Dr. Sandra J. Peart

Dean, E. Claiborne Robins Distinguished Professor in Leadership Studies


Dr. Sandra J. Peart became the fourth dean of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies in August 2007. In August 2018, she was appointed to the E. Claiborne Robins Distinguished Professorship in Leadership Studies. She is president of the International Adam Smith Society and a past president of the History of Economics Society, where she began the Young Scholars Program. Dr. Peart has written or edited nine books, including most recently, Escape from Democracy: The Role of Experts and the Public in Economic Policy, from Cambridge University Press. She is the author of more than 100 articles in the areas of constitutional political economy, leadership in experimental settings, ethics and economics, and the transition to modern economic thought.  Her popular articles on leadership, ethics, higher education, and economic themes have appeared in The New York Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, USA Today, and the Washington Post

Dr. Peart obtained her doctorate in economics from the University of Toronto in 1989. She began her career as an assistant professor of economics at the College of William and Mary and then joined the faculty at Baldwin-Wallace University. She was a visiting scholar at the Center for Study of Public Choice at George Mason University in 2004–05, and the following year, she was a fellow of the American Council on Education.

Selected Publications


Escape from Democracy: The Role of Experts and the Public in Economic Policy. Cambridge University Press, 2016.

Hayek on Mill: The Mill-Taylor Friendship and Related Writings. University of Chicago Press, 2015.

F. A. Hayek and the Modern Economy, co-edited with David M. Levy. Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

The Street Porter and the Philosopher: Conversations on Analytical Egalitarianism, co-edited with David M. Levy. University of Michigan Press, 2008.

The 'Vanity of the Philosopher': From Equality to Hierarchy in Post-classical Economics, with David M. Levy. University of Michigan Press, 2005.

The Political Economy of Slavery (4 volumes). Co-edited with David M. Levy. Thoemmes Continuum, 2004.

William Stanley Jevons: Critical Responses (4 volume collection). London: Routledge, 2003.

Reflections on the Classical Canon in Economics: Essays in Honor of Samuel Hollander. Co-edited with Evelyn Forget. London: Routledge, 2001.

The Economics of W.S. Jevons. London: Routledge, 1996.


Learning from Failure: A Review of Peter Schuck's 'Why Government Fails So Often: And How It Can Do Better (With David M. Levy), Journal of Economic Literature, 53(3)(2015): 667-74.

That ‘Most Inexhaustible of all Topics’: Reflections on the Leadership Studies Curriculum at the Jepson School, Journal of Leadership Studies (2014).

Learning from Scandal about what We Know and what We Think We Know (with David M. Levy), Homo Oeconomicus (2013).

The Past as a Public Good, Social Science and Modern Society 49 (2012): 240-46.

Leadership, Cheap Talk and Really Cheap Talk, (with David M. Levy, Kail Padgitt, Daniel Houser, and Erte Xiao) Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 77 (2011): 40-52.

We're all 'Persons' now: Classical Economists and their Opponents on Marriage, the Franchise, and Socialism, Presidential Address, Journal of the History of Economic Thought 31 (2009): 3-20.

Rawls on Robbins: Reading Robbins as the 'Best' Utilitarian (with David M. Levy), Economica 76 (2009): 791-804.

Thinking about Analytical Egalitarianism (with David M. Levy), American Journal of Economics and Sociology 67 (July 2008): 473-79.

Adam Smith, Collusion and "Right" at the Supreme Court (with David M. Levy), Supreme Court Economic Review 16 (2008): 159-63.

Discussion, Construction and Evolution: Mill, Buchanan and Hayek on the Constitutional Order (with David M. Levy), Constitutional Political Economy 19 (spring 2008): 3-18.

Inducing Greater Transparency: Towards the Establishment of Ethical Rules for Econometrics (with David M. Levy), Eastern Economic Journal 34:1 (Winter 2008): 103-114.


"The Ethics Problem: Toward a Second-Best Solution to the Problem of Economic Expertise" (with David M. Levy), The Oxford Handbook of Professional Economic Ethics, edited by George E. DeMartino and Deirdre N. McCloskey. Oxford University Press 2016. 

“Hayek's Sympathetic Agents” (with David M. Levy), Hayek and Liberalism, edited by Andrew Farrant. Routledge 2010.

“The Place of Factions” (with David M. Levy), Elgar Companion to Adam Smith, edited by Jeffrey Young, Elgar 2008.

“Counterfeiting Truth: Statistical Reporting on the Basis of Trust” (with David M. Levy) in Game Theory and Linguistic Meaning. Edited by Ahti-Veikko Pietarinen. Current Research in the Semantics/Pragmatics Interface, Vol. 18. Elsevier. 2007, pp. 39-48.

In the News

Kenya Students Visit Jepson School of Leadership Studies
Mon., Aug. 22, 2016

Kenyan students in Barack Obama Leadership Program visit Richmond University
Thu., Aug. 18, 2016

Around Robin Hood's Barn (Economic Principals)
Sun., Mar. 20, 2016

Opinion: On Thankfulness and Remembering
Sun., Nov. 15, 2015

Book edited by Dean Peart reviewed in New Statesman
Thu., May. 28, 2015

Book edited by Dean Peart featured in The New York Review of Books
Fri., Mar. 13, 2015

Are We 'Too Dumb' for Democracy? Thoughts on Leadership and Discussion in a Democratic Society (New York Times, In Leadership)
Mon., Nov. 3, 2014

Malthusian ideas, used and abused (Chronicle of Higher Education)
Mon., Jun. 9, 2014

Sandra Peart named president of the International Adam Smith Society
Mon., Dec. 2, 2013

NYT article discusses research by Sandra Peart
Tue., Mar. 19, 2013

Peart to moderate LEAD VIRGINIA's "Conversations with Leaders: Women in Leadership" program

Opinion: Overhauling how we teach leadership (Washington Post)
Tue., Feb. 12, 2013

Are ethics in business still important?
Mon., Sep. 24, 2012

Peart to deliver keynote address on effective and ethical leadership in healthcare
Wed., Sep. 12, 2012

Vantage Point: Changing the World
Thu., May. 24, 2012

Dean Peart featured in Inside Higher Ed article on UR's new academic leadership
Fri., Jul. 15, 2011

Wall Street Journal article features research by Dean Sandra J. Peart
Sat., Nov. 6, 2010

Dean Peart op-ed in USA Today: Ethics in an Uncivil Age

Professors opine on inclusivity
Wed., Mar. 17, 2010

Review of The Vanity of the Philosopher

Peart's presidential address at the History of Economics Society Conference published in journal

A plea for heath care reform
Fri., Apr. 24, 2009

Peart named to LEAD VIRGINIA board of directors
Fri., Apr. 24, 2009

Dean serves as leader-in-residence at Maryland girl's school

Peart's book named among the nation's best


Ph.D., University of Toronto 1989

M.A., University of Toronto 1983

B.A., University of Toronto 1982
History and Economics

Contact Information

Jepson Hall
(804) 287-6086
(804) 287-6062 (Fax)

Areas of Expertise

Ethics and Economics
Leadership Ethics
History of Economic Thought
History of Political Economy
Experimental Economics