Wednesday, August 8, 2007

What I'm Reading

I just finished Diane Coyle's The Soulful Science: What Economists Really Do and Why It Matters. For those of us getting ready for the new school year, this is a great end-of-summer book. It's light enough to take to the beach or back yard and enjoy. And it's serious enough to get the brain cells re-engaged and generate some ideas for the new year.

Coyle is a former economics editor for The Independent newspaper in Great Britain, and author of Sex, Drugs and Economics (which I have not read -- but that may change now).

Coyle's objective is to persuade us that economics gets bad press at the very time that it is entering an exciting period. She addresses some of the common complaints that economics is too focused on money, too data driven, mired in some questionable assumptions, and generally unconcerned with problems that affect our everyday life. The new research on growth economics, poverty, and research into what affects our decisions and how we make decisions; all make this an interesting read for any teacher of a basic economics survey course. If you're not sure you want to add this to your personal library, check it out of your public or school library. I suspect you'll want it around as the school year begins and the young inquiring minds start asking you why economics is relevant, important, or even interesting.

Posted by TSchilling at August 8, 2007 9:15 AM

Sex, Drugs, and Economics is what I had hoped Freakonomics would be--and predates it by a couple of years. That the author is a British woman who enjoys sex may have limited its sales here, but it's well worth the

Posted by: Ken Houghton at August 8, 2007 11:51 AM

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