Diane Coyle

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Diane Coyle

Diane Coyle at work with Apple laptop-9Oct2009.jpg
Coyle in 2009
February 1961 (age 58)

ResidenceWest Ealing, London, England
Alma materBrasenose College, Oxford
OccupationVice-chairman, BBC Trust
Salary£77,005 (for her part time BBC role)[1]
Spouse(s)Rory Cellan-Jones
Children2 sons

Diane Coyle, OBE, FAcSS (born February 1961) is an economist and a former advisor to the UK Treasury. She was vice-chairman of the BBC Trust, the governing body of the British Broadcasting Corporation, and was a member of the UK Competition Commission until its termination in April 2014. She is a part-time professor at the University of Manchester.[3]

Early life[edit]

Coyle was born in Bury, Lancashire,[4][5] and attended Bury Grammar School for Girls, where a teacher engaged her "very sceptical and mathematical" mind with the logical way of thinking required in economics.[5] She did her undergraduate studies at Brasenose College, Oxford, reading philosophy, politics, and economics, before gaining an MA and a PhD in Economics from Harvard University, graduating in 1985,[6][7] her thesis was titled The dynamic behaviour of employment (wages, contracts, productivity, business cycle).[8][9]


Coyle after receiving her OBE in the 2009 New Year Honours list

Coyle was an economist at the UK Treasury from 1985 to 1986, and later became the European Editor of Investors Chronicle between 1993 and 2001 and economics editor of The Independent.

She has written a series of books focused on educating people about different aspects of economics. She has said that her first book, The Weightless World (1997), was a contribution to the creation of a radical centre.[10] Another book explores concepts of "enoughness" and sustainability.[11]

Coyle is managing director of Enlightenment Economics,[12] an economic consultancy to large corporate clients and international organisations, specialising in new technologies and globalisation. Coyle is a Visiting Professor at the University of Manchester's Institute for Political and Economic Governance.[6] She is employed by EDF Energy on its stakeholder advisory panel,[13] on which her former BBC Trust colleague Chris Patten also sits.[14] Coyle is also a member of the UK Border Agency's Migration Advisory Committee.[6][15]

Coyle is: a former member of the UK's Competition Commission,[16] member of the Royal Economic Society and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Coyle was previously a presenter on BBC Radio 4[4] and was a member of the BBC Trust from November 2006 until April 2015.[17][18][19] On 7 April 2011 the Queen approved Coyle's appointment as the Vice-Chairman of the BBC Trust, the governing body of the British Broadcasting Corporation.[20] She also has been contributing regularly to Project Syndicate since 2017.

Coyle praises the news coverage of the BBC, saying "I've always valued the BBC, not least as the best provider of news coverage in the world. Its impartiality and comprehensive coverage underpin its vital civic role."[21] However, in 2009 she was critical of the BBC's programming, stating "Viewers are becoming increasingly cynical and disappointed by the programmes offered by the BBC and the UK's other main TV channels." "Among the negative comments there are complaints about a lack of variety, too much soap or costume drama…disappointment about old series being brought back and a degree of cynicism over 'rehashing' and ripping off old ideas".[22]

Political aide controversy[edit]

In February 2011 Coyle accepted an invitation to advise Labour's then shadow Business Secretary, John Denham. The BBC Trust's Head of Governance, Phil Harrold, suggested "this could potentially be a significant partisan political activity", before concluding that it was not, as the unpaid and non-party political role involved offering independent expert advice on competition policy.[citation needed] Philip Davies, a Conservative MP, stated that Coyle's appointment to the BBC Trust had been "an inappropriate choice".[23] Coyle's political allegiances were reported as "unknown" by The Guardian.[24]

Personal life[edit]

Diane Coyle with her husband Rory Cellan-Jones at Southerndown in May 2006

She is married to BBC News' Technology Correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones. The couple have two sons and live in West Ealing, London.[25][26]


In the 2009 New Year Honours, Coyle was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) "for services to economics".[27][28]

In 2016, Coyle was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS).[29]

In 2017, Coyle won the inaugural Indigo Prize, along with economics professor Jonathan Haskel, for submitting the best hypothetical plans to overhaul GDP as an economic measurement as economies move more into the digital and information age.[30][31]

Coyle was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2018 New Year Honours for "services to Economics and the Public Understanding of Economics".[32]

Published works[edit]

  • GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2014) ISBN 978-0-691-15679-8
  • The Economics of Enough: How to run the economy as if the future matters Princeton University Press, 2011 ISBN 978-0-691-14518-1
  • The Soulful Science: what economists really do and why it matters Princeton University Press, 2007 ISBN 978-0-691-14316-3
  • Sex, Drugs and Economics: An Unconventional Introduction to Economics Texere, 2002 ISBN 978-1-58799-147-9
  • Paradoxes of Prosperity: Why the New Capitalism Benefits All Texere, 2001 ISBN 978-1-58799-145-5
  • Governing the World Economy Polity, 2000 ISBN 978-0-7456-2363-4
  • The Weightless World The MIT Press, 1997 ISBN 978-0-262-53166-5


  1. ^ "BBC boss in bias row as she takes second job advising Labour". Daily Mail. London. 30 October 2011.
  2. ^ "Diane Coyle". Start the Week. 21 May 2012. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  3. ^ Lewis, Kate (21 January 2014). "Diane Coyle becomes Manchester Professor". Princeton University Press Blog. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Ms Diane Coyle, OBE Authorised Biography | Debrett's People of Today". Debretts.com. Archived from the original on 21 January 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Sex And Economics: An Interview With Cyber-Economist Diane Coyle". 3ammagazine.com. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
  6. ^ a b c "UK Border Agency | Committee members' biographies". Ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
  7. ^ http://www.bnc.ox.ac.uk/downloads/brazen_notes/the_brazen_nose_2010.pdf
  8. ^ Coyle, Diane. "The dynamic behaviour of employment (wages, contracts, productivity, business cycle)". ProQuest. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  9. ^ "The dynamic behaviour of employment / by Diane Coyle". Harvard University Library HOLLIS. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  10. ^ Coyle, Diane (1997). The Weightless World: Strategies for Managing the Digital Economy. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, p. xx. ISBN 978-0-262-03259-9.
  11. ^ Coyle, Diane (2011). The Economics of Enough: How to Run the Economy As If the Future Matters. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-14518-1.
  12. ^ "Enlightenment Economics". Enlightenment Economics. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
  13. ^ "John Hutton, champion of nuclear power, set to join EDF as adviser – Times Online". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 30 May 2010. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
  14. ^ Goslett, Miles (15 May 2011). "The curious links between the BBC's new chairman Chris Patten and the ex-BP boss who interviewed him for the job". Daily Mail. London.
  15. ^ 2011–2012 – School of Politics, Economics and Philosophy, The University of York Archived 20 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "Meet the presenters". BBC News. 17 December 2002.
  17. ^ [1] Archived 22 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "Diane Coyle to leave BBC Trust". Broadcast Magazine. 6 January 2015. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  19. ^ Hutson, Graham; Siret, Mal (6 November 2002). "Diane Coyle". The Times. London. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  20. ^ "New Chairman and Vice Chairman appointed to the BBC'". Prime Minister's Office. 7 April 2011. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
  21. ^ BBC Trust – The Trustees – Diane Coyle, Vice Chairman[dead link]
  22. ^ Khan, Urmee (5 January 2010). "BBC is leaving viewers 'cynical and disappointed'". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  23. ^ "BBC boss in bias row as she takes second job advising Labour". Daily Mail. London. 30 October 2011.
  24. ^ Conlan, Tara (2 March 2011). "Diane Coyle leads race for BBC Trust vice-chair". The Guardian. London.
  25. ^ Coyle, Diane (19 February 1996). "Netsurfing is child's play". The Independent. London.
  26. ^ "Ealing residents scoop New Year's Honours". Ealing Gazette. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
  27. ^ "No. 58929". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2008. p. 9.
  28. ^ "New Year Honours List". London: The Telegraph. 31 December 2008. Retrieved 31 December 2008.
  29. ^ "Eighty-four leading social scientists conferred as Fellows of the Academy of Social Sciences". Academy of Social Sciences. 19 October 2016. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  30. ^ "Indigo Prize Winners 2017". Global Perspectives. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  31. ^
  32. ^ "2018 New Year Honours List". www.gov.uk.

External links[edit]