Archive for the Blog Category

Is Wayne Rooney an expert in rational economic theory?

So, farewell then England!  Yet another failure by our boys at the highest levels of the game. Despite their stupendous salaries, they seem once again to be unable to exhibit the necessary skills, a point which seems to exercise many fans of the game.  Tens of thousands,

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“Ricardo, Ricardo, that wonderful guy”: innovation, job losses and living standards

Here is your starter for ten. What do the Uber app and David Ricardo have in common? Ricardo, I hear you ask. Scarcely known outside academic economics, he ranks equal with Adam Smith and Keynes as the greatest ever British economist. His classic Principles of Political Economy

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Psychology, not hard line maths, tells us why Osborne’s strategy is working

So, International Monetary Fund, wrong again! At the end of last week, the IMF abandoned its criticism of the UK government’s economic strategy. Christine Lagarde, the IMF chief, said her organisation had ‘underestimated’ the strength of the recovery in Britain. The IMF now believes that the UK

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Exciting times at the Office for National Statistics: the value of drugs and prostitution

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has just increased the size of the British economy by nearly £10 billion, a figure equivalent to around 0.7 per cent of the economy as a whole. George Osborne has not waved a magic wand. We have not suddenly become more

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Two cheers for the global recovery, but doubts remain in the Euro zone

Worries are growing about some of the countries in the Euro zone slipping back into double dip recession. By convention, a recession is when national output (GDP) has fallen for two successive quarters. But this is far from being news. In a substantial number of economies, output

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Forget the hype. Capitalism has made the world a more equal place

Metropolitan liberals love to be able to criticise Western society. Recently, their lives have been brightened by the extensive discussion on the rise in inequality since the 1970s, especially in the Anglo-Saxon economies. There is a danger that this essentially anti-capitalist narrative will come to dominate the

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A Different View of World Trade: Why National Accounts Can Be Exciting

Imagine that, for some reason, you were forced to choose between having to read a long, turgid novel like Westward Ho or Middlemarch, or a book on the methodology of the national economic accounts. Most people, however reluctantly, would plump for the former. But the latter can

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New ideas are needed in economics, but not the tired old statist ones

The annual Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) conference was held in Toronto earlier this month. INET was created by George Soros in the autumn of 2009 in response to the economic crisis. Mainstream economics bears a heavy responsibility for creating the intellectual climate prior to the

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Supply-side growth, not inflation, is the cure to the debt overhang problem

In the year to March 2014, consumer prices in Sweden fell by 0.4 per cent. This has prompted the central bank, the Riksbank, to abandon the normally cautious language used by such institutions. Over the same period, inflation was negative in a further seven European countries, such

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The cost of being late: do incentives always work?

Economics provides us with a really big insight into how the world works. People respond to changes in incentives. A great deal of public policy is based on this principle. You want fewer people to drive into Central London? Introduce a congestion charge and make it more

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