Tyler Cowen

Tyler
Cowen
1962

American Economist, Academic, and writer, Professor and Holbert C. Harris Chair of Economics at George Mason University, Co-author with Alex Tabarrok of the Marginal Revolution blog

Author Quotes

Countries with lots of unmarried young men are the most vulnerable to sudden upheavals - this is what fueled the Arab Spring.

I see three forces militating in favor of growing inequality: increasing measurement of worker value added, automation through smart software, and globalization.

It?s harder to get outside your own head than you think.

Our love of art is often quite temporary, dependent upon our moods, and our love of art is subservient to our demand for a positive self-image. How we look at art should account for those imperfections and work around them.

The 'low' quality of many American films, and of much American popular culture, induces many art lovers to support cultural protectionism. Few people wish to see the cultural diversity of the world disappear under a wave of American market dominance.

We?ll end up with a society where the people with decent self-control win back a lot of the lost health gains by better behavior.

Economics evolved as a more moral and more egalitarian approach to policy than prevailed in its surrounding milieu. Let's cherish and extend that heritage. The real contributions of economics to human welfare might turn out to be very different from what most people - even most economists - expect.

I sometimes say I am a 'happiness optimist' but a 'revenue pessimist.'

I've been a foodie most of my life. I started when I lived for a year in Germany in my early 20s, and here was this new food environment, and I decided I needed to make sense of it. And I found it was the rules of economics that do the best job. Food is a capitalist product of supply and demand.

Our time and attention is scarce. Art is not that important to us, no matter what we might like to believe? Our love of art is often quite temporary, dependent upon our moods, and our love of art is subservient to our demand for a positive self-image. How we look at art should account for those imperfections and work around them. Keep in mind that books, like art museums, are not always geared to the desires of the reader. Maybe we think we are supposed to like tough books, but are we? Who says? Many writers (and art museums) produce for quite a small subsample of the? public.

The more extreme conservatives will embrace religion and nationalism to a higher degree.

We're seeing an enormous amount of global upward mobility that's quite rapid and quite sudden, and undiscovered individuals have a chance - using the Internet, using computers - to prove themselves very quickly. So I think the mobility story will be a quite complicated one.

Economics is everywhere, and understanding economics can help you make better decisions and lead a happier life.

I think a lot of people will be liberated from a lot of oppressive manufacturing jobs, or a lot of service jobs, because they'll be done by computers. There'll be the world's best education available online and free.

Keep in mind that books, like art museums, are not always geared to the desires of the reader.

Presidents always want to do nice, noble, long-run things, and Congress is less keen to do so. We've seen that throughout the history of this country.

The right wing will be identified with the monied class, even when the left often has more money. And the left wing will be identified as the whiners, even though the right at times whines as much or more. You might say that both sides are monied, high human capital whiners, on the whole.

What I would like to vote for is a candidate that is socially liberal, a fiscal conservative, broadly libertarian with a small 'l' but sensible and pragmatic and with a chance of winning. That's more or less the empty set.

Economics is sometimes associated with the study and defense of selfishness and material inequality, but it has an egalitarian and civil libertarian core that should be celebrated.

I think as individuals, people overrate the virtues of local food. Most of the energy consumption in our food system is not caused by transportation. Sometimes local food is more energy efficient. But often it's not. The strongest case for locavorism is to eat less that's flown on planes, and not to worry about boats.

Let?s say that you could carry around a perfect copy of a three-dimensional realization of a Caravaggio painting (or if your tastes are more modern make it a Picasso). You would carry a small box in your pocket, and whenever you wanted, you could press a button and the box would open up into life-sized glory and show you the picture. You would bring it to all the parties you attended. The peak of the culture of the seventeenth century (or say the 1920s if you prefer Picasso) would be at your disposal. Alternatively, let?s say you could carry around in your pocket an iPhone. That gives you thousands of songs, a cell phone, access to personal photographs, YouTube, email, and web access, among many other services, not to mention all the applications that have not yet been written. You will have a strong connection to the contemporary culture of small bits.

Real cultural diversity results from the interchange of ideas, products, and influences, not from the insular development of a single national style.

The way to make the world a better place, through your eating, is simply to eat a bit less meat. Local is sometimes good, sometimes bad. But even when it's good, its environmental impact is relatively small compared to other possible improvements.

What the banking system needs is creditors who monitor risk and cut their exposure when that risk is too high. Unlike regulators, creditors and counterparties know the details of a deal and have their own money on the line.

A bad or mediocre meal is more than just an unpleasant taste, it is an unnecessary negation of one of life's pleasures - a wasted chance to refine our palates, learn about the world, and share a rewarding experience.

Author Picture
First Name
Tyler
Last Name
Cowen
Birth Date
1962
Bio

American Economist, Academic, and writer, Professor and Holbert C. Harris Chair of Economics at George Mason University, Co-author with Alex Tabarrok of the Marginal Revolution blog