Tyler Cowen

Tyler Cowen

  • Chairman
  • General Director

Tyler Cowen is Holbert C. 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 Interest. His research has been published in the American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Ethics, 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.




TIME — Top Financial Blogs (2011)

The Wall Street Journal — The Best Economics Blogs (2010)



An Economist Gets Lunch: New Rules for Everyday Foodies (Dutton: 2012/Forthcoming)

The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better (Dutton: 2011)

Good & Plenty: The Creative Successes of American Arts Funding (Princeton University Press: 2004)

Modern Principles of Economics, coauthored with Alex Tabarrok (Worth: 2009)

The Age of the Infovore (aka Create Your Own Economy: The Path to Prosperity in a Disordered World) (Dutton: 2009)

Discover Your Inner Economist: Use Incentives to Fall in Love, Survive Your Next Meeting, and Motivate Your Dentist (Dutton: 2007)

Markets and Cultural Voices: Liberty vs. Power in the Lives of Mexican Amate Painters (University of Michigan Press: 2005)

Creative Destruction: How Globalization is Changing the World’s Cultures (Princeton University Press: 2004)

Market Failure of Success: The New Debate, coeditor (Edward Elgar Publishing: 2004)

What Price Fame? (Harvard University Press: 2002)

In Praise of Commercial Culture (Harvard University Press: 2000)



George Mason University Economic Alumnus of the Year (2011)

George Mason University College of Humanities and Social Sciences Alumnus of the Year (2012)


Media and Other

Foreign Policy Top 100 Global Thinkers (2011)

The Economist Best Books of 2011 (The Great Stagnation)

Listed by the American Institute for Economic Research on their list of favorite economists under the age of 60 (16th), and as having the second-most popular blog on economics



TEDxEast — The Great Stagnation (2011)



TEDxMidAtlantic — The Great Recession and Beyond (2009)


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

Media Clippings

Tyler Cowen | Nov 07, 2013
Outlet: The New Yorker
Tyler Cowen | Oct 30, 2013
Outlet: The Washington Post
Tyler Cowen | Oct 23, 2013
Outlet: Los Angeles Times
Tyler Cowen | Oct 04, 2013
Outlet: The Washington Examiner

Expert Commentary

May 01, 2014

Every now and then, the field of economics produces an important book; this is one of them. Thomas Piketty’s tome will put capitalist wealth back at the center of public debate, resurrect interest in the subject of wealth distribution, and revolutionize how people view the history of income inequality. On top of that, although the book’s prose (translated from the original French) might not qualify as scintillating, any educated person will be able to understand it -- which sets the book apart from the vast majority of works by high-level economic theorists.
Apr 05, 2014

Many expanding economic sectors are not very labor-intensive, be they tech fields like online retailing or even new mining and extraction industries. That means it’s harder for the rate of job creation to keep up with the rate of job destruction, because a given amount of economic growth isn’t bringing as many jobs.
Mar 30, 2014

We should always be willing to learn from the past, and I do count Marx, for all his flaws, among the great economists. But we should not forget that he was in fact wrong about most things, not just about the totally impractical nature of his communist alternative.
Mar 15, 2014

A Russian occupation of Crimea raises the specter of the Cold War, in which the nuclear stalemate between the United States and the Soviet Union devolved into regional disputes around the world.


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 | February 04, 2014
Tyler Cowen Discusses the Minimum Wage on NPR's "On Point"
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