Published: Dec. 8, 2020

Congratulations are due to Christina Boyes for her receipt of the Oskar Morgenstern Fellowship and the Don Lavoie Fellowship. Both are competitive fellowships for students interested in political economy and provide an introduction to key questions and themes in the Austrian, Virginia, and Bloomington schools of political economy as well as contemporary work in this tradition. These fellowships were received through the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

The Oskar Morgenstern Fellowship, is a one-year program awarded to graduate students with training in quantitative methods. The aim of the fellowship is to expose students to strategies for utilizing quantitative techniques. Christina described her dissertation research to the fellowship selection committee as:

"My thesis focuses on understanding the behavior of rebel groups in the context of natural resources and challenges the existing literature’s assumption that rebel groups will always seek to control natural resources when faced with the opportunity. I seek to understand when and how rebel groups choose to form, fight over natural resources, and provide public goods in the context of natural resource extraction. Presently, rebel decision-making surrounding natural resource exploitation assumes that when given the chance, rebel groups will want to control resources. I argue that their calculus is rational and more complicated than a simplistic pursuit of resource wealth. Rebel groups take into account the human capital and technical requirements necessary for resource exploitation before determining how and if they will choose to pursue control of resources. This calculus also affects group formation, institution building, and goods provision by rebel groups."​

The Don Lavoie Fellowship is an online, semester-long program. Due to the inability of Oskar Morgenstern Fellowship awardees to meet in person this year due to the pandemic, an exception was made to the 'early career' status requirement, allowing this fellowship to be additionally offered to upper-level graduate students. Don Lavoie Fellows attend a series of online activities, including an online discussion portal and online reading discussion sessions led by various Hayek Program scholars. Fellows join a network of Mercatus students, alumni, faculty, and scholars who are conducting and engaging with cutting edge research in contemporary political economy.

Bravo, Christina!