Commentary

Pirates: the Invisible Hook

Pirating off the Somali Coast has ignited popular interest in pirates and pirating. The modern pirates are motivated largely for economic gain. But, there is a long, rich history of pirating, pirate societies, and pirate management. No book has probably done more to explore these features from an economic perspective than George Mason University Economist Peter Leeson‘s The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates, just released by Princeton University Press. I highly recommend it as a novel illustration and reader-accessible application of economic and public choice analysis. No mathmatical formulas!

Samuel R. Staley, Ph.D. is a senior research fellow at Reason Foundation and managing director of the DeVoe L. Moore Center at Florida State University in Tallahassee where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in urban planning, regulation, and urban economics. Prior to joining Florida State, Staley was director of urban growth and land-use policy for Reason Foundation where he helped establish its urban policy program in 1997.