The Best Paper award goes to


Radford University Assistant Professor of Economics Thomas Duncan was part of a group who received the honor of Best Paper in the Journal of Private Enterprise.

Duncan, along with George Mason University faculty members Christopher Coyne and Peter Leeson, co-wrote the paper, "A Note on the Market Provision of National Defense." The award was announced and given to the authors in April at the Association of Private Enterprise Education (APEE) conference in Cancún, Mexico.

"It is always exciting to have your work recognized by your peers," Duncan said. "I am very grateful and honored to have our paper selected for this award."

The paper examines a "free rider problem" and its effect on national defense and argues there is a similar problem in national offense.

"In this paper, we do not dispute the free rider claim. Instead, we argue that under very specific conditions there is a free rider problem in national offense, too," Duncan said. "This means that in a strict market economy there will also be an under-provision of national offense. If the level of offense is below the efficient level, it means that we may not necessarily need the efficient level of defense. It may be OK to under produce defense to the same level that there is under produced offense."

Duncan's research is centered on an exploration of the motivational and epistemological challenges inherent in the provision of national defense, particularly within the institutional structure of the modern military-industrial complex.

The Association of Private Enterprise Education is an association of teachers and scholars from colleges and universities, public policy institutes and industry with a common interest in studying and supporting the private enterprise system. APEE hosts an annual conference for members to share their scholarly findings and offers a number of awards to recognize individuals who have contributed to the cause of private enterprise.

Jun 15, 2015