Welcome to Tyler Cowen's Web Page


I am a professor of economics at George Mason University and at the Center for the Study of Public Choice. I am also the Director of the Mercatus Center. My lovely wife, stepdaughter and I currently reside in Fairfax, Virginia with stacks of amates.

Additionally, I write for a blog, The Marginal Revolution on a daily basis. The text of a write-up in the LA Times about my blog and others can be found here, or a PDF picture of the article here. The text of a profile in the Boston Globe about my book Creative Destruction can be found here.

My latest book is Average is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation

A summary of my previous press coverage can be found here...


tcc  tcf  gc  mcv  gp  dIE


Current Threads:

Articles on Economics of the Arts:

Here are some pieces on the economics of culture:

  1. Do Artists Suffer From A Cost Disease?Do Artists Suffer From A Cost Disease? from Rationality and Society.
  2. Why I Do Not Believe in the Cost Disease, from the Journal of Cultural Economics.
  3. Entrepreneurship, Austrian Economics, and the Quarrel Between Philosophy and Poetry, from The Review of Austrian Economics.
  4. An Economic Theory of Avante-Garde and Popular Art, or High and Low Culture, an article written with Alex Tabarrok.
  5. An article in the National Post that I adapted from my book Creative Destruction.
  6. The first chapter of my manuscript on government funding of the arts. (Also available in doc format.)
  7. Do We Underestimate the Benefits of Cultural Competition, from the American Economic Review.
  8. Why Women Succeed, and Fail, in the Arts from the Journal of Cultural Economics.

Here are some popular pieces of mine on globalization, economics, and culture:

  1. Modern Mix, from Forbes, on the blending of world culture.
  2. French Kiss Off, from Reason Magazine, detailing how French protectionism has hurt the French film industry.
  3. The Fate of Culture, from The Wilson Quarterly.
  4. Culture in the Global Economy, a lecture I delivered in Sweden.
  5. An interview with me in Reason Magazine where I argue for the cultural benefits of globalization.
  6. More recent writings  on Robert Putnam's Better Together and on Virginia Postrel's Substance of Style.
  7. Economic Development in an "Average is Over" World

Here are some pieces of mine on microeconomics:

  1. More Monitoring Can Induce Less Effort, in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization.
  2. Good Grapes and Bad Lobsters: Applying the Alchian and Allen Theorem, in Economic Inquiry.
  3. Credibility May Require Discretion, not Rules, in the Journal of Public Economics.
  4. Rent-Seeking Can Promote the Provision of Public Goods, in Economics and Politics.
  5. A short essay on the socialist calculation debate, from the Journal of International and Comparative Economics.
  6. Should the Central Bank Target CPI Futures?a piece from the Journal of Money, Credit and Banking.
  7. My thoughts on cost-benefit analysis, as prepared for the New Zealand Business Roundtable.
  8. Here is my paper with Sam Papenfuss on for-profit education.

Here are some pieces of mine with an especially philosophical bent:

  1. Does the epistemic problem refute consequentialism?, a paper on whether the "epistemic critique" defeats consequentialist moral theories.
  2. Self-Constraint and Self-Liberation, from Ethics.
  3. Discounting and Restitution, from Philosophy & Public Affairs.
  4. Against the Social Discount Rate, which I wrote with Derek Parfit.
  5. How Far Back Should We Go?: Why Restitution Should Be Small, a piece on intergenerational restitution, forthcoming in a Cambridge book edited by Jon Elster. (Also available in doc format.)
  6. Policing Nature, a paper on animal welfare.
  7. When Are We Being Too Utopian? a paper in progress. Comments welcome!
  8. What is the Correct Intergenerational Discount Rate? and Resolving The Repugnant Conclusion, two papers on themes relevant to Derek Parfit's Reasons and Persons,including population paradoxes and discounting the future.
  9. How Do Economists Think About Rationality? An article on how economists use the rationality assumption. It defends economics against numerous critics, and shows that the practice of economics is more philosophically sophisticated than one might expect. Published in Satisficing and Maximizing – Moral Theorists on Practical Reason, Edited by Michael Byron, Cambridge University Press, 2004, pgs 213-236.
  10. What Do We Learn from the Repugnant Conclusion? from Ethics.
  11. The Scope and Limits of Preference Sovereignty, from Economics and Philosophy.
  12. Here is my paper on whether most observed disagreements are in fact honest.
  13. Is a Novel a Model?, a piece on the productivity of fiction.
  14. My new paper on the Turing test, and what it really means, with Michelle Dawson.
  15. My Tanner lectures comment on Elizabeth Anderson

Here are some pieces of mine on political philosophy:

  1. Self-Deception as the Root of Political Failure, an article that considers models of political failure based on self-deception.
  2. A Road Map to Middle Eastern Peace? - A Public Choice Perspective, a short piece on the economics of war, and the logic of conflict.
  3. Does the welfare state help the poor? forthcoming in Social Philosophy and Policy.
  4. Politics and the pursuit of fame, from Public Choice.
  5. My response to David Friedman's comment on my original piece on The Economics of Anarchy.
  6. The Marshall Plan: Myths and Realities, an essay on the Marshall Plan from Doug Bandow's U.S. Aid to the Developing World, Heritage Foundation, 1985.
  7. review of the idea of spontaneous order in Hayek's Fatal Conceit.

Other Topics


  1. chiliEthnic Dining Guide – June 2019, 31st Edition to the Northern Virginia/Washington D.C./Maryland area. This is my most popular page!
  2. The Food Page of The Washington Post wrote up my ethnic food guide in the summer of 2001. The article is attached here: The Lone Critic.
  3. Here is an address I gave to the International Association of Culinary Professionals, called "Is Globalization Changing the Way the World Eats?"
  4. Here is a recipe for some real Mexican food, from a small village, cook it if you dare.

Art Pages

  1. A short page on Ranadip Mukherjee
  2. A short Haitian Art page with more to come.
  3. A short page on the A short page on the The Camilo Ayala Brothers: Lost Treasures of the Art World
  4. A page on A page on Amate Painters
  5. Special Series on AMATE Painter - Alfonso Lorenzo; Wall Street Journal Article


  1. My favorite books
  2. Music recommendations
  3. Movie recommendations
  4. Art recommendations

Reading Lists

  1. Reading list for PhD Macro (updated 8/11/06). Reading list for PhD Macro (updated 8/11/06).      
  2. Reading list for the Law and Literature course (updated 12/15/07).
  3. Reading list for the Industrial Organizations course (updated 1/24/05).

Contact Information: Phones: My work phones are:   703-993- 2312 (primary)   703-993- 4910 (secondary)

Email is tcowen@gmu.edu. Mailing address at work is:         MSN 1D3, Carow Hall         George Mason University         Fairfax, VA 22030.

This page will be periodically updated. Recommendations of all kinds are welcome, especially in the fields of economics and/or culture, please do not hesitate to email me at tcowen@gmu.edu

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