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La Salle News

April 24, 2012

La Salle University Presents Economist David George With Its Faculty Scholarship Award

David George, a self-described “rebellious” economist, has received La Salle University’s Faculty Scholarship Award.

Since joining La Salle in 1979, he has published more than 30 scholarly journal articles, several of which were the subject of his first book. “My main argument is that market forces are poor at creating the preferences that people would like to have,” he said.

George said that in Economics Departments at most other institutions he would have “become straight-jacketed into following a more traditional course of scholarship.”

“The market creates desires we don’t want,” says George, which he says most economists reject.

While George said he was honored by the award, he emphasized that he incorporates his research into his teaching. “Contrary to the work done at highly specialized research institutions, my work has never been intended to be accessible only to narrow specialists. I integrate much of my research into my teaching,” he said.

For his scholarship into this field of social economics, George last year received the Thomas F. Divine Award from the Association for Social Economics (ASE). It is presented annually to an Association member who over a lifetime has made important contributions to social economics and the social economy. It was the third time that the ASE honored George for his scholarship.

In presenting the Faculty Scholarship award to George, La Salle University Provost Dr. Joseph Marbach said, “Our scholar’s extensive, ongoing work in social economics, a sub-field of economics that not only speaks to our economically distressed times but also flows from Catholic social teaching on the human factors wrapped up in economic behavior.  Social economists have faced a dual challenge in finding a place for their scholarship within the larger field: because their work often questions traditional economic principles, particularly the rational, maximin approach to explaining economic behavior; and their methods are often blend qualitative and quantitative analysis. Nonetheless, our scholar has forged an impressive record in this field.”

George is the author of the book, Pollution Preference: How Markets Create the Desires We Dislike (University of Michigan Press) and the forthcoming The Rhetoric of the Right: Language Change and the Spread of the Market (Rutledge Press).

His scholarship has been cited in 250 articles and books.  “I am particularly proud of the citations outside of economics and the citations in journals outside the U.S.,” he said.