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Tyler Cowen

tyler cowen, tyler cowen marginal revolution
Tyler Cowen /ˈkaʊən/; born January 21, 1962 is an American economist and writer, who is a professor at George Mason University, where he holds the Holbert C Harris Chair of economics He hosts a popular economics blog, Marginal Revolution, together with his co-author, Alex Tabarrok Cowen and Tabarrok have also started the website Marginal Revolution University, a venture in online education

Cowen writes the "Economic Scene" column for the New York Times, and also writes for such publications as The New Republic, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Newsweek, and the Wilson Quarterly He also serves as general director of George Mason's Mercatus Center, a university research center that focuses on the market economy

In February 2011, Cowen received a nomination as one of the most influential economists in the last decade in a survey by The Economist He was ranked #72 among the "Top 100 Global Thinkers" in 2011 by Foreign Policy Magazine "for finding markets in everything"


  • 1 Education and personal life
  • 2 Writings
    • 21 Culture
    • 22 Recent books
    • 23 New York Times columns
    • 24 Dining guide
  • 3 Political philosophy
  • 4 Attack
  • 5 Publications
    • 51 Books
    • 52 Select journal articles
    • 53 Select articles
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links

Education and personal life

Cowen was born in Bergen County, New Jersey At 15, he became the youngest ever New Jersey state chess champion

He graduated from George Mason University with a bachelor of science degree in economics in 1983 and received his PhD in economics from Harvard University in 1987 with his thesis titled Essays in the theory of welfare economics At Harvard, he was mentored by game theorist Thomas Schelling, the 2005 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics He is married to Natasha Cowen, a lawyer



The Los Angeles Times has described Cowen as "a man who can talk about Haitian voodoo flags, Iranian cinema, Hong Kong cuisine, Abstract Expressionism, Zairian music and Mexican folk art with seemingly equal facility" One of Cowen's primary research interests is the economics of culture He has written books on fame What Price Fame, art In Praise of Commercial Culture, and cultural trade Creative Destruction: How Globalization is Changing the World's Cultures In Markets and Cultural Voices, he relays how globalization is changing the world of three Mexican amate painters Cowen argues that free markets change culture for the better, allowing them to evolve into something more people want Other books include Public Goods and Market Failures, The Theory of Market Failure, Explorations in the New Monetary Economics, Risk and Business Cycles, Economic Welfare, and New Theories of Market Failure

Recent books

Cowen followed the controversial success of his The Great Stagnation with An Economist Gets Lunch: New Rules for Everyday Foodies, "taking on food with equally provocative ideas"

The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All The Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will Eventually Feel Better is a short, 15,000-word, take on the United States' recent economic trajectory released in January 2011 Create Your Own Economy: The Path to Prosperity in a Disordered World was released in July 2009 and rereleased in 2010, with the new title The Age of the Infovore: Succeeding in the Information Economy and received favorable reviews from critics including Matthew Yglesias and Tim Harford

In 2013, he published Average is Over, on the future of modern economies

New York Times columns

Cowen's New York Times columns cover a wide range of issues, such as the 2008 financial crisis: "Too Few Regulations No, Just Ineffective Ones"

Dining guide

His dining guide for the DC area, "Tyler Cowen's Ethnic Dining Guide," was reprinted in the Food section of the Washington Post

Political philosophy

Cowen has written papers in political philosophy and ethics: for example, he co-wrote a paper with the philosopher Derek Parfit, arguing against the social discount rate A recent paper has argued that the epistemic problem fails to refute consequentialist forms of argument Cowen has been described as a "libertarian bargainer," a moderate libertarian who can influence practical policy making In a 2007 article entitled "The Paradox of Libertarianism," Cowen argued that libertarians "should embrace a world with growing wealth, growing positive liberty, and yes, growing government We don't have to favor the growth in government per se, but we do need to recognize that sometimes it is a package deal" His argument was subsequently criticized by Bryan Caplan, Justin Raimondo, Christopher Westley, Edward Stringham, and Doug MacKenzie Cowen recognizes that stateless societies exist, but questions whether they are viable in the long run Economist Edward Stringham has criticized Cowen on this point, arguing Zomia has existed as a stateless society for centuries

Cowen endorsed bailouts in a March 2, 2009 column in the New York Times He was a supporter of the Iraq War

In 2012, David Brooks called Cowen one of the most influential bloggers on the right, writing that he is among those who "start from broadly libertarian premises but do not apply them in a doctrinaire way"

In an August 2014 blog post, Cowen wrote, "Just to summarize, I generally favor much more immigration but not open borders, I am a liberal on most but not all social issues, and I am market-oriented on economic issues On most current foreign policy issues I am genuinely agnostic as to what exactly we should do but skeptical that we are doing the right thing at the moment I don’t like voting for either party or for third parties"


On March 26, 2014, Cowen was attacked whilst teaching "Law and Literature" in his classroom by Jonathan Pendleton, who tried to perform a "citizen's arrest" of the professor and then pepper sprayed him A bystander intervened and Pendelton was detained and arrested shortly after by police Cowen and his students reportedly suffered no lasting injuries Pendelton reportedly believed that Cowen had "controlled his mind at a distance" and sexually harassed him



  • Average is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation Dutton Adult 2013 p 304 ISBN 978-0-5259-5373-9  Wikipedia page
  • With Alex Tabarrok: Modern Principles of Economics 2 ed Worth Publishers 2012 p 900 ISBN 978-1-4292-3997-4 
  • An Economist Gets Lunch: New Rules for Everyday Foodies New York, NY: Dutton Adult 2012 ISBN 978-0525952664 
  • The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will Eventually Feel Better Dutton Adult 2011 ISBN 978-0525952718  Wikipedia page
  • Create Your Own Economy: The Path to Prosperity in a Disordered World Dutton Adult 2009 ISBN 0525951237 
  • Discover Your Inner Economist: Use Incentives to Fall in Love, Survive Your Next Meeting, and Motivate Your Dentist Dutton Adult 2007 ISBN 978-0525950257 
  • Good and Plenty: The Creative Successes of American Arts Funding Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press 2006 ISBN 978-0691120423 
  • Markets and Cultural Voices: Liberty vs Power in the Lives of Mexican Amate Painters Economics, Cognition, and Society University of Michigan Press 2005 ISBN 978-0472068890 
  • Creative Destruction: How Globalization Is Changing the World's Cultures Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press 2004 ISBN 978-0691117836 
  • What Price Fame Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press 2002 ISBN 978-0674008090 
  • In Praise of Commercial Culture Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press 2000 ISBN 978-0674001886 
  • Risk and Business Cycles: New and Old Austrian Perspectives Psychology Press 1998 ISBN 9780415169196 
  • Public Goods and Market Failures: A Critical Examination 2 ed New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers 1991 ISBN 978-1560005704 

Select journal articles

  • Cowen, Tyler December 22, 2011 "An Economic and Rational Choice Approach to the Autism Spectrum and Human Neurodiversity" GMU Working Paper in Economics 11 58 SSRN 1975809 
  • Cowen, Tyler October 7, 2011 "The Microeconomics of Public Choice in Developing Economies: A Case Study of One Mexican Village" THE ANNUAL PROCEEDINGS OF THE WEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF NATIONS SSRN 1940219 
  • Cowen, Tyler; Alexander Tabarrok October 2000 "An Economic Theory of Avant-Garde and Popular Art, or High and Low Culture" Southern Economic Journal 67 2: 232–253 doi:102307/1061469 JSTOR 1061469 
  • Cowen, Tyler; Amihai Glazer; Katarina Zajc 2000 "Credibility May Require Discretion, Not Rules" PDF Journal of Public Economics 76 2: 295–306 doi:101016/S0047-27279900051-1 
  • Cowen, Tyler August 1997 "Should the Central Bank Target CPI Futures" PDF Journal of Money, Credit and Banking Ohio State University Press 29 3: 275–285 doi:102307/2953693 
  • Cowen, Tyler; Daniel Sutter 1997 "Politics and the Pursuit of Fame" PDF Public Choice Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers 93: 19–35 doi:101023/A:1017939531594 
  • Cowen, T; Robin Grier 1996 "Do Artists Suffer From A Cost Disease" PDF Rationality and Society Sage Publications 8 1: 5–24 doi:101177/104346396008001001 
  • Cowen, Tyler; Amihai Glazer 1996 "More Monitoring Can Induce Less Effort" PDF Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 30: 113–123 doi:101016/S0167-26819600845-1 
  • Cowen, Tyler; Alexander Tabarrok April 1995 "Good Grapes and Bad Lobsters: Applying the Alchian and Allen Theorem" PDF Economic Inquiry Western Economic Association International 33 2: 253–256 doi:101111/j1465-72951995tb01860x 
  • Cowen, Tyler; Randall Kroszner May 1989 "Scottish Banking before 1845: A Model for Laissez-Faire" Journal of Money, Credit and Banking 21 2: 221–231 doi:102307/1992370 JSTOR 1992370 
  • Cowen, Tyler; Richard Fink September 1985 "Inconsistent Equilibrium Constructs: The Evenly Rotating Economy of Mises and Rothbard" American Economic Review 75 4: 866–869 JSTOR 1821365 

Select articles

  • Cowen, Tyler 11 August 2012 "Two Prisms for Looking at China's Problems" New York Times 
  • Cowen, Tyler 16 June 2012 "Broken Trust Takes Time to Mend" New York Times 
  • "What Export-Oriented America Means" The American Interest May–June 2012 
  • "Six Rules for Dining Out" Atlantic Magazine May 2012 
  • "6 Ideas for the Ash Heap of History" Foreign Policy 28 November 2011 Retrieved 12 September 2012 
  • "The Inequality That Matters" The American Interest January–February 2011 
  • "The Lack of Wars May Be Hurting Economic Growth"- NYTimes, June 14, 2014


  1. ^ "Economics' most influential people" Economistcom February 1, 2011 Retrieved 2012-06-30 
  2. ^ "The FP Top 100 Global Thinkers #72 Tyler Cowan:For finding markets in everything" Foreign Policy December 2011 Retrieved March 21, 2012 
  3. ^ "Correction: Tyler Cowen" Financial Times London: Pearson 29 December 2012 Retrieved 1 February 2014 
  4. ^ "Interview with the Former "Youngest New Jersey Chess Champion," Tyler Cowen" Kenilworthchesscluborg 2006-09-08 Retrieved 2012-06-30 
  5. ^ New Jersey State Champions 1946 – Present New Jersey State Chess Federation, Official Site
  6. ^ The joy of thinking globally, February 7, 2003, Daniel Akst, Los Angeles Times
  7. ^ Cowen, Tyler 2012-04-12 "Penny Pleasance in The New York Journal of Books" Nyjournalofbookscom Retrieved 2012-06-30 
  8. ^ 'Against the social discount rate', Derek Parfit and Tyler Cowen, in Peter Laslett & James S Fishkin eds Justice between age groups and generations, Yale University Press: New Haven, 1992, pp 144–161
  9. ^ The Epistemic Problem Does Not Refute Consequentialism, Tyler Cowen, Utilitas 2006, 18: 383–399
  10. ^ Klein, Daniel B "Mere Libertarianism: Blending Hayek and Rothbard" Reason Papers Vol 27: Fall 2004
  11. ^ "EconLog, Worst Advice to Libertarians Ever, Bryan Caplan: Library of Economics and Liberty" Econlogeconliborg 2007-03-14 Retrieved 2012-06-30 
  12. ^ "Libertarianism and the Great Divide- by Justin Raimondo" Antiwarcom Retrieved 2012-06-30 
  13. ^ "The Real Libertarian Paradox by Christopher Westley" Lewrockwellcom 2007-03-16 Retrieved 2012-06-30 
  14. ^ a b Stringham, Edward; Miles, Caleb 2012 "Repelling States: Evidence from Upland Southeast Asia" The Review of Austrian Economics 25 1: 17–33 doi:101007/s11138-010-0115-3 Retrieved 12 January 2015 
  15. ^ D W MacKenzie 2007-03-19 "Tyler's Paradox – Mises Economics Blog" Blogmisesorg Retrieved 2012-06-30 
  16. ^ Cowen, Tyler; Sutter, Daniel 2005 "Conflict, Cooperation, and Competition in Anarchy" PDF Review of Austrian Economics 18 1: 109–115 doi:101007/s11138-005-5595-1 Retrieved 12 January 2015 
  17. ^ Cowen, Tyler March 1, 2009 "Message to Regulators: Bank Fix Needed Quickly" New York Times 
  18. ^ "The Volokh Conspiracy" Volokhcom Retrieved 2012-06-30 
  19. ^ Brooks, David 2012-11-19 "The Conservative Future" New York Times Retrieved 28 November 2012 
  20. ^ Cowen, Tyler 4 August 2014 "Matt Yglesias on Tyler Cowen" Marginal Revolution Retrieved 6 August 2014 
  21. ^ Greenwood, Arin 2014-03-27 "Tyler Cowen Pepper Sprayed While Teaching Law School Class On Vigilantism" Huffington Post 
  22. ^ McNeal, Greg 2014-03-27 "Law Professor Pepper Sprayed During Class By Man Demanding A 'Citizen's Arrest'" Forbes 
  23. ^ a b Weiner, Rachel April 29, 2014 "Tyler Cowen's attacker thought the professor was controlling his mind, Cowen testifies" The Washington Post Retrieved April 29, 2014 

External links

  • Cowen's bio at the Mercatus Center
  • Tyler Cowen's Web Page at GMU
  • Marginal Revolution
  • Tyler Cowen's Ethnic Dining Guide
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
  • China Is Big Trouble for the US Balance of Trade, Right Well, Not So Fast
  • Roberts, Russ "Tyler Cowen Podcasts" EconTalk Library of Economics and Liberty 
  • What's wrong with cute-o-nomics
  • Review of Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
  • New York Books Review of Discover Your Inner Economist
  • Tyler Cowen at Goodreads

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