Dr. Sandra J. Peart
Dean, Professor of Leadership Studies

Dr. Sandra J. Peart became the fourth dean of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies in 2007. A national leader in her field, Dr. Peart is a former president of the History of Economics Society and co-director of the annual Summer Institute for the History of Economic Thought.

A distinguished scholar with special expertise in the history of economic thought and political economy, especially in the context of ethical leadership, she has focused her research in this area on the following broad questions: How do individuals, who are motivated by private interests, come together to make decisions about the group? How well do people make such decisions? Are we all equally able to decide?

She has applied her insights to leadership, where she argues that one means by which to prevent ethical failures of leadership is to suppose that we are all equally capable of leading (or learning to lead). She then asks what this would mean institutionally and has argued in favor of trials of randomized leadership as an institutional framework that might yield “good” – ethical and effective – leadership. In collaboration with experimental economists at George Mason University, she has begun to investigate this question experimentally using a public goods game.

Dr. Peart has authored or edited eight books, many with David M. Levy, a professor of economics at George Mason University, including The Street Porter and the Philosopher: Conversations on Egalitarian Economics and The "Vanity of the Philosopher": From Equality to Hierarchy in Post-Classical Economics. She is the author of more than 50 refereed journal articles on ethics and economics, rationality, utilitarianism, race and eugenics, the transition to "modern" economics, and leadership in public goods experiments. Her research has been supported by the NEH and the SSHRCC.

In 2005-06, she was a fellow of the American Council on Education. In 2009, she joined the Board of Directors for LEAD VIRGINIA. Before coming to the Jepson School, Dr. Peart taught at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio, where she led the development of a leadership studies program, and at the College of William and Mary.

Selected Publications
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.
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.
“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.

Ph.D., University of Toronto 1989
M.A., University of Toronto 1983
B.A., University of Toronto 1982
History and Economics
Contact Information
(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