Stranded Technologies
Stranded Technologies Podcast
Ep. 77: Tyler Cowen – Unearthing the GOAT, Technological Progress in the Post-Great Stagnation Era and Special Economic Zones

Ep. 77: Tyler Cowen – Unearthing the GOAT, Technological Progress in the Post-Great Stagnation Era and Special Economic Zones


Tyler Cowen is a professor at George Mason University, creator of the Marginal Revolution blog, founder of the Emergent Ventures grant program, podcast host of "Conversations with Tyler," and author of numerous books, including "The Great Stagnation."

Evaluating Economists and Their Contributions

In Tyler’s latest book, "GOAT: Greatest Economist Of All Time," he explores the contributions of renowned economists like Milton Friedman, John Maynard Keynes, Friedrich Hayek, John Stuart Mill, Malthus, and Adam Smith.

The Post-Great Stagnation Era Has Begun

In his 2011 book, "The Great Stagnation," Tyler Cowen argued that technological progress had slowed significantly since 1973. While initially met with skepticism, this idea gained acceptance over time. Cowen's central thesis was that low-hanging technological fruit had been picked, but optimism emerged from the potential of the internet to drive a new wave of innovations.

However, already in his 2011 book, Cowen believed that society has moved beyond the Great Stagnation due to a new wave of innovation enabled by the internet.. In the past few years, we have seen breakthroughs like mRNA vaccines and AI. 

That is good news. 

However, regulatory challenges persist, particularly in biotech and pharmaceuticals. There is still lots more that can be done through deregulation or innovation in governance.

Small Jurisdictions & SEZs as Governance Experiments.

There’s potential for smaller countries to enact significant reforms and catalyze positive change. Tyler witnessed New Zealand's successful reforms in the early 1990s. 

He views charter cities and special economic zones as great drivers for innovation in governance. A key challenge is the reluctance of governments to permit these experiments, often driven by concerns about their reputation or sovereignty, particularly in less stable regions.

But there are many successes with these zones; the overall record is quite robust, and we now have a clear understanding of how to execute these actions effectively. It's not merely a formula but rather a proven approach, looking at examples from China, Ireland, or the Dominican Republic.

Soon, Tyler is visiting the Próspera ZEDE, a special economic zone in Honduras, for Vitalia – a two-month longevity biotech acceleration camp. If you want to visit us there, apply here →

Vitalia City

More about Tyler’s work:

Stranded Technologies
Stranded Technologies Podcast
Niklas Anzinger talks and writes about his experience as a VC based in Prospera Honduras, competitive governance and how it can unblock "stranded technologies" that are held back by bureaucracy and overregulation.