4 November 2021

The CapX Podcast: Diane Coyle on ‘Cogs and Monsters’


Is economics fit for the modern world?

That’s the basic question posed in Cogs and Monsters, the new book from Diane Coyle, one of Britain’s most eminent economists and our guest this week.

Part critique of her own profession, part manifesto for a better, more up-to-date economics, Diane’s book goes beyond the standard criticisms of economics and gets into the the really big issues – not least, what should the role of an economist actually be? Should economics describe the world as it is, or as it should be? How can economists deal with a world of AI, big tech and big data?

Diane is as well qualified as anyone to answer those questions, having worked variously as a Treasury economist, economics editor of The Independent, Professor of Economics at the University of Manchester and, since 2018 as the head of the interdisciplinary Bennett Institute for Public Policy at the University of Cambridge. She is also the author of no fewer than nine books, including the Weightless World, The Economics of Enough and ‘GDP – a Brief but affectionate history’.

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John Ashmore is Editor of CapX.