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.