The Archbridge Institute is delighted to announce that economists Tyler Cowen and Russ Roberts are joining the academic advisory board as its newest members. Cowen and Roberts are two of the most influential economists and public intellectuals in the world, both care deeply about having a nuanced, holistic, and multidisciplinary discussion about human flourishing and social mobility. Through their platforms, they have consistently gone outside of the silo of the economics profession and have strived to incorporate into their work and worldviews a more complete understanding of what makes societies and people progress, flourish, and reach their fullest potential.
Like the Archbridge Institute, professor Cowen has warned scholars to be mindful about the distinction between income inequality and economic mobility, and has argued that it is the latter that we should be focusing on the most if our goal is to help the poor and increase human flourishing. As he said in a 2015 column for the New York Times:
Income inequality and economic immobility are often lumped together, but they shouldn’t be. Consider the two concepts positively: Income equality is about bridging the gap between the rich and the poor, while economic mobility is about elevating the poor as rapidly as possible. Finding ways to increase economic mobility should be our greater concern.
Professor Roberts has been a staunch advocate of pursuing a better understanding of what economic data shows and what the story behind it could be. Analyzing the data on mobility and inequality in one of the most interesting and up to date literature reviews on the topic, Roberts says, “If we want to give all Americans a chance to thrive, we should understand that the standard story is more complicated than we’ve been hearing.”
In adding professors Cowen and Roberts to the Board of Academic Advisers, Archbridge President and CEO, Gonzalo Schwarz, had this to say:
I’m very excited to have two of the economists I admire most in the world join us as advisers in our mission to lift barriers to human flourishing. I have learned an immense amount from Tyler and Russ, and throughout our founding and early work they have already served as a great source of inspiration given their various talents and our shared commitment to building bridges between different ideas, disciplines, and people across the political spectrum. They are pioneers in many aspects the economics profession and, very importantly, on how to better communicate economic ideas. Through their example and work they continually inspire us to remain humble but curious about the world around us and about the complex fields of human flourishing and progress. They also push us to consider how we can more effectively harness our creative energies to lift barriers for people looking to flourish and achieve their fullest potential.
In joining the academic board, Professor Cowen had this to say: “I am impressed with what the Archbridge Institute has managed to produce and achieve in a short period of time. I look forward to their future work.”
And professor Roberts remarked: “I’m excited to be part of an organization that understands that flourishing is about more than material well-being.”
We are very excited to have them on board. Here are their complete bios.
Tyler Cowen is the Holbert L. Harris Chair of Economics at George Mason University and serves as chairman and faculty 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, Cowen is the author of several bestselling books and is widely published in academic journals and the popular media. Cowen’s latest book is Big Business: A Love Letter to an American Antihero, which Cass Sunstein described as “iconoclastic, charming, [and] wise” and as “essential reading.” He writes a column for Bloomberg View; has contributed extensively to national publications such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Money; and serves on the advisory boards of both Wilson Quarterly and American Interest. His research has been published in the American Economic Review, the Journal of Political Economy, Ethics, and Philosophy and Public Affairs.
Cowen is host of Conversations with Tyler, a popular podcast series featuring today’s most underrated thinkers in wide-ranging explorations of their work, the world, and everything in between. Past guests include David Brooks, Malcolm Gladwell, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Cowen graduated from George Mason University with a BS in economics and received his PhD in economics from Harvard University.
Russ Roberts is the John and Jean De Nault Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. Russ hosts the weekly podcast EconTalk which has over 700 episodes and consists of hour-long conversations with leading and influential thinkers. Past guests include Milton Friedman, James Heckman, Daron Acemoglu, Thomas Piketty, Angela Duckworth, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, and Michael Lewis among many others.
His two rap videos on the ideas of John Maynard Keynes and F.A. Hayek, created with filmmaker John Papola, have recieved more than eleven million views on YouTube, have been subtitled in eleven languages, and are used in high school and college classrooms around the world. His animated poem, It’s a Wonderful Loaf, is an ode to the emergent order of our everyday lives. His video series The Numbers Game looks at the challenges of measuring economic progress accurately.
His latest book is Gambling With Other People’s Money: How Perverse Incentives Caused the Financial Crisis. Roberts explores the role that past bailouts played in the risk-taking that led to the financial crisis of 2008. In How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness (Portfolio/Penguin 2014), Roberts takes the lessons from Adam Smith’s little-known masterpiece, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, and applies them to modern life.He is also the author of three economic novels teaching economic lessons and ideas through fiction
A three-time teacher of the year, Roberts has taught at George Mason University, Washington University in St. Louis (where he was the founding director of what is now the Center for Experiential Learning), the University of Rochester, Stanford University, and the University of California, Los Angeles. He earned his PhD from the University of Chicago and his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.