Don Lavoie was the David H. and Charles G. Koch Chair of Economics at the School of Public Policy, George Mason University. He received a BS in Computer Science from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1973 and a Ph.D. in Economics in 1981 from New York University. His research focused on the use of knowledge in economic and organizational contexts. He is best known as author of two books published in 1985, Rivalry and Central Planning and National Economic Planning: What is Left?, which elaborate on the “Austrian” school’s critique of centralized economic planning. He edited Economics and Hermeneutics (Routledge, 1991), a collection of essays exploring the implications of hermeneutical philosophy for economics. In a co-authored study of the software industry called Component Software: A Market Perspective on the Coming Revolution in Software Development (Patricia Seybold Group, 1993) he examined some implications of “object-oriented” software engineering for software production and distribution. He edited a collection of essays in economics entitled Expectations and the Meaning of Institutions by his teacher, Ludwig Lachmann, (Routledge,1994). His last book, Culture and Enterprise: The Development, Representation, and Morality of Business (Routledge, 2000), co-authored with Emily Chamlee-Wright, explores the relationship between economics and the field of cultural studies.
Professor Lavoie was twice the recipient of George Mason University’s Distinguished Faculty award and was one of the university’s leading innovators in teaching methods, developing new ways to use software to enhance the learning experience of his students. He experimented extensively with the use of Lotus Notes to facilitate faculty collaboration and developed ways of using Folio Views hypertext software to enable electronic class discussions, which led to his being selected as a finalist for the Folio Corporation’s 1995 MVP award. He served as Director of the MA in Telecommunications program for two years, was co-founder with Jack High of the department known as Program on Social and Organizational Learning, and has been an active faculty member of the Economics, Public Policy, and Cultural Studies Ph.D. programs.