Summary of The Soulful Science

What Economists Really Do and Why It Matters

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The Soulful Science book summary
Catch up on the latest thinking in economics; it is more organic than you think.


7 Overall

5 Applicability

7 Innovation

9 Style


Think back to those economics classes you took in college. You can probably still define a few concepts like price elasticity, opportunity cost and diminishing returns, but the rest may be somewhat hazy. Like most busy people, you probably haven’t stayed abreast of the latest research on the causes of economic growth or poverty, the metrics for economic policy, the economics of information and the use of evolutionary modelling. Don’t worry. In this pleasant fly-over, economist Diane Coyle shows you the newly discovered economic territory you might have missed. Her presentation is all right, though she’s defensive about her chosen profession and sometimes dodges around a bit before coming to the point. Still, getAbstract believes you’ll find her book sensible, accurate, apolitical, fairly well-organized and far more “utility maximizing” than econ class.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What the eight biggest questions in economics are;
  • How today’s economists answer these questions; and
  • What direction future research on these questions is taking.


Soulful, Not Dismal
In one old joke, an academic economist blithely dismisses evidence supporting a policy proposal. “That may work in practice,” he sniffs, “but it’ll never work in theory.” To critics, this joke sums up what’s wrong with the field of economics. It obsesses over superfluous...
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About the Author

Diane Coyle is a writer and economist based in London.

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