My latest book Positive Linking: How Networks and Incentives Can Revolutionise the World is now available. The book explores the limits of conventional economics and why it needs to embrace the power of the networks – through ‘positive linking’. Our social and economic worlds have been revolutionised. The Internet has transformed communications and for the first time in human history, more than half of us live in cities. We are increasingly aware of the choices, decisions, behaviours and opinions of other people. Network effects – the fact that a person can and often does decide to change his or her behaviour simply on the basis of copying what others do – pervade the modern world. The financial crisis has shown us that conventional economics is drastically limited by its failure to comprehend networks. As our societies become ever more dynamic and intertwined, network effects on every level are increasingly profound. To grapple successfully with the current financial crisis, businesses and politicians need to grasp the perils and possibilites of positive linking. the book’s ideas are a major development of, containing much new material and themes, my Royal Society of Arts pamphlet ‘N squared: public policy and the power of networks’, available here.
“network theorists have all seized the opportunity to fill the vacuum left by rationalism. In this book Ormerod brilliantly brings it all together… this book is more than stimulating, it is fun.” Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times
“Part a critique of policy makers, part a history of economic thought, this will do much to popularise network economics.” Claire Jones, FT