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Visiting Economist to speak on Globalisation

11 July 2005

Visiting Economist to speak on Globalisation and Culture

Tyler Cowen has been described by the Los Angeles Times as "a man who can talk about Haitian voodoo flags, Iranian cinema, Hong Kong cuisine, Abstract Expressionism, Zairian music and Mexican folk art seemingly with equal facility..."

Dr Tyler Cowen, professor of economics at George Mason University in Virginia, will be in New Zealand in the week of 8-12 August as a guest of the New Zealand Business Roundtable and will be presenting this year's Sir Ronald Trotter Lecture in Wellington on 9 August.

In the lecture, titled The Future of Culture in a Globalised World, Dr Cowen will ask whether globalisation is destroying cultural diversity, limiting creativity, and forcing everyone into a large, homogenous global culture.

Tyler Cowen studies art and culture drawing upon concepts from economics and other social sciences. He is a professor of economics at George Mason's Center for the Study of Public Choice. He is also the director of the James Buchanan Center and the Mercatus Center, both also within George Mason University.

He is a Harvard-trained economist with a background in mathematics, and is widely regarded as a true Renaissance man and a highly original and creative thinker. Cowen has published extensively on topics as diverse as how economists think about rationality, the role of fame, and the economics of music, art, literature, film and food.

Cowen asserts that commerce and art are allies. In a profile in the Los Angeles Times, he argues that "because commerce is driving technology, ideas, goods services and people across borders more freely than ever before, we are in the midst of an unprecedented boom in artistic creativity all over the world."

Cowen is optimistic about the impact of globalisation on cultures. Despite fears that dumbed-down American TV, movies, music and even food are sweeping away local cultures, he maintains that global trade and communication are enriching all the world's cultures.

He is also an avid consumer of a wide variety of cultural products. He describes himself as, "a typical American yuppie [who] drinks French wine, listens to Beethoven on a Japanese audio system, [and] uses the Internet to buy Persian textiles from a dealer in London."

Tyler Cowen has written or edited 10 books including, In Praise of Commercial Culture (1998), What Price Fame (2000), Creative Destruction: How Globalization is Changing the World's Cultures (2002), and Markets and Cultural Voices: Liberty vs. Power in the Lives of the Mexican Amate Painters (2005).

He writes daily for two blogs: and

For more information about Tyler Cowen please visit:


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