Diane CoyleFeb 8, 2022
Cogs and Monsters
What Economics Is, and What It Should Be
Princeton University Press 2021
In Cogs and Monsters: What Economics Is, and What It Should Be (Princeton UP, 2021), Diane Coyle explores the enormous problems—but also opportunities—facing economics today if it is to respond effectively to these dizzying changes and help policymakers solve the world’s crises, from pandemic recovery and inequality to slow growth and the climate emergency. Mainstream economics, Coyle says, still assumes people are “cogs”—self-interested, calculating, independent agents interacting in defined contexts. But the digital economy is much more characterized by “monsters”—untethered, snowballing, and socially influenced unknowns. Coyle argues that economic policy is fundamentally normative, as any policy decision will imply political trade-offs. She argues for a more diverse methodological and conceptually inform analysis while reflecting on broader issues of today such as ethics and the challenges of the digital economy.
This book has been recognized as the Financial Times Best Economics Book of the Year 2021 and a CapX Book of the Year, 2021.
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo is currently straddling between Newcastle and Mexico City. You can find him on twitter on issues related to business history of banking, fintech, payments and other musings. Not always in that order. @BatizLazo