This revised edition incorporates the latest developments in the field, including the rise of behavioral finance, the failure of carbon trading, and the growing trend of government bailouts. She also discusses such major debates as the relationship between economic statistics and presidential elections, the boundary between private choice and public action, and who is to blame for today's banking crisis.
Coyle shows how better data, increased computing power, and techniques such as game theory have transformed economic theory and practice in recent years, enabling economists to make huge strides in understanding real human behavior. Using insights from psychology, evolution, and complexity, economists are revolutionizing efforts to solve the world's most serious problems by giving policymakers a new and vastly more accurate picture of human society than ever before. They are also building our capacity to understand how what we do today shapes what the world will look like tomorrow. And the consequences of these developments for human life, for governments, and for businesses are only now starting to be realized--in areas such as resource auctions, pollution-credit trading, and monetary policy.
The Soulful Science tells us how economics got its soul back--and how it just might help save the planet's.
Running the economy for tomorrow as well as today will require a wide range of policy changes. The top priority must be ensuring that we get a true picture of long-term economic prospects, with the development of official statistics on national wealth in its broadest sense, including natural and human resources. Saving and investment will need to be encouraged over current consumption. Above all, governments will need to engage citizens in a process of debate about the difficult choices that lie ahead and rebuild a shared commitment to the future of our societies.
Creating a sustainable economy--having enough to be happy without cheating the future--won't be easy. But The Economics of Enough starts a profoundly important conversation about how we can begin--and the first steps we need to take.
One fundamental conclusion is that policy can make a big difference to long-term prosperity in small economies open to flows of knowledge, investment, and migrants. Indeed the difficulty in introducing growth-oriented policies lies more in the politics of implementing change than in the theoretical diagnosis. Public sector governance is consequently a key issue in creating a pro-growth consensus. And faster growth must be seen to improve opportunities for the population as a whole. Further, setting out the evidence--as this book does for Scotland--is vital to overcoming entrenched institutional barriers to policy reform. The first chapter is by Jo Armstrong, John McLaren, and the editors; and the subsequent chapters are by Paul Krugman, William Baumol, Edward Glaeser, Paul Hallwood and Ronald MacDonald, James Heckman and Dimitriy Masterov, Heather Joshi and Robert Wright, Nicholas Crafts, and John Bradley.
Diane Coyle traces the history of this artificial, abstract, complex, but exceedingly important statistic from its eighteenth- and nineteenth-century precursors through its invention in the 1940s and its postwar golden age, and then through the Great Crash up to today. The reader learns why this standard measure of the size of a country’s economy was invented, how it has changed over the decades, and what its strengths and weaknesses are. The book explains why even small changes in GDP can decide elections, influence major political decisions, and determine whether countries can keep borrowing or be thrown into recession. The book ends by making the case that GDP was a good measure for the twentieth century but is increasingly inappropriate for a twenty-first-century economy driven by innovation, services, and intangible goods.