Marginal Revolution (blog)
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Marginal Revolution is a blog focused on economics run by economists Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok, both of whom teach at George Mason University. The blog's slogan is "Small steps toward a much better world." The site is updated daily and focuses on current events and newly released reports or books. The "small steps" advocated by the slogan are usually free market-based policies, ranging from new forms of property rights to following the results of behavioral economics studies. As of July 2005, Marginal Revolution had a BlogPulse rank of 88, the highest of any economics blog. The blog's name is an echo of the economics term "Marginal Revolution".
Several of the blog's postings by Cowen were revised and published together in the 2007 book Discover Your Inner Economist.
Some articles follow common themes, including "Markets in Everything", which is news about offbeat and nontraditional goods or services that are traded; "Area fact of the day," or "Culture that is 'Country'"which covers surprising news about a given city or country; since the global financial crisis began "The Countercyclical Asset", which records products and services that thrive in a recession; "What I've Been Reading", a list of books the author has read recently, with a short review and sales link; "My Favourite things [Area]", which lists the best cultural offerings from a particular province, city or country, and formerly "Claims my Russian wife laughs at," which is about the differences between an economist's outlook on life versus that of a non-economist from a different continent and culture.
Stance on comments
There is controversy in the economics blogosphere, with some economics blogs (such as EconLog) allowing comments on every post, while others have no comment function. For the first few years of its existence, Marginal Revolution only opened the Comments section on selected posts. Tyler Cowen's explanation, given September 15, 2005, was that regular availability of comments causes a lower quality than periodic availability; when the poster (Cowen or Tabarrok) sets his own course, he can choose to solicit comments when the subject "involves particular facts and decentralized knowledge". This is an attempt to allow an accretion of previously unknown data and informed opinions on more esoteric subjects while avoiding repetitive flame wars on subjects such as "evolution, free will, or Paul Krugman". However, since at least early 2008, the comments have been open for every Marginal Revolution post.
Marginal Revolution University
In September 2012, Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok, the regular bloggers at Marginal Revolution, announced the creation of Marginal Revolution University (MRUniversity for short), an effort in online education concentrated on economics. Although the website for MRUniversity would be independent of the blog, the authors used the blog to announce MRUniversity and attract readers to MRUniversity.
Guest bloggers have included Robin Hanson, Tim Harford, Steven Landsburg, Fabio Rojas, James Surowiecki, Bryan Caplan, Justin Wolfers and Ramez Naam. Tyler Cowen occasionally writes under the pseudonym "Tyrone", referred to as his "evil twin brother", when he is writing tongue-in-cheek.
- Newmark's Door: Rankings of economics blogs
- Marginal Revolution: Self-experimentation with comments
- Cowen, Tyler (2012-09-05). "Introducing MRUniversity (spread the word)". Marginal Revolution (blog). Retrieved 2012-12-24.
- Marginal Revolution posts by Tyrone