Archive for the Blog Category

Never mind who wins, the World Cup is a treasure trove for curious economists

Never mind who wins, the World Cup is a treasure trove for curious economists

Our boys make progress – and I don’t mean on Brexit. On a visit to Glasgow last Thursday, a popular Scottish newspaper had a mock-up photo of Harry Kane lifting the cup. In massive type, the headline shrieked “This Would Be the End of the World”. Yes,

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Meet the engineers of economic theory: Market design has become a full-time job

Meet the engineers of economic theory: Market design has become a full-time job

What does someone with the job title of “chief economist” actually do? The most well-known in the UK is probably Andy Haldane at the Bank of England, but his role is not typical. So what do the others do? Nobel Laureate Alvin Roth’s paper in the latest

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Immigration fears are more economically rational than the urban liberals pretend

Immigration fears are more economically rational than the urban liberals pretend

Immigration is a hot topic in both senses of the word “hot”. Not only is it at the forefront of the news, it also provokes heated emotions. For the metropolitan liberal elite, immigration is unequivocally a Good Thing. They are on the side of the angels. Whether

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Economics is doing just fine, thank you, without adopting psychology’s blunders

Economics is doing just fine, thank you, without adopting psychology’s blunders

Criticisms of economics have abounded since the financial crisis. Even Nobel Prize winners like George Akerlof of Berkeley have got in on the act. A key demand is for economics to adopt a more recognisably human portrait of behaviour in its theories than the rational calculating machine

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Anyone for England? The World Cup and business stardom are both games of luck

Anyone for England? The World Cup and business stardom are both games of luck

The 2018 World Cup in Russia kicks off tomorrow. This time, at least, there is little feeling that our boys will emerge victorious. And yet. There is a great deal more randomness in the outcome of soccer games than is generally appreciated. A striking feature of games

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Artificial intelligence will dominate every aspect of our lives, but it won’t replace us

Artificial intelligence will dominate every aspect of our lives, but it won’t replace us

Guess which of the 964 jobs listed in the widely used Occupational Information Network online database is the least susceptible to replacement by artificial intelligence (AI). The unsurprising answer is that of “massage therapist”. This is one of the findings of a paper in the latest issue

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Mark Carney has bigger things to worry about than meaningless Brexit forecasts

Mark Carney has bigger things to worry about than meaningless Brexit forecasts

The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, is up to his usual tricks. Last week, he claimed in front of the Treasury Committee of the House of Commons that British households are now more than £900 worse off after the vote to leave the EU.

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Brussels elites who fiddled while Rome burned may soon get their comeuppance

Brussels elites who fiddled while Rome burned may soon get their comeuppance

The new Italian government looks set to cause shock waves across Europe. The two parties promise mass deportations of immigrants and huge increases in public spending. Both the social and the economic policies of the Italian coalition clash directly with those of the European Commission, and Germany

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The Windrush scandal and police failures show the dangers of bureaucratic targets

The Windrush scandal and police failures show the dangers of bureaucratic targets

The Windrush scandal still bubbles away. The bureaucrats at the Home Office are being condemned for their harsh behaviour. But it is scarcely their fault – they are simply reacting in a way entirely compatible with the economic theory of rational choice. It emerged during the saga

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Trump’s tariffs are unlikely to plunge the global economy into a Great Depression

Trump’s tariffs are unlikely to plunge the global economy into a Great Depression

The Trojans had to beware of Greeks bearing gifts. In the same way, politicians need to be suspicious of petitions signed by economists. The vast majority of the UK economics profession backed Project Fear, which predicted a rise in unemployment of half a million by the end

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