this broader sense, economics becomes a tool for understanding
human nature -- a quest for enlightenment that rises above
mere facts and figures to address the most vexing issues of
Sex, Drugs & Economics An Unconventional Introduction to Economics
Posted November 4, 2002
Published by Texere
October 2002; $24.95US/$37.95CAN; 1-58799-147-0
What in the World Does the arcane science of economics
have to do with the "real" world? Everything, according to
Diane Coyle, a Harvard-trained economist and award-winning financial
In this entertaining introduction to economics, Coyle shows how
"the dismal science" can shed light on virtually anything --
sports, drugs, music, movies, and, yes, even sex. Writing in a lively and
engaging style, she illustrates the relevance of economics to real-world
issues in a refreshing, thought-provoking manner.
Eschewing abstruse mathematics, Coyle explains how you can use simple
economic principles to analyze the complex and often confusing issues in
today's headlines. Economic thinking has profound relevance to
contemporary politics, social trends, and public policy debates -- not
just traditional macroeconomic concerns like GDP, inflation, or
employment. In short, she shows you how to think like an economist. In her
view, economists are consummate skeptics, constantly asking questions and
seeking empirical evidence to support or refute theories.
In this broader sense, economics becomes a tool for understanding human
nature -- a quest for enlightenment that rises above mere facts and
figures to address the most vexing issues of our time. Without a firm
grasp of economic fundamentals, Coyle argues, it's impossible to think
clearly about trade and globalization, hunger and population growth, the
environment and energy conservation, and a host of other urgent problems.
Whatever side of these problems you find yourself on, Sex, Drugs
& Economics will provide valuable insights into their root causes,
inevitable trade-offs, and potential solutions. Ultimately, Coyle
concludes, an understanding of economics is essential to an informed and
active citizenry -- and, indeed, to democracy itself.
Diane Coyle writes and speaks on business, technology, and the
global economy. She is a regular columnist for The Independent,
a presenter of BBC Radio's Analysis program and directs
Enlightenment Economics, a consulting firm. She is also a Visiting
Research Fellow at the London School of Economics' Centre for Economic
Performance. Diane was the Economics Editor of The Independent for
eight years, and in 2000 she won the prestigious Wincott Award for Senior
Financial journalists After getting her Ph.D. from Harvard, she spent a
year working at the U.K. Treasury. Diane is also the author of Paradoxes
of Prosperity, The Weightless World, and Governing the World Economy.
She lives in London.