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Good and Plenty: The Creative Successes of American Arts Funding

Americans agree about government arts funding in the way the women in the old joke agree about the food at the wedding: it’s terrible–and such small portions! Americans typically either want to abolish the National Endowment for the Arts, or they believe that public arts funding should be dramatically increased because the arts cannot survive in the free market. It would take a lover of the arts who is also a libertarian economist to bridge such a gap. Enter Tyler Cowen. In this book he argues why the U.S. way of funding the arts, while largely indirect, results not in the terrible and the small but in Good and Plenty–and how it could result in even more and better.   Few would deny that America produces and consumes art of a quantity and quality comparable to that of any country. But is this in despite of or because of America’s meager direct funding of the arts relative to European countries? Overturning the conventional wisdom of this question, Cowen argues that American art thrives through an ingenious combination of small direct subsidies and immense indirect subsidies such as copyright law and tax policies that encourage nonprofits and charitable giving. This decentralized and even somewhat accidental–but decidedly not laissez-faire–system results in arts that are arguably more creative, diverse, abundant, and politically unencumbered than that of Europe.   Bringing serious attention to the neglected issue of the American way of funding the arts, Good and Plenty is essential reading for anyone concerned about the arts or their funding. Read more…

Modern Principles of Economics

Engaging and provocative writing, as well as a knack for revealing the ‘invisible hand’ of economics at work have made Cowen and Tabarrok’s Modern Principles of Economics a singularly distinctive and effective textbook for the principles course. Read more…

Modern Principles: Microeconomics

Engaging authors, unbiased presentations of essential ideas, and a knack for revealing the ‘invisible hand’ of economics at work inform the thoroughly updated new edition of Modern Principles, drawing on a wealth of captivating applications to show readers how economics shed light on business, politics, world affairs, and everyday life. Read more…

Explorations in the New Monetary Economics

This book, for students and specialists in Monetary Economics, is the first systematic examination of monetary economics from a new monetary economics viewpoint – one in which markets provide financial services without recourse to traditional concepts of money. In this ground-breaking analysis Cowen and Kroszner:   examine the potential consequences of a complete deregulation of money and banking. show how a deregulated financial system would evolve and whether the results would be desirable. analyze both the micro and the macroeconomic consequences of these changes.   The authors synthesize Carl Menger’s evolutionary theory of money with the modern writings of Black, Fama, Wallace and others. In such a system, currency use would dwindle or disappear, all media of exchange would pay interest, different media of exchange and account would compete with each other, privately issued exchange media would be evaluated and priced through electronic systems, and checkable mutual funds would replace banks, bringing about a fundamental transformation of monetary institutions. Read more…

Risk and Business Cycles: New and Old Austrian Perspectives

Risk and Business Cycles examines the causes of business cycles, a perennial topic of interest within economics. Tyler Cowen argues the case for the revival of an important role for monetary causes in business cycle theory, which challenges the current trend towards favoring purely real theories. The work also presents a critique of the traditional Austrian theory of the trade cycle. This controversial approach will ensure that the book is of interest to all those involved with business cycles, as well as Austrian economics. Read more…

Modern Principles of Macroeconomics

Engaging and provocative writing, as well as a knack for revealing the “invisible hand” of economics at work, have made Cowen and Tabarrok’s Modern Principles of Economics is a singularly distinctive and effective textbook for the principles course. The thoroughly updated new edition of Modern Principles again draws on a wealth of captivating applications to show readers how economics shed light on business, politics, world affairs, and everyday life just as the authors do in their wildly successful blog, Marginal Revolution.   Pioneers in teaching economics online, the authors have created a series of videos that are clever, to the point, and will help students better understand key economic concepts. These breakthrough videos are integrated in a dedicated version of Worth’s new online course space, LaunchPad. Read more…

The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream

Since Alexis de Tocqueville, restlessness has been accepted as a signature American trait. Our willingness to move, take risks, and adapt to change have produced a dynamic economy and a tradition of innovation from Ben Franklin to Steve Jobs.   The problem, according to legendary blogger, economist and best selling author Tyler Cowen, is that Americans today have broken from this tradition—we’re working harder than ever to avoid change. We’re moving residences less, marrying people more like ourselves and choosing our music and our mates based on algorithms that wall us off from anything that might be too new or too different. Match.com matches us in love. Spotify and Pandora match us in music. Facebook matches us to just about everything else.   Of course, this “matching culture” brings tremendous positives: music we like, partners who make us happy, neighbors who want the same things. We’re more comfortable. But, according to Cowen, there are significant collateral downsides attending this comfort, among them heightened inequality and segregation and decreased incentives to innovate and create. The Complacent Class argues that this cannot go on forever. We are postponing change, due to our near-sightedness and extreme desire for comfort, but ultimately this will make change, when it comes, harder. The forces unleashed by the Great Stagnation will eventually lead to a major fiscal and budgetary crisis: impossibly expensive rentals for our most attractive cities, worsening of residential segregation, and a decline in our work ethic. The only way to avoid this difficult future is for Americans to force themselves out of their comfortable slumber―to embrace their restless tradition again.   The Complacent Class in the Media: This Century Is Broken—David Brooks, New York Times Economist Tyler Cowen Thinks Americans Are Too Complacent—Jeffrey Sparshott, Wall Street Journal The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream—Walter Russell Mead, Foreign Affairs Dreaming Small: How America Lost Its Taste for Risk—Edward Luce, Financial Times The Unseen Threat to America: We Don’t Leave Our Hometowns—Tyler Cowen, Time The State of the American Dream—Ian Bremmer and Tyler Cowen, Charlie Rose Perpetual Adolescence: American Life in the 21st Century—Kevin D. Read more…

Create Your Own Economy: The Path to Prosperity in a Disordered World

How will we live well in a super-networked, information-soaked, yet predictably irrational world? The only way to know is to understand how the way we think is changing.   As economist Tyler Cowen boldly shows in Create Your Own Economy, the way we think now is changing more rapidly than it has in a very long time. Not since the Industrial Revolution has a man-made creation—in this case, the World Wide Web—so greatly influenced the way our minds work and our human potential. Cowen argues brilliantly that we are breaking down cultural information into ever-smaller tidbits, ordering and reordering them in our minds (and our computers) to meet our own specific needs.   Create Your Own Economy explains why the coming world of Web 3.0 is good for us; why social networking sites such as Facebook are so necessary; what’s so great about “tweeting” and texting; how education will get better; and why politics, literature, and philosophy will become richer. This is a revolutionary guide to life in the new world. Read more…

An Economist Gets Lunch: New Rules for Everyday Foodies

A leading economist, “who may very well turn out to be this decade’s Thomas Friedman” (Wall Street Journal), illuminates the state of American food today.   Tyler Cowen, one of the most influential economists of the last decade, wants you to know that just about everything you’ve heard about how to get good food is wrong. Drawing on a provocative range of examples from around the globe, Cowen reveals why airplane food is bad, but airport food is improving, why restaurants full of happy, attractive people usually serve mediocre meals, and why American food has improved as Americans drink more wine. At a time when obesity is on the rise and forty-four million Americans receive food stamps, An Economist Gets Lunch will revolutionize the way we eat today—and show us how we’re going to feed the world tomorrow. Read more…