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Gwartney Institute


Russ McCullough, PhD

Russ McCullough, PhD

Wayne D. Angell Distinguished Chair of Economics
Professor of Economics

Justin Clarke, PhD

Justin Clarke, PhD

Menard Family Professor of Philosophy & Ethics
Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Peter Jacobsen, PhD

Peter Jacobsen, PhD

Assistant Professor of Economic Education
Gwartney Professor of Economic Education and Research


By 2030, the Gwartney Institute will be known for its alumni, supporters, and participants who incorporate economic understanding with their faith in their careers, vocations, communities, and personal lives. The Institute will be a nationally-recognized source for knowledge and contributions to student experience, society's understanding of private and public solutions to poverty, and the overlap of markets, governance, and faith. Young audiences will look to the Institute for challenging and engaging education on faith and economics.


Create a unique scholarly environment for the examination and study of economic freedom and social justice and their role in the advancement of human flourishing. The Institute will promote clarity in the understanding of both economic freedom and social justice, communicating their contribution to more purposeful, creative, and satisfying lives. Because of their central role in the interaction among people, social institutions - along with the economic, political, religious, and cultural factors that shape them - will be a central focus of the Institute.

There are currently no upcoming events.

Ottawa University is now offering a college credit course in Microeconomics for highschool students. This course is 3 credit hours and will count for college credit at Ottawa University as well as any university which accepts microeocnomics credits from Ottawa University. The course runs every 8 weeks and can be taken fall, spring, or summer. The registration link is below. Questions can be sent to


Click here to register for a college credit microeconomics course through Ottawa University!


Attention High School Students!

Please join us February 25, 2023 for our Everyday Economics discussion event at Ottawa University

The goal of our Everyday Economics Event Series is to explore how economics is all around us every day, once we know what we are looking for. Students will be provided video clips and readings from the Common Sense Economics curriculum. By reading and watching the material before the event, students will be ready for the Socratic discussion Saturday morning during Session 1. This is a special type of discussion where the students talk about the content that was meaningful to them rather than being lectured too. The professors will be there to provoke discussion with open-ended questions but otherwise let the students discuss their opinions about the topics they found most appealing or appalling. During Session 2, some new topics will be introduced, and students can apply economic principles to entrepreneurship and economic freedom.

A $50 honorarium, materials, snacks and lunch will be provided. We welcome parents or friends of students to join us for lunch at 11:30am. We will ask for a final count of lunch attendees a few days prior to the event. There is limited space available, please register as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please contact Peter Jacobsen at

Everyday Econmics

February 26, 2022
Gibson Student Center
Ottawa University
1001 S. Cedar St.
Ottawa, KS 66067

8:45 AM Check-in - snacks and drinks provided
9:00 AM - 10:15 AM

Session 1 - Common Sense Economics Socratic Discussion

High School students exchange ideas from open-ended questions about the "12 Key Elements of Economics" text and videos from Professors Russ and Peter

10:15 AM - 10:30 AM Break - snacks and drinks provided
10:30 AM- 11:30 AM

Session 2 - Connecting basic principles of economics to Entrepreneurship, Economic Freedom, and "The Good Society"

Interactive discussion between students and professors with some short videos and an exercise on economic freedom around the world

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM Lunch discussion - Parents and others may join. We will continue discussion and concluding remarks

Students will need to create a free account with Certell. Once you have registered for the event, an email will be sent to you on how to do this.

Here is an example of some of the material you will be reading and watching in preparation for the event!



Gwartney Institute scholars conduct research on a wide array of subjects consistent with our mission.

We focus primarily on political economy, theoretical economics, and current policy issues that impact human flourishing.

Published Papers

This collection is comprised peer-reviewed research articles intended to make novel scholarly contributions to the body of economic knowledge

Malcom McLean, Containerization and Entrepreneurship
Peter Jacobsen, Gwartney Institute, Ottawa University with Rosolino Candela and Kacey Reeves

Working Papers Series

This collection is comprised of research articles intended to make novel scholarly contributions to the body of economic knowledge

The Rules of Reason: COVID-19, Buchanan, and Hayek
Rosolino Candela, Mercatus Center at George Mason University
Peter Jacobsen, Gwartney Institute, Ottawa University

More than Labor
Peter Jacobsen, Gwartney Institute, Ottawa University

Policy Papers Series

This collection is comprised of short policy analyses written for a wide audience. These papers address current policy issues.

Coming soon!


James D. Gwartney

James D. Gwartney holds the Gus A. Stavros Eminent Scholar Chair at Florida State University, where he directs the Stavros Center for the Advancement of Free Enterprise and Economic Education. He is the coauthor of Economics: Private and Public Choice, (South-Western Cengage Learning, 2014), a widely used principles of economics text that is now in its 15th edition. He is also the co-author of Common Sense Economics: What Everyone Should Know About Wealth and Prosperity (St. Martin's Press, 2010), a primer on economics and personal finance designed for the interested layperson. Throughout his career, he has published more than 100 scholarly articles. His publications have appeared in the American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Southern Economic Journal, Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics and the Journal of Economic Education and popular media such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Economic education has been a focal point of his career. In recent years, he has worked with a team to develop an exciting Economics for Life course that uses videos, interactive exercises, online readings, and PowerPoint slides to make economics come alive for even students with little initial interest in the subject. His Ph.D. in economics is from the University of Washington.

His research has focused on the measurement and determination of factors that influence cross-country differences in income levels and growth rates. In this regard, he is the co-author of the annual report, Economic Freedom of the World, which provides information on the consistency of institutions and policies with economic freedom for more than 150 countries. This data set, published by a worldwide network of institutes in 80 countries, is widely used by scholars investigating topics ranging from economic growth to peaceful relations among nations. During 1999-2000, he served as Chief Economist of the Joint Economic Committee of the U. S. Congress. He was invited by the incoming Putin Administration in March 2000 to make presentations and have discussions with leading Russian economists concerning the future of the Russian economy. In 2004 he was the recipient of the Adam Smith Award of the Association of Private Enterprise Education for his contribution to the advancement of free market ideals. In 2008, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Social Science from Francisco Marroquin University, Guatemala. He is a past president of the Southern Economic Association and the Association of Private Enterprise Education.

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