Cogs and Monsters: What economics is and what it should be. Interview with author Diane Coyle


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'Cogs and Monsters: What economics is and what it should be'. An interview with the author, Prof. Diane Coyle
Why you should watch: Diane Coyle has spent the last 25 years (since publication of her first book, The Weightless World) re-thinking economics - what it is as a discipline, where its limitations are, how we should use its insights, and how it could be brought more into line with the world as we actually know it. She has been a major force behind key changes in the academic curriculum, and has been at the forefront of efforts to broaden the interdisciplinary nature of economic policy-making. As someone who has been actively involved in UK competition policy, she has also had the opportunity to see first-hand just how difficult it is to change an institutional mindset. Her latest book is both a checklist of progress made and of the problems that still remain, and a powerful plea for a wholesale re-engineering of the discipline to bring it into line with the fundamental changes that digitalisation has wrought.
Diane Coyle is the Bennett Professor of Public Policy at Cambridge, a post she took on in 2018 having previously been Professor of Economics at Manchester. She was educated at Oxford and Harvard, from which she received her PhD. After a spell in HMTreasury, she joined the private sector, eventually moving into journalism, with the Investors Chronicle and the Independent. She is a former member of the Competition Commission and a Vice-chair of the BBC Trust, as well as a senior independent member of the ESRC Council. She is also the MD of an independent consultancy, Enlightenment Economics.

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