Cogs and Monsters: What Economics Is, and What It Should Be
by Diane Coyle
In Cogs and Monsters Diane Coyle argues persuasively that the economics profession—what it researches and teaches and its use in public policy—needs to change. She argues that popular criticisms of economists—that their forecasting is poor and their assumptions about human society and behaviour simplistic and wrong—misses more important failures of the profession. In the digital age, economists need to grapple with the new challenges thrown up by the relationship between the private and public sectors and inequalities in society. Welfare economics needs to be revived and rethought to deal with the digital age and economists need to accept that their work needs to be done in a world that is unavoidably political. This book is vital for professional economists and those studying the subject, but also to anyone interested in how the world is governed and the role of economics in that.
Is Economics Fit for Purpose?
In this video, Professor Diane Coyle of the Bennett Institute for Public Policy at the University of Cambridge speaks to Professor Ian Goldin of the Oxford Martin School about economics in the context of her book, Cogs and Monsters. Both are academic economists, but the book—and their conversation about it—really focuses on what’s going wrong with their own subject. These are not the populist critiques you’ll read in newspapers, but insights from two practitioners and fans of economics who, interestingly, both find themselves outside economics departments because the field as defined by those departments—and the five dominant academic journals that effectively control access to jobs—is so narrow.
Professor Diane Coyle, talk at the Oxford Martin School with Professor Ian Goldin, November 10th, 2021
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