Research Interests

Constitutional Political Economy. In the spirit of Federalist 51, how do we empower the state to do good things, while preventing it from taking our lives and property?  Is it even possible?  What institutions promote human flourishing?  I study constitutional political economy, in the tradition of F.A. Hayek and James Buchanan, with a particular emphasis on the relationship between constitutional culture and constitutional parchment. 

Institutional Economics.  Moving down from the constitutional level ("rules about rules") I study the economic impact of various rules.  I am curious about financial institutions, financial regulations (such as Dodd-Frank or Sarbanes Oxley), monetary institutions and central banks, the Euro, the business firm and corporate culture, etc.  I also study wine economics, and the impact of various regulations on the availability, quality and price of the wine we can enjoy with friends.

Austrian Economics.  I am mostly a student of F.A. Hayek; I am particularly curious about his knowledge problem and "the use of knowledge in society"; the epistemic foundations of limited government; his prescriptions for a "constitution of liberty"; and his thinking on philosophy, politics and economics.  I also study Austrian insights on central banking, business cycle theory, and economic methodology.

History of Economic Thought.  How do ideas evolve?  What is the relationship among metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and politics?  What is the relationship among philosophy, culture, and economics?  How do we analyze contemporary problems?  I am curious about the integration of various schools of economic thought, and their contributions to economic analysis. I am particularly interested in the development of the prevailing Keynesian, mathematical, interventionist, neoclassical paradigm, and some of its critics – and critics of its critics.  I am also curious about the multidisciplinary methodology of philosophy, politics and economics ("PPE").



Marroquin, Andres and Nikolai Wenzel (editors), The UFM Handbook on Douglass North. Universidad Francisco Marroquin (forthcoming).

Schlueter, Nathan and Nikolai Wenzel.  Naïve Libertarians and Socialist Conservatives? Foundations of the Libertarian-Conservative Debate. Stanford University Press (2016).

Refereed Articles

Martin, Christopher and Nikolai Wenzel. "Generality and Knowledge: Hayek's Constitutional Theory of the Liberal State." Constitutional Political Economy (forthcoming).

Koppl, Roger and Nikolai Wenzel. "Mises' Human Action: A Contextual Essay." Liberty Fund (forthcoming).

Wenzel, Nikolai. "Socialism and the Modern Imagination: Reflections on Ayn Rand's We the Living." Journal of Private Enterprise (forthcoming).

Wenzel, Nikolai. "Constitutionalism, Growth and Dictatorship: Argentina's Constitutional Culture Rejects the New Parchment." Developments in Spontaneous Orders (forthcoming).

Howell, Jessica and Nikolai Wenzel. "Rationality in a Fatalistic World: Explaining Revolutionary Apathy in Pre-Soviet Peasants." Mind & Society (May 2019).

Hobbs, Bradley and Nikolai Wenzel. "The Physiocrats: Friends or Foes of Liberty?" New Perspectives on Political Economy, Vol. 14, No. 1-2, 5-20 (2018).

Wenzel, Nikolai. "Oklahoma's Singing Cowboys: Themes of Religion, Freedom and Prosperity in Sooner Country Music, from Bob Wills to Garth Brooks." Journal of Texas Music History, Volume 18 (2018).

Lemennicier, Bertrand and Nikolai Wenzel. "The Judge and His Hangman: Judicial Selection and the Accountability of Judges in the US." Vienna Journal on International Constitutional Law 12:3, 239-256 (2018).

Martin, Christopher and Nikolai Wenzel. "Misjudging the Welfare State: F.A. Hayek as Classical Liberal, Socialist or Closet Anarchist?" Review of Austrian Economics 31(3), 301-314 (2018).

Haight, Colleen and Nikolai Wenzel.  "Domaine Pas de Choix:  Government Intervention in the Champagne Market," Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, Volume 7, Issue 1, 51-61.

Besenhard, Petra and Nikolai Wenzel.  "Circumventing the Predatory State:  Lessons and Futures for the Tuareg from the New Development Economics." International Journal of Development Issues, Vol. 16, No. 3, 245-259 (2017).

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "Matching the Formal and the Informal:  Constitutional Culture, Constitutional Parchment and Constitutional Failure."   Jurisprudence 31 (2017).

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "France's Fifth Republic at Fifty:  Plebiscitarian Caesarism from Descartes to Rousseau."  Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, Vol. 22, No. 2 (2016)

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "Classical Communitarianism and Liberal Anomie:  Towards an Individual yet Robust Theory of Citizenship."  New Perspectives on Political Economy, Vol. 12, No.1-2 (2016).

Paxson, Nathaniel and Nikolai Wenzel. "Neurohayekianism, Bounded Rationality, and the Process of Choice:  F.A. Hayek and Vernon Smith on the Misesian Action Axiom."  Review of Austrian Economics, Volume 29, Issue 2 (2016).

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "Killing Federalism from Above:  Constitutional Culture, the Italian Founding, and the Seeds of Contemporary Instability."  Historia Constitucional, No. 16 (2015).

Spigarelli, Francesca and Nikolai Wenzel.  "Monetary Union without Fiscal Union?  The Euro Crisis and the Move Towards European Fiscal Union," New Perspectives on Political Economy, Volume 11, Nos. 1-2 (2015).

Wenzel, Nikolai, "Lessons from Constitutional Culture and the History of Constitutional Transfer:  A Hope for Constitutionally Limited Government?"  International Advances in Economic Research, Volume 20, Issue 2, 213-226 (2014).

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "Civic Virtue Without Politics:  Reflections on Jason Brennan's The Ethics of Voting." Reason Papers, Volume 35, No. 1, 35-43 (2013).

Evans, Anthony and Nikolai Wenzel.  "A Framework for the Study of Firms as Constitutional Orders." with Anthony J. Evans, Constitutional Political Economy, Vol. 24, Issue 1, 2-18 (2013).

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "Judicial Review and Constitutional Maintenance:  John Marshall, Hans Kelsen and the Popular Will." PS:  Political Science and Politics, 46:3, 591-598 (2013).

Tuma, Gwendoline and Nikolai Wenzel.  "People, Your Country Has Returned to You:  The Czech Constitution of 1992 as Return to Constitutional Tradition."  New Perspectives on Political Economy, Vol. 9, No. 1-2, 38-52 (2013).

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "Towards a Research Agenda on Constitutional Culture as a Complex Emergent Phenomenon."  Studies in Emergent Order, Vol. 5, 1-25 (2012).

Haight, Colleen, Andres Marroquin Gramajo, and Nikolai Wenzel.  "The Calculus of Consent:  50th Anniversary." Laissez Faire (Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Francisco Marroquin), Vol. 36-37, 88-96 (2012).

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "Rent-Seeking and Decline in the French Wine Industry." The Journal of Private Enterprise, 27(2), 63-81 (2012).

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "From Dictatorship to Democracy – and from Dirigisme to Rule of Law?  Constitutional Learning in Argentina Since 1983."  Laissez Faire (Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Francisco Marroquin), Vol. 34, 60-74 (2011).

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "Constitutional Culture in Japan and the Philippines:  Success and Failure in Post-War Constitutional Choice," Pacific Focus, Vol. 25, No. 3, 396-416 (2010).

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "Constitutional Culture and Parchment:  Post-Colonial Constitutional Choice in Mexico and Argentina." Historia Constitucional, No. 11, 321-338 (2010).

Wenzel, Nikolai, "From Contract to Mental Model:  Constitutional Culture as a Fact of the Social Sciences." Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. 23, No. 1, 55-78 (2010).

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "Postmodernism and Its Discontents: Whither Constitutionalism After God and Reason?" New Perspectives on Political Economy, Vol. 4, No. 2, 159-186 (2008).

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "Ideology, Constitutional Culture, and Institutional Change:  The EU Constitution as Reflection of Europe's Emergent Postmodernism." Romanian Economic and Business Review, Volume 2, No. 3, 25-47 (2007).

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "Beyond Parchment, Beyond Formal Rules:  Constitutional Culture and Constitutional Political Economy." Ama-Gi, The Journal of the Hayek Society of the London School of Economics, Volume 8, Issue 1, 8-27 (2007).

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "The Fetterman Fight of 21 December 1866." Journal of America's Military Past, Vol. XXVIII, No. 1, 46-59 (2001).


Book Chapters

Arriaza Aguirre, Juan Carlos, Andres Marroquin, and Nikolai Wenzel, "James M. Buchanan as Development Economist," in The UFM Companion to James M. Buchanan (forthcoming).

Marroquin, Andres, and Nikolai Wenzel, "Introduction to the UFM Companion to Douglass North," in The UFM Companion to Douglass North, Andres Marroquin and Nikolai Wenzel (eds.), Universidad Francisco Marroquin (forthcoming).

Wenzel, Nikolai. "Violence, Social Orders and Social Change: A Reflection on Douglass North," in The UFM Companion to Douglass North, Andres Marroquin and Nikolai Wenzel (eds.), Universidad Francisco Marroquin (forthcoming).

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "Unfair and Unequal:  The Cost of Reducing Inequality."  In Egalitarianism: Fair and Equal?, edited by Robert Whaples, Christopher Coyne and Michael Munger.  Oakland, CA:  Independent Institute (forthcoming).

Spigarelli, Francesca and Nikolai Wenzel.  "La Crisi dell'Euro:  Quale Futuro per una Unione Monetaria senza Unione Fiscale?" In L'Unione Europea e la Riforma del Governo Economico della Zona Euro, edited by M. Eugenia Bartoloni, Andrea Caligiuri, and Benedetta Ubertazzi, 154-167.  Naples:  Editoriale Scientifica (2013).

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "An Institutional Solution for a Cognitive Problem:  Hayek's Sensory Order as Foundation for Hayek's Institutional Order."  In The Social Science of Hayek's The Sensory Order, edited by William N. Butos, Volume Editor; Advances in Austrian Economics, Vol. 13, 311-335.  Bingley, UK:  Emerald Group Publishing (2010).

Wenzel, Nikolai. "Postmodernism and Religion".  In The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Religion, edited by Peter Clarke, 172-193.  Oxford:  Oxford University Press (2008).



Wenzel, Nikolai.  "Open Borders and Social Engineering.  Kimberly Clausing's Open:  The Progressive Case for Free Trade, Immigration and Global Capital."  Law & Liberty (September 2019)

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "Paul Collier and the False Promise of Centrism:  A Review of The Future of Capitalism:  Facing the New Anxieties."  Law & Liberty (May 2019)

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "Paul Heyne and the Trouble with Economists:  A Review of Are Economists Basically Immoral? and Other Essays by Paul Heyne."  Law & Liberty (February 2019), Nikolai. 

Wenzel, Nikolai. "Reply to Michael Munger on Libertarianism as a Governing Philosophy." Law & Liberty (April 2018).

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "The Great Invention:  The Story of GDP and the Making and Unmaking of the Modern World, by Ehsan Masood."  The Journal of Markets and Morality, Vol. 20, No. 1

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "The Calculus of Consent.EA Magazine (Institute of Economic Affairs), 2013:2, 43 (2013).


Select Work in Progress

Beck-Peter, Tricia and Nikolai Wenzel.  "Educating Girls, Educated Women:  Challenging Bill Easterly’s Assumptions About the Impact of Education."

Ghosh, Sriparna and Nikolai Wenzel. "Dodd-Frank and Startup Firm Activity:  The Unintended Consequences of Financial Regulation."

Gillette, David and Nikolai Wenzel. "Beyond the Romance: Teaching Financial Regulation with Public Choice and Austrian Economics."

Hobbs, Brad and Nikolai Wenzel.  Libertarianism is a Humanism.

Hobbs, Brad and Nikolai Wenzel. "Inequality and the Welfare State: Are We Asking the Right Questions?"

Hobbs, Brad and Nikolai Wenzel. "Cronyism, Agriculture, and Nutrition.""

Lemennicier, Bertrand and Nikolai Wenzel. "Bioethics, Rent-Seeking and Death: Opening the Market for Kidneys."

Mead Kling, Hannah and Nikolai Wenzel. "The Economics of Pope Francis: Markets, Liberty and Poverty."

Mussler, Alexandra and Nikolai Wenzel.  "The Idea Trap and Bad Policies:  The Politics, Philosophy and Truth of the Financial Crisis of 2007."

Patton, Mark and Nikolai Wenzel.  "The Deference to Liberty:  The Political Economy of Judicial Abdication and Judicial Engagement."

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "Epistemological Limits:  Hayek and Rand on Reason and the Abuse of Reason."

Wenzel, Nikolai. "A Strange Case of Concentrated Benefits and Concentrated Costs: Secessionist Pressures in Northern Italy."

Wenzel, Nikolai. "Beyond Twin Harvard: Why a Rawlsian Must be a Libertarian."

Select Policy Publications

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "The Battle for Hong Kong."  Law & Liberty (August 2019).

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "Le vrai danger de M. Hollande:  Les Sophismes du Socialisme.", May 4, 2012.

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "Libertarianism:  Not so Wrong After All!" Public Discourse,, April 10, 2012.

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "Conservatism or Liberty?"  Public Discourse,, March 27, 2012.

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "Regime Uncertainty:  Michigan's Legislative Creativity and Business Investment."  Mackinac Center for Public Policy,, March 8, 2010.

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "A Mixed Market."  Letter to the Editor (print version), The Economist, June 23rd-29th 2007.

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "The Golden Door – Left Open."  American Enterprise Institute, Vol. 14, No.1, Jan/Feb 2003.

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "Libertarian Cato Institute Contrasts with Conservative Washington."   The Financial Times, June 2002.

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "America's Other Border Patrol:  The State Department's Consular Corps and its Role in U.S. Immigration."  Backgrounder, Center for Immigration Studies, August 2000.

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "Making Christmas Come True:  State Department-INS Cooperation in Issuing Emergency Visas to Child Burn Victims."  State Magazine, December 1999.

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "Why We Got Out:  Two Junior Officers Find That 'Kiss Up, Kick Down' Is the Working Motto of the Foreign Service." Foreign Service Journal, December 1999.

Wenzel, Nikolai.  "L'accès aux institutions financières," in La planète Terre entre nos mains.  Paris:  Documentation Française, 1994.