Bio


Barry R. Weingast is the Ward C. Krebs Family Professor, Department of Political Science, and a Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution. He served as Chair, Department of Political Science, from 1996 through 2001. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Weingast’s research focuses on the political foundation of markets, economic reform, and regulation. He has written extensively on problems of political economy of development, federalism and decentralization, legal institutions and the rule of law, and democracy. Weingast is co-author of Violence and Social Orders: A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History (with Douglass C. North and John Joseph Wallis, 2009, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) and Analytic Narratives (1998, Princeton). He edited (with Donald Wittman) The Oxford Handbook of Political Economy (Oxford University Press, 2006). Weingast has won numerous awards, including the William H. Riker Prize, the Heinz Eulau Prize (with Ken Shepsle), the Franklin L. Burdette Pi Sigma Alpha Award (with Kenneth Schultz), and the James L. Barr Memorial Prize in Public Economics.

Academic Appointments


Program Affiliations


  • Center for East Asian Studies

2019-20 Courses


All Publications


  • Douglass North's Theory of Politics PS-POLITICAL SCIENCE & POLITICS Levi, M., Weingast, B. R. 2019; 52 (2): 213–17
  • Executive Constraint, Political Stability, and Economic Growth COMPARATIVE POLITICAL STUDIES Cox, G. W., Weingast, B. R. 2018; 51 (3): 279–303
  • Taobao, Federalism, and the Emergence of Law, Chinese Style MINNESOTA LAW REVIEW Liu, L., Weingast, B. R. 2018; 102 (4): 1563–90
  • Executive Opportunism, Presidential Signing Statements, and the Separation of Powers JOURNAL OF LEGAL ANALYSIS Rodriguez, D. B., Stiglitz, E. H., Weingast, B. R. 2016; 8 (1): 95-119

    View details for DOI 10.1093/jla/lav013

    View details for Web of Science ID 000381162700003

  • Development and Political Theory in Classical Athens POLIS Carugati, F., Ober, J., Weingast, B. R. 2016; 33 (1): 71-91
  • Authoritarian Survival and Poverty Traps: Land Reform in Mexico WORLD DEVELOPMENT Albertus, M., Diaz-Cayeros, A., Magaloni, B., Weingast, B. R. 2016; 77: 154-170
  • The "Reformation of Administrative Law" Revisited JOURNAL OF LAW ECONOMICS & ORGANIZATION Rodriguez, D. B., Weingast, B. R. 2015; 31 (4): 782-807
  • CREATING A SELF-STABILIZING CONSTITUTION: THE ROLE OF THE TAKINGS CLAUSE NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW Jacobi, T., Mittal, S., Weingast, B. R. 2015; 109 (3): 601-637
  • BUILDING LEGAL ORDER IN ANCIENT ATHENS JOURNAL OF LEGAL ANALYSIS Carugati, F., Hadfield, G. K., Weingast, B. R. 2015; 7 (2): 291-324

    View details for DOI 10.1093/jla/lav003

    View details for Web of Science ID 000369892300003

  • Microfoundations of the Rule of Law ANNUAL REVIEW OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, VOL 17 Hadfield, G. K., Weingast, B. R. 2014; 17: 21-42
  • Self-Enforcing Constitutions: With an Application to Democratic Stability In America's First Century JOURNAL OF LAW ECONOMICS & ORGANIZATION Mittal, S., Weingast, B. R. 2013; 29 (2): 278-302
  • Second Generation Fiscal Federalism: Political Aspects of Decentralization and Economic Development WORLD DEVELOPMENT Weingast, B. R. 2013; 53: 14-25
  • Why so much stability? Majority voting, legislative institutions, and Gordon Tullock PUBLIC CHOICE Shepsle, K. A., Weingast, B. R. 2012; 152 (1-2): 83-95
  • Agenda Control in Congress: Evidence from Cutpoint Estimates and Ideal Point Uncertainty LEGISLATIVE STUDIES QUARTERLY Stiglitz, E. H., Weingast, B. R. 2010; 35 (2): 157-185
  • Second generation fiscal federalism: The implications of fiscal incentives JOURNAL OF URBAN ECONOMICS Weingast, B. R. 2009; 65 (3): 279-293
  • VIOLENCE AND THE RISE OF OPEN-ACCESS ORDERS JOURNAL OF DEMOCRACY North, D. C., Wallis, J. J., Weingast, B. R. 2009; 20 (1): 55-68
  • Constructing self-enforcing federalism in the early United States and modern Russia PUBLIUS-THE JOURNAL OF FEDERALISM de Figueiredo, R. J., McFaul, M., Weingast, B. R. 2007; 37 (2): 160-189
  • The paradox of expansionist statutory interpretations NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW Rodriguez, D. B., Weingast, B. R. 2007; 101 (3): 1207-1255
  • Crisis bureaucracy: Homeland security and the political design of legal mandates STANFORD LAW REVIEW Cohen, D. K., Cuellar, M., Weingast, B. R. 2006; 59 (3): 673-759
  • Rationality, inaccurate mental models, and self-confirming equilibrium - A new understanding of the American revolution JOURNAL OF THEORETICAL POLITICS de Figueiredo, R. J., Rakove, J., Weingast, B. R. 2006; 18 (4): 384-415
  • Regional decentralization and fiscal incentives: Federalism, Chinese style JOURNAL OF PUBLIC ECONOMICS Jin, H. H., Qian, Y. Y., Weingast, B. R. 2005; 89 (9-10): 1719-1742
  • The constitutional dilemma of economic liberty JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES Weingast, B. R. 2005; 19 (3): 89-108
  • Self-enforcing federalism JOURNAL OF LAW ECONOMICS & ORGANIZATION de Figueiredo, R. J., Weingast, B. R. 2005; 21 (1): 103-135
  • Views and comments on institutions, economics and the ancient Mediterranean world: Introduction JOURNAL OF INSTITUTIONAL AND THEORETICAL ECONOMICS-ZEITSCHRIFT FUR DIE GESAMTE STAATSWISSENSCHAFT Morris, I., Weingast, B. R. 2004; 160 (4): 702-708
  • Margaret Levi: Institutions, individuals, organizations, and trust in democratic regimes PS-POLITICAL SCIENCE & POLITICS Hanson, S. E., Jupille, J., OLSON, D. J., Weingast, B. R. 2004; 37 (4): 895-898
  • The positive political theory of legislative history: New perspectives on the 1964 Civil Rights Act and its interpretation UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA LAW REVIEW Rodriguez, D. B., Weingast, B. R. 2003; 151 (4): 1417-1542
  • Fiscal federalism, good governance, and economic growth in Mexico Conference on Analytical Country Studies on Growth Careaga, M., Weingast, B. R. PRINCETON UNIV PRESS. 2003: 399–435
  • The democratic advantage: Institutional foundations of financial power in international competition INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION Schultz, K. A., Weingast, B. R. 2003; 57 (1): 3-?
  • The American system of shared powers: The president, congress, and the NLRB JOURNAL OF LAW ECONOMICS & ORGANIZATION Snyder, S. K., Weingast, B. R. 2000; 16 (2): 269-305
  • The analytic narrative project AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW BATES, R. H., Greif, A., Levi, M., Rosenthal, J. L., Weingast, B. R. 2000; 94 (3): 696-702
  • Introduction: Institutional analysis and economic history JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC HISTORY North, D. C., Weingast, B. R. 2000; 60 (2): 414-417
  • Analytic narratives (Book Review) SOCIAL SCIENCE HISTORY Book Review Authored by: Bates, R., Greif, A., Levi, M., Rosenthal, J. L., WEINGAST, B. 2000; 24 (4): 685-696
  • From federalism, Chinese style to privatization, Chinese style ECONOMICS OF TRANSITION Cao, Y. Z., Qian, Y. Y., Weingast, B. R. 1999; 7 (1): 103-131
  • The politics of interpretation: Rationality, culture, and transition POLITICS & SOCIETY BATES, R. H., de Figueiredo, R. J., Weingast, B. R. 1998; 26 (4): 603-642
  • The politics of interpretation: Rationality, culture, and transition POLITICS & SOCIETY BATES, R. H., de Figueiredo, R. J., Weingast, B. R. 1998; 26 (2): 221-256
  • A comparative theory of federalism: India VIRGINIA LAW REVIEW Parikh, S., Weingast, B. R. 1997; 83 (7): 1593-1615
  • Federalism as a commitment to preserving market incentives JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES Qian, Y. Y., Weingast, B. R. 1997; 11 (4): 83-92
  • The political foundations of democracy and the rule of law AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW Weingast, B. R. 1997; 91 (2): 245-263
  • The institutional roots of American trade policy WORLD POLITICS Bailey, M. A., Goldstein, J., Weingast, B. R. 1997; 49 (3): 309-?
  • The myth of democratic failure: Why political institutions are efficient - Wittman,D (Book Review) AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW Book Review Authored by: Weingast, B. R. 1996; 90 (3): 663-664
  • A RATIONAL CHOICE PERSPECTIVE ON THE ROLE OF IDEAS - SHARED BELIEF SYSTEMS AND STATE SOVEREIGNTY IN INTERNATIONAL-COOPERATION POLITICS & SOCIETY Weingast, B. R. 1995; 23 (4): 449-464
  • FEDERALISM, CHINESE STYLE - THE POLITICAL BASIS FOR ECONOMIC SUCCESS IN CHINA WORLD POLITICS MONTINOLA, G., Qian, Y. Y., Weingast, B. R. 1995; 48 (1): 50-?
  • THE ECONOMIC-ROLE OF POLITICAL-INSTITUTIONS - MARKET-PRESERVING FEDERALISM AND ECONOMIC-DEVELOPMENT JOURNAL OF LAW ECONOMICS & ORGANIZATION Weingast, B. R. 1995; 11 (1): 1-31
  • COORDINATION, COMMITMENT, AND ENFORCEMENT - THE CASE OF THE MERCHANT GUILD JOURNAL OF POLITICAL ECONOMY Greif, A., Milgrom, P., Weingast, B. R. 1994; 102 (4): 745-776
  • REFLECTIONS ON DISTRIBUTIVE POLITICS AND UNIVERSALISM POLITICAL RESEARCH QUARTERLY Weingast, B. R. 1994; 47 (2): 319-327
  • FORMAL MODELS OF LEGISLATURES - INTRODUCTION LEGISLATIVE STUDIES QUARTERLY SHEPSLE, K. A., Weingast, B. R. 1994; 19 (2): 145-147
  • POSITIVE THEORIES OF CONGRESSIONAL INSTITUTIONS LEGISLATIVE STUDIES QUARTERLY SHEPSLE, K. A., Weingast, B. R. 1994; 19 (2): 149-179
  • NORTH,DOUGLASS,C. CONTRIBUTIONS TO ECONOMICS AND ECONOMIC-HISTORY SCANDINAVIAN JOURNAL OF ECONOMICS MYHRMAN, J., Weingast, B. R. 1994; 96 (2): 185-193
  • CONSTITUTIONS AS GOVERNANCE STRUCTURES - THE POLITICAL FOUNDATIONS OF SECURE MARKETS SYMP ON THE NEW INSTITUTIONAL ECONOMICS - RECENT PROGRESS : EXPANDING FRONTIERS Weingast, B. R. J C B MOHR. 1993: 286–311
  • THE POLITICAL CONTROL OF BUREAUCRACIES UNDER ASYMMETRIC INFORMATION AMERICAN JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE Banks, J. S., Weingast, B. R. 1992; 36 (2): 509-524
  • LIMITATION OF STATUTES - STRATEGIC STATUTORY INTERPRETATION GEORGETOWN LAW JOURNAL FEREJOHN, J., WEINGAST, B. 1992; 80 (3): 565-582
  • THE ROLE OF CREDIBLE COMMITMENTS IN STATE FINANCE PUBLIC CHOICE Weingast, B. R. 1990; 66 (1): 89-97
  • THE ECONOMIC INCIDENCE OF THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT OF 1887 - A THEORETICAL AND EMPIRICAL-ANALYSIS OF THE SHORT-HAUL PRICING CONSTRAINT RAND JOURNAL OF ECONOMICS Gilligan, T. W., Marshall, W. J., Weingast, B. R. 1990; 21 (2): 189-210
  • POSITIVE AND NORMATIVE MODELS OF PROCEDURAL RIGHTS - AN INTEGRATIVE APPROACH TO ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES JOURNAL OF LAW ECONOMICS & ORGANIZATION MCCUBBINS, M. D., NOLL, R. G., Weingast, B. R. 1990; 6: 307-332
  • SLACK, PUBLIC-INTEREST, AND STRUCTURE-INDUCED POLICY JOURNAL OF LAW ECONOMICS & ORGANIZATION MCCUBBINS, M. D., NOLL, R. G., Weingast, B. R. 1990; 6: 203-212
  • CONSTITUTIONS AND COMMITMENT - THE EVOLUTION OF INSTITUTIONS GOVERNING PUBLIC CHOICE IN 17TH-CENTURY ENGLAND JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC HISTORY North, D. C., Weingast, B. R. 1989; 49 (4): 803-832
  • THE POLITICAL-INSTITUTIONS OF REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT - LEGISLATURES JOURNAL OF INSTITUTIONAL AND THEORETICAL ECONOMICS-ZEITSCHRIFT FUR DIE GESAMTE STAATSWISSENSCHAFT Weingast, B. R. 1989; 145 (4): 693-703
  • FLOOR BEHAVIOR IN THE UNITED-STATES-CONGRESS - COMMITTEE POWER UNDER THE OPEN RULE AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW Weingast, B. R. 1989; 83 (3): 795-815
  • A THEORY OF POLITICAL CONTROL AND AGENCY DISCRETION AMERICAN JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE CALVERT, R. L., MCCUBBINS, M. D., Weingast, B. R. 1989; 33 (3): 588-611
  • REGULATION AND THE THEORY OF LEGISLATIVE CHOICE - THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT OF 1887 JOURNAL OF LAW & ECONOMICS Gilligan, T. W., Marshall, W. J., Weingast, B. R. 1989; 32 (1): 35-61
  • STRUCTURE AND PROCESS, POLITICS AND POLICY - ADMINISTRATIVE ARRANGEMENTS AND THE POLITICAL CONTROL OF AGENCIES VIRGINIA LAW REVIEW MCCUBBINS, M. D., NOLL, R. G., Weingast, B. R. 1989; 75 (2): 431-482
  • PENULTIMATE POWER - CONFERENCE COMMITTEES AND THE LEGISLATIVE-PROCESS CONF ON HOME STYLE AND WASHINGTON WORK : STUDIES OF CONGRESSIONAL POLITICS ( IN HONOR OF RICHARD F FENNO JR ) SHEPSLE, K. A., Weingast, B. R. UNIV MICHIGAN PRESS. 1989: 199–217
  • THE INDUSTRIAL-ORGANIZATION OF CONGRESS - OR, WHY LEGISLATURES, LIKE FIRMS, ARE NOT ORGANIZED AS MARKETS JOURNAL OF POLITICAL ECONOMY Weingast, B. R., Marshall, W. J. 1988; 96 (1): 132-163
  • Constitutional Regulation of Legislatures: The Political Consequences of Judicial Deference Virginia Law Review riker, w. h., weingast, b. r. 1988; 74 (march): 373-401
  • WHY ARE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES POWERFUL AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW Krehbiel, K., SHEPSLE, K. A., Weingast, B. R. 1987; 81 (3): 929-945
  • THE INSTITUTIONAL FOUNDATIONS OF COMMITTEE POWER AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW SHEPSLE, K. A., Weingast, B. R. 1987; 81 (1): 85-104
  • Administrative Procedures as Instruments of Political Control Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization McCubbins, M. D., Noll, R. G., Weingast, B. R. 1987; 3 (fall): 243-77.
  • CONGRESS AND REGULATORY AGENCY CHOICE - REPLY JOURNAL OF POLITICAL ECONOMY Weingast, B. R., Moran, M. J. 1986; 94 (4): 890-894
  • UNCOVERED SETS AND SOPHISTICATED VOTING OUTCOMES WITH IMPLICATIONS FOR AGENDA INSTITUTIONS AMERICAN JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE SHEPSLE, K. A., Weingast, B. R. 1984; 28 (1): 49-74
  • THE CONGRESSIONAL-BUREAUCRATIC SYSTEM - A PRINCIPAL AGENT PERSPECTIVE (WITH APPLICATIONS TO THE SEC) PUBLIC CHOICE Weingast, B. R. 1984; 44 (1): 147-191
  • WHEN DO RULES OF PROCEDURE MATTER JOURNAL OF POLITICS SHEPSLE, K. A., Weingast, B. R. 1984; 46 (1): 206-221
  • POLITICAL SOLUTIONS TO MARKET PROBLEMS AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW SHEPSLE, K. A., Weingast, B. R. 1984; 78 (2): 417-434
  • BUREAUCRATIC DISCRETION OR CONGRESSIONAL CONTROL - REGULATORY POLICY-MAKING BY THE FEDERAL-TRADE-COMMISSION JOURNAL OF POLITICAL ECONOMY Weingast, B. R., Moran, M. J. 1983; 91 (5): 765-800
  • CONGRESS AS THE SOURCE OF REGULATORY DECISIONS - THE CASE OF THE FEDERAL TRADE-COMMISSION AMERICAN ECONOMIC REVIEW Moran, M. J., Weingast, B. R. 1982; 72 (2): 109-113
  • INSTITUTIONALIZING MAJORITY-RULE - A SOCIAL CHOICE THEORY WITH POLICY IMPLICATIONS AMERICAN ECONOMIC REVIEW SHEPSLE, K. A., Weingast, B. R. 1982; 72 (2): 367-371
  • REGULATION, REREGULATION, AND DEREGULATION - THE POLITICAL FOUNDATIONS OF AGENCY CLIENTELE RELATIONSHIPS LAW AND CONTEMPORARY PROBLEMS Weingast, B. R. 1981; 44 (1): 147-177
  • STRUCTURE-INDUCED EQUILIBRIUM AND LEGISLATIVE CHOICE PUBLIC CHOICE SHEPSLE, K. A., Weingast, B. R. 1981; 37 (3): 503-519
  • POLITICAL PREFERENCES FOR THE PORK BARREL - A GENERALIZATION AMERICAN JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE SHEPSLE, K. A., Weingast, B. R. 1981; 25 (1): 96-111
  • THE POLITICAL-ECONOMY OF BENEFITS AND COSTS - A NEOCLASSICAL APPROACH TO DISTRIBUTIVE POLITICS JOURNAL OF POLITICAL ECONOMY Weingast, B. R., SHEPSLE, K. A., Johnsen, C. 1981; 89 (4): 642-664
  • RATIONAL CHOICE PERSPECTIVE ON CONGRESSIONAL NORMS AMERICAN JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE Weingast, B. R. 1979; 23 (2): 245-262