Archive for the Behavioural Economics Category

The misguided sugar tax is an ineffectual way to price the externalities of obesity

The misguided sugar tax is an ineffectual way to price the externalities of obesity

One of George Osborne’s last acts as chancellor in 2016 was to announce the so-called sugar tax. This came into force last week, in line with the original timetable. Drinks manufacturers are taxed according to the volume of sugar-sweetened beverages they produce or import. The tax increases

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Altruism and information deficits: What snowstorms teach us about economics

Altruism and information deficits: What snowstorms teach us about economics

While weather may not seem like a typical economics topic, there are always interesting aspects to behaviour in any context. Quite a number of drivers, for example, appear to have ignored notices of road closure. They drove on regardless, until becoming stuck in the snow. In Greater

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Mind the gap: Economics is catching up to the fact that we’re not always rational

Mind the gap: Economics is catching up to the fact that we’re not always rational

Do Tube strikes make Londoners better off? At first sight, the question is simply absurd. The answer is surely “no”. But a paper in the Quarterly Journal of Economics comes to the opposite conclusion. Cambridge economist Shaun Larcom and his colleagues analysed the two-day strike of February

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Comparison sites are forcing businesses and economists to rethink price theories

Comparison sites are forcing businesses and economists to rethink price theories

The competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published a report about Price comparison sites at the end of last month. They seem simple enough, but these straightforward sites raise interesting issues for economics. Overall, the CMA was pretty positive about the DCTs – digital comparison tools, to give

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Behavioural economics has had its Nobel moment, but take it with a pinch of salt

Behavioural economics has had its Nobel moment, but take it with a pinch of salt

Behavioural economics has received the ultimate accolade. Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago Business School has been awarded the Nobel Prize in economics for his work in this area. Economics over the past 20 to 30 years has become far more empirical. Leading academic journals do

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