Archive for the Blog Category

Economics could teach Theresa May a thing or two about tackling knife crime

Economics could teach Theresa May a thing or two about tackling knife crime

Knife crime continues to dominate the headlines. What can be done about it? Economics does not pretend to provide all the answers. But, perhaps surprising to some, it has a lot of useful insights to offer on crime. Gary Becker was a professor of both economics and

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Like the myth of a flat Earth, the socialist conspiracy theory never dies

Like the myth of a flat Earth, the socialist conspiracy theory never dies

The idea that the Earth is flat is a rapidly growing trend on social media. The Flat Earth Society’s Twitter feed has the best part of 100,000 followers. The fact that the planet is a sphere has been known since at least the time of the ancient

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Time for an honest talk about the costs of climate action

Time for an honest talk about the costs of climate action

Sydney University’s Centre for Complex Systems does innovative work on a broad range of topics. But spending the last couple of weeks there has also given me a wider perspective on some familiar themes. Climate change is, quite literally, a hot topic in Australian politics. The country

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Why we should allow second-rate universities to go bankrupt

Why we should allow second-rate universities to go bankrupt

The political spotlight remains focused on Brexit, but an important dogfight is developing in the area of higher education. The specific issue is whether universities in the UK should be allowed to go bankrupt. It is not merely a theoretical question. In the past year, a number

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Looking out for the next financial crisis? Keep an eye on spiralling debt

Looking out for the next financial crisis? Keep an eye on spiralling debt

Concerns are growing that another financial crisis is imminent. No less important a figure than Kenneth Rogoff wrote last week that “the next major financial crisis may come sooner than you think”. Rogoff, a former chief economist at the IMF, shot to fame with his 2008 book

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What’s the point of economists? Look to America’s tech giants to find out

What’s the point of economists? Look to America’s tech giants to find out

Despite the dire predictions from the economics profession about Brexit, the UK economy is doing well. Growth continues at a steady pace. An all-time record 32.4m people are in work. Unemployment has fallen to levels not seen since the mid-1970s. In contrast, the Eurozone is on the

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AI has not yet spurred a productivity boom, but just you wait

AI has not yet spurred a productivity boom, but just you wait

Nobel laureate Bob Solow pronounced 30 years ago that “you can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics”. At the start of the 1980s, the world entered the digital age. Fax machines transformed communications. The introduction of personal computers made high-powered computing available to

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No matter how we measure inflation, politics will forever trump economics

No matter how we measure inflation, politics will forever trump economics

THE ECONOMIC Affairs Committee of the House of Lords has got its bovver boots on. Last week, the government was given a sound kicking. The issue was the seemingly esoteric one of how to measure inflation. Inflation tells us how much the prices of goods and services

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Capitalism has reduced inequality and improved the world, yet still it is under attack

Capitalism has reduced inequality and improved the world, yet still it is under attack

DESPITE the First World War ending the previous November, the year 1919 was a very bad one. For example, the UK entered what was by far its deepest ever economic recession. Output fell some 25 per cent between 1919 and 1921 as the economy attempted to adapt

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Europe has suffered from the euro – just ask the Greeks

Europe has suffered from the euro – just ask the Greeks

One of the entertainments of the holiday period was reading Adults In The Room, the book by Yanis Varoufakis. It describes his time as finance minister of Greece, and his negotiations with the IMF, the European Central Bank, and the European Commission. Varoufakis was only in the job

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