The Mercatus Center at George Mason University is the world’s premier university source for market-oriented ideas—bridging the gap between academic ideas and real-world problems.
As a university-based research center, the Mercatus Center trains students, conducts research of consequence, and persuasively communicates economic ideas to solve society’s most pressing problems and advance knowledge about how markets work to improve people’s lives.
Our mission is to generate knowledge and understanding of the institutions that affect the freedom to prosper and to find sustainable solutions that overcome the barriers preventing individuals from living free, prosperous, and peaceful lives.
Since 1980, the Mercatus Center has been located at George Mason University.
Originally founded at Rutgers University, Mercatus moved to George Mason University in the mid-1980s after a $30 million donation from Koch Industries, which remains a major source of funding. As is appropriate for a think tank named for the Latin word for “markets,” Mercatus advocates for free-market approaches to public policy, and works with policy experts, lobbyists, and government officials to connect theory with public policy. Mercatus has provided more than 100 testimonies to Congress on topics such as government transparency, subsidies, taxation, regulation, corruption, and Austrian economics. Each year, the Center publishes “Freedom in the 50 States: An Index of Personal and Economic Freedom.”