Brendan Greeley of Bloomberg has an excellent profile of Tyler, both amusing and accurate. Here’s one bit:
When Tyler Cowen was 15, he became the New Jersey Open Chess Champion, at the time the youngest ever. At around the same age, he began reading seriously in the social sciences; he preferred philosophy. By 16 he had reached a chess rating of 2350, which today would put him close to the top 100 in the U.S. Shortly thereafter he gave up chess and philosophy for the same reason: little stability and poor benefits.
He’d been reading economics, though. He figured that economists were supposed to publish, and by age 19 he had placed two papers in respected journals. As a PhD candidate at Harvard, he published in the “Journal of Political Economy” and the “American Economic Review.”
“They were weird, strange pieces,” he says, “but still in good journals, top journals. That cemented my view that I could, you know, somehow fit in somewhere.” I ask him what he was like, what made him doubt he could fit in.
“I was like I am now.”
“You’ve always been like that?”
“Always. Age 3. Whatever.”
“What did you do at age 3?”
“Read a lot of books.”
Read the whole thing especially for more on the sociology of the economics profession.
Oh and here is an interesting development, the hot new restaurants are now tweeting about Tyler. Strange world.