meetings, exerted a major influence on American political science through the establishment and operation of the graduate research program at the University of Rochester. Second- and even third-generation Riker students occupy major positions throughout the country and carry forward the research thrust in positive political analysis.

In the late 1960s, Tullock and I shifted to Virginia Polytechnic and State University, and in Blacksburg we set up the Center for Study of Public Choice, which served as an institutional home, of sorts, for visiting research scholars throughout the world. This center, and its related programs, operated effectively until 1983, when it was shifted to George Mason University, where its operation continues.

I shall not discuss in detail the institutional history of the society, the journal, the center, and related organizations. Suffice it to say here that these varying structures reflect the development and maturing of the whole research program.