John D. Mueller

The Lehrman Institute Fellow in Economics

John D. Mueller is the Lehrman Institute Fellow in Economics and Director of the Economics and Ethics Program at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Mr. Mueller specializes in the relation of modern economic theory to its Judeo-Christian and Greco-Roman origins, its practical application to personal, family, and political economy, and the interaction of economics, philosophical worldviews, and religious faith. He is also an adjunct senior research fellow at the Social Futuring Center.

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John D. Mueller is the Lehrman Institute Fellow in Economics and Director of the Economics and Ethics Program at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Mr. Mueller specializes in the relation of modern economic theory to its Judeo-Christian and Greco-Roman origins, its practical application to personal, family, and political economy, and the interaction of economics, philosophical worldviews, and religious faith. He is also an adjunct senior research fellow at the Social Futuring Center.

Mr. Mueller retired in January 2015 as president of LBMC LLC, a firm in Washington, D.C. specializing in economic and financial-market forecasting and economic policy analysis. He has more than 35 years’ experience in those fields. Besides investment managers, Mr. Mueller has advised many American and foreign economic policymakers on monetary policy and exchange rates, policies for reducing unemployment, and income-tax, welfare and Social Security reform. He is author of Redeeming Economics: Rediscovering the Missing Element (ISI Books, 2010; updated paperback, 2014). From 1979 through 1988, Mr. Mueller was economist and speechwriter to then-Congressman Jack Kemp, mostly as Economic Counsel to the House Republican Conference (caucus) of which Kemp was chairman. In that capacity he drafted bills originating some key features of President Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts of 1981 and Tax Reform Act of 1986 and of Kemp’s 1988 presidential campaign. Mr. Mueller graduated in 1974 from Haverford College, and after his children completed their education, received his master’s degree in applied economics in 2019 from the University of Maryland, and in 2020 became a doctoral candidate in economics of Corvinus University in Budapest.

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View a video on a special issue of the Society and Economy Journal, featuring commentary from Mr. Mueller:

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Reviews of John D. Mueller’s Redeeming Economics: Rediscovering the Missing Element, ISI Books, Wilmington, DE, 2014 [2010]

Jennifer Roback Morse, “How the ‘A-Team’ Redeems Modern Economics,” The Family in America, Volume 24 Number 3, Summer 2010

Kevin D. Williamson,  “Summa Economica,” National Review, October 18, 2010, Issue

William E. Dean, Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, XXIII2011: 207-209 (PDF)

David Colander, Middlebury College, Journal of Economic Literature: Vol. 49 No. 3 – Book Review, JEL 2011–0025 (Abstract | PDF)

Joseph Lawler, “A Review of Redeeming Economics,” First Things, January 2011

Kevin Clark, “Redeeming Economics” (PDF)

William English, “Still Awaiting Redemption,” The Intercollegiate Review, Spring 2011, 55-58, First Principles

Ryan T. Anderson, “Dismal Science Redeemed: What’s Gone Wrong,” The Public Discourse, May 4, 2011; “Dismal Science Redeemed: Where to Go from Here,” May 6, 2011

Troy Gibson, “Redeeming Economics, a review,” The Reformed Mind, 23 June 2011

Father John Flynn, L.C., “Can Neo-Scholastics Transform Economy? A Rediscovery of the Human Element on the Horizon,” Zenit.org, September 18, 2011

Matthew McCaffrey, “Surveying Recent Literature on Economic Theory and Morality,” Journal of Markets and Morality, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 179-200 (2012)

Brian Douglass, “Ite ad Thomam: John Mueller’s Return to a Solid Foundation for Economics,” The Distributist Review, 2012

J. Daniel Hammond, Wake Forest University, Faith and Economics, 59 (Spring 2012): 73-77

Rev. James V. Schall, S.J., “Economics—When the Truth Really Matters,” Aleteia, November 22, 2014

Tamás Halm, Közgazdasági Szemle (monthly journal of economics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), 2017

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Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles and Submissions

Social Futuring, Modern and Ancient (PDF)

Submitted to World Futures: The Journal Of New Paradigm Research

Rueff’s Laws of Unemployment and Inflation (PDF)

Submitted to Theoretical Economics

Recession and Depression

Published in American Governance (2016)

Federal Budget Deficit

Published in American Governance (2016)

Comment on Michael V. Szpindor Watson’s “Mueller and Mises: Integrating the Gift and ‘Final Distribution’ within Praxeology”

Published in Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 18, no. 2 (Summer 2015)

The ‘Missing Element’ in Modern Economics

Published in Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 18, no. 2 (Summer 2015)

Why “AAA Economics” Has Legs

Mueller, J. (2013), “Mueller’s redeeming economics”, A Research Annual (Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology, Vol. 31A), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 109-118.

Mueller, J. (2013), “Mueller’s redeeming economics”, A Research Annual (Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology, Vol. 31A), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 109-118.

Finn’s “Nine Libertarian Heresies” and Mueller’s First Lemma: Economists Complain Exactly Insofar as They Are Unable to Explain

Published in Journal of Markets and Morality 14, no. 2 (2011)

How Does Fiscal Policy Affect the American Worker?

Published in The Notre Dame Journal of Law Ethics and Public Policy (Vol. 20, No. 2, Spring 2006, pp. 563-619) (2006)

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AAA Index

The AAA Index, or Index of Human Flourishing (IHF)

Presented at 17th Annual Conference, Doctoral School of Economics, Business and Informatics, Corvinus University Budapest

AAA Index Project Listing on ResearchGate

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The Trump Tax Reform Won’t Match the Reagan Ones

John D. Mueller

Some hard figures help explain why the Reagan administration tax reforms were enacted with the support of so-called “Reagan Democrats” in Congress, while not a single Democrat voted for the 2017 tax reform.

Articles

Washington Examiner / January 17, 2018

A Brief Demographic Tour of the World

John D. Mueller

The good news is that the rate of legal abortion has fallen by nearly half from its peak; the bad news is that this still makes the difference between a declining and growing population, both for the United States and for the whole world.

Articles

 

Solving the Triffin Dilemma

John D. Mueller

There have always been only three alternative solutions to the Triffin Dilemma–the inherent conflict of a reserve-currency country’s economic policy with international monetary order—and only one has ever worked in the real world.

Articles

There’s Plenty of Hope for Tax Reform

John D. Mueller

Elbows are flying, and the situation seems ‘ominous.’ It’s beginning to look a lot like 1986.

Articles

Wall Street Journal / March 3, 2017

Trump’s Real Trade Problem Is Money

John D. Mueller

Protectionism won’t cure the import-export imbalance. The solution lies in monetary policy.

Articles

Wall Street Journal / January 25, 2017

Monetary Reform or Trade War

John D. Mueller

The official reserve-currency system causes the domestic price level to rise in the reserve-currency country, relative to other countries, even when exchange rates remain (temporarily) fixed–a competitive disadvantage that tariffs can only worsen, and only proper monetary reform can fix.

Articles

Wall Street Journal / April 21, 2016

A Brief Structural History of Economics

John D. Mueller

By abolishing what had previously been a PhD requirement—mastering the history of economics—for more than a generation, economists have missed rediscovering and reintegrating the most important original element in economics: the one that explains our interpersonal relations.

Articles

 

What We Are For — An American Cultural Catechism

John D. Mueller

A brief cultural catechism of America’s first principles — a presentation not just of what we are against but of what we are for.

Articles

National Review Online / March 12, 2016

Neo-Scholastic Economics, Economic Policy and Catholic Social Doctrine

John D. Mueller

The original Scholastic Economics differed from Adam Smith’s later Classical economic theory and today’s Neo-Classical Economics. An updated version, “Neo-Scholastic Economics,” is reshaping our understanding of secular economic theory and offering new policy solutions, and provides the analytical “toolkit” necessary to explain the much younger body of Catholic social doctrine.

Articles

 

The ‘Economic Approach to Human Behavior’ vs. the ‘Human Approach to Economic Behavior’

John D. Mueller

What, according to Mueller, is wrong with economics? In the simplest terms familiar to economists, there is an ‘equation’ missing from the model—the one explaining the primary economic choice – the choices of persons.

Articles, Books

The Birth, Death, and Resurrection of Economics

John D. Mueller

It’s not that economists will draw back in horror at the moral implications of their current theory. Rather, having one more indispensable explanatory element, their new “neo-scholastic” theory will be both more comprehensive and empirically more accurate.

Articles

 

Federal Budget Deficit

John D. Mueller

The more than tenfold difference between federal and state budget deficits under identical economic conditions suggests that the fact that state governments in the United States do not have the power to issue money is a more powerful curb on budget deficits than constitutional prohibitions.

Articles