Tyler Cowen

Tyler Cowen

  • Holbert L. Harris Chair of Economics at George Mason University
  • General Director
  • Senior Fellow, F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics

Tyler Cowen is Holbert L. Harris Chair of Economics at George Mason University and serves as chairman and general director of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. With colleague Alex Tabarrok, Cowen is coauthor of the popular economics blog Marginal Revolution and cofounder of the online educational platform Marginal Revolution University.

A dedicated writer and communicator of economic ideas who has written extensively on the economics of culture, Cowen is the author of several books and is widely published in academic journals and the popular media. He writes the Economic Scene column for the New York Times; has contributed extensively to national publications such as the Wall Street Journal and Money; and serves on the on the advisory boards of both Wilson Quarterly and American InterestHis research has been published in the American Economic Review, the Journal of Political Economy, Ethics, and Philosophy and Public Affairs.

In 2011, Bloomberg Businessweek profiled Cowen as “America’s Hottest Economist” after his e-book, The Great Stagnation, appeared twice on the New York Times e-book bestseller list. Columnist David Brooks declared it “the most debated nonfiction book so far this year.” Foreign Policy named Cowen as one of 2011’s “Top 100 Global Thinkers,” and an Economist survey counted him as one of the most influential economists of the last decade.

Cowen graduated from George Mason University with a BS in economics and received his PhD in economics from Harvard University.

Cowen's blog was named in the Top Financial Blogs of 2011 by TIME and in the Best Economics Blogs of 2010 by The Wall Street Journal.

Cowen has been recognized as the George Mason University Economic Alumnus of the Year (2011), and the George Mason University College of Humanities and Social Sciences Alumnus of the Year (2012). He was listed in Foreign Policy's Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2011 and by the American Institute for Economic Research as the 16th most popular economics under the age of 60. His book The Great Stagnation was named as one of the Economist's Best Books of 2011.

You can see his TEDxEast talk on The Great Stagnation here and his TEDxMidAtlantic talk on the Great Recession here

Published Research

Working Papers

Robin D. Hanson, Tyler Cowen | Oct 2007
We review literatures on agreeing to disagree and on the rationality of differing priors in order to evaluate the honesty of typical disagreements. A robust result is that honest truth-seeking agents…
Tyler Cowen | Nov 2005
Tyler Cowen discusses what we should consider in the event of an avian flu pandemic.
Christopher Coyne, Tyler Cowen | Dec 2003
In this working paper, Cowen and Coyne analyze the array of relationships that take place in the reconstruction process--political, economic and social--by considering under what circumstances they…
Tyler Cowen | Sep 2003
This paper considers models of political failure based on self-deception. Individuals discard free information when that information damages their self-image and thus lowers their utility. More…

Policy Briefs

Research Summaries & Toolkits

Speeches & Presentations

Expert Commentary

Aug 16, 2016

The goal should not be for either nation to copy the other, but rather to borrow the best policies of the other. Conservatives should note that when it comes to regulatory efficiency and business freedom, Denmark has a considerably higher score than does the U.S., at least according to the Heritage Foundation Index of Economic Freedom.
Aug 15, 2016

One of the less heralded truths of economics is that growth miracles, while they make for good press, are overrated. It’s an insight that could help us better understand the outlook for developing countries such as China.
Aug 11, 2016

Brazil, it is often and not quite fairly said, is the country of the future and always will be. As the Olympics focuses global attention on the country, it's worth exploring the various ways in which this maxim is -- and may not be -- true.
Aug 09, 2016

Europe's banks have had a rough year: Their stock prices have fallen so low that some observers wonder whether they are viable in their current form. Yet the most commonly proposed solution -- a true banking union -- is also deeply flawed.


Tyler Cowen


Tyler Cowen | Sep 12, 2013
Widely acclaimed as one of the world’s most influential economists, Tyler Cowen returns with his groundbreaking follow-up to the New York Times bestseller The Great Stagnation.


Tyler Cowen | April 09, 2015
Tyler Cowen and Jeffrey Sachs discuss the resource curse, why Russia failed and Poland succeeded, charter cities, Sach's China optimism, JFK, Paul Rosenstein-Rodan, whether Africa will be able to overcome the middle income trap, Paul Krugman, Sach's favorite novel, premature deindustrialization, and how to reform graduate economics education.
' '