Enlightened Economist 2018 Prize – longlist

It’s the time of year when I look back over the past 12 months of my reading and draw up a list of the 10 or so best from which to select the ultimate winner of the 2018 Enlightened Economist Prize. The rules are: any non-technical or accessible econ/business/tech book I read is eligible (it doesn’t have to have been published during the 12 months); my decision is final. The prize is the offer of an excellent celebratory lunch, for a living author, should the winner and I find ourselves in the same place.

This year’s longlist is long – I’ve read some wonderful books. In no particular order:

Exact Thinking in Demented Times – Karl Sigmund (my review here)

The Attention Merchants – Tim Wu (my review here)

No Ordinary Woman – Angela Penrose (my review here)

Twitter and Tear Gas – Zeynep Tufekci (my review here)

A University Education – David Willetts (my review here)

Black Edge – Sheila Kolkhatar (my review here)


How Growth Really Happens – Michael Best (this is sitting on my desk waiting for me to write it up)

The Marshall Plan – Benn Steil (my review here)

Republic of Beliefs – Kaushik Basu (my review here)

Behemoth – Joshua Freeman (my review here)

Factfulness – Hans Rosling (my review here)

Unelected Power – Paul Tucker (my review here)

The National Debt – Martin Slater (my review here)

Deep Thinking – Gary Kasparov (my review here)

Scale – Geoffrey West (I didn’t write on – it’s excellent pop science with a final chapter on cities)

Cognitive Gadgets – Cecelia Heyes (my review here)

Ingenious Pursuits – Lisa Jardine (I didn’t review this either – innovation in history, Mokyr-ish)

The Book of Why – Judea Pearl (I haven’t yet written about it, am mulling it over as he’s very down on causal inference methods used in economics)

The Rise and Fall of the British Nation – David Edgerton (my review here)

The Community of Advantage – Robert Sugden (my review here)

Accounting for Slavery – Caitlin Rosenthal (my review here)



5 thoughts on “Enlightened Economist 2018 Prize – longlist

  1. Dear Diana
    I would have considered the following two books which to my mind are some of the best books trying to understand how technology, production and organisation is developed in modern society. An area which have been overlooked by economic literature but have your attention. The first book by @stevedenning “The age of the agile” is an excellent analysis of the way production, technology and organisation are changed through not by big concepts but by small change in the way of innovate: agile management. Discribe the essens of agile management as the “law of 1) narrow team 2) costumer 3) network and contextualize this micro foundation with meso and macro economics trends. Important like @timoreilly book on innovation.”What is the future and why is it up to us”.

    • I’m sure they’re great but I haven’t read them. The prize is a completely arbitrary choice among books I happen to have read in the past 12 months../.

  2. Pingback: Making economic miracles | The Enlightened Economist

  3. This is a sincere question, and not intended as sarcasm. How fast do you read? So you seem to get through a lot of books, and you mention reading something on a train or a plane. I struggle to get through as much as you do (and you keep adding things to my ‘to read’ list). Is it because it’s part of your job? Is one of us an outlier?

    • I do read fast, and as I travel, and also in the evenings. Although part of my job, there’s little opportunity to read books during working hours. I don’t watch much TV, limit Twitter to 10 minute bursts over coffee or waiting for trains, spend time shopping. So my time allocation is non-standard, I think, rather than yours….

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