Archive for the Behavioural Modelling Category

from golf to GDP, why unlikely events confound forecasters

from golf to GDP, why unlikely events confound forecasters

Life imitates art, as the sporting world has shown this week. The Grand National was won by a horse which had never previously won a steeplechase. The US golf Masters was won by Danny Willett, who nearly did not take part at all because of the birth

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How technology is driving inequality

How technology is driving inequality

Inequality is one of the major political topics of our times. Rather like a Shakespearean tragedy, the current splits in the high command of the Conservative Party have many themes. But an important one, and the ostensible reason for Iain Duncan Smith’s resignation, is the treatment of

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Why we are much better off than the official statistics say

Why we are much better off than the official statistics say

The oldest surviving map of Britain was created in Canterbury a thousand years ago. Our ancestors had a good idea of how to get around. The country is depicted in its familiar shape. Understanding of the world outside Western Europe remained sketchy for centuries.  The phrase ‘here

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What game theory tells us about David Cameron’s EU deal

What game theory tells us about David Cameron's EU deal

Game theory is the study of how rules and tactics affect outcomes, and it is pervasive in academic economics. The opening sentence of one of the economics courses at Cambridge pontificates: “Optimal decisions of economic agents depend on expectations of other agents’ actions”. Translated into English, this

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Ticket prices, fairness and behavioural economics

Who wants to watch the Scousers play football? Certainly no Mancunian, and probably no self-respecting Londoner either. Yet demand for tickets at Anfield, the home of Liverpool FC, is high. Indeed, there is excess demand: more people want to watch the games than there is room for

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Why Julian Assange shows that only intelligent machines can be truly rational

Is Julian Assange rational? There are no prizes for guessing the responses of most City A.M. readers to this question. He faces questioning over allegations (which he denies) in Sweden, and he claims that America will try to extradite him and put him in prison for a

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Christmas jerseys: a great intellectual challenge

What would you buy Jeremy Corbyn for Christmas? Printable answers only, please. But somehow, a Christmas jumper seems appropriate. It would match the 1980s-style shell suit he wore the other day. Perhaps one with a portrait of Stalin and the slogan ‘Teacher, Leader, Friend’, a phrase in

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Black Friday, Games and the Stock Market

Black Friday has come and gone.  The massive surge into the shops which was anticipated in much of the media failed to materialise.  Many retail outlets were quieter than a normal Friday.  In contrast, internet shopping went wild.  Amazon had its biggest ever day in the UK,

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Why a sugar tax would be a big fat failure: People are too smart for central planners

Government ministers have bowed to pressure. They have published the report by Public Health England (PHE) which calls for a tax of up to 20 per cent on sugary drinks and foods.  If the tax reduced sugar intake in line with the recommendations, it is claimed that

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Um Bongo: a spotlight on modern social and economic behaviour

Readers who either had young children or were children themselves in the 1980s will recall the Um Bongo jingle.  The advert assured us it was drunk in the Congo.  A survey published last week to mark the 60th anniversary of British television advertising showed that no fewer

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