The real secret of George Mason University.

The stadium scene.
March 28 2006 4:24 PM

The Secret of George Mason

What its Final Four basketball team and its unusual economics department have in common.

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The odds are still against GMU on the court and in classrooms. Neither in basketball nor economics is GMU a top-10 school. We cannot match the endowment of a Harvard or Stanford. Building with the odds stacked against you is difficult, but GMU proves it can be done. Look for undervalued assets, eschew political correctness, and take the long view. But don't try to imitate Mason. The opportunities Coach Larranaga found will dry up. A small economics department today is more likely to succeed by assembling a quality group of socialists than free-marketeers. Bring it on! We're ready to play.

Alexander Tabarrok and Peter Boettke are economists at George Mason University. You can reach Tabarrok at and Boettke at

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