Archive for the Blog Category

The balance between wages and capital is shifting – rent seekers had better beware

The balance between wages and capital is shifting – rent seekers had better beware

The first column of a new year is the time for a prediction. By far the hardest part of forecasting is to identify tipping points. The success rate of calling a break in an established trend is very low. Accompanied by suitable health warnings, 2018 looks like

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Old-fashioned educational values offer the UK’s most deprived children a future

Old-fashioned educational values offer the UK’s most deprived children a future

Economics is the gloomy science, but we can end the year on a cheery note. Newham Collegiate Sixth Form College is in one of the most deprived and ethnically mixed areas of the country, with high numbers of immigrants. Yet the example set by Mouhssin Ismail, the

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Infrastructure – Who Cares?

Infrastructure – Who Cares?

The launch of the draft National Infrastructure Assessment took place in Birmingham, overlooking the site of the city’s station-to-be at Curzon Street on HS2. In the room were all the new Metro Mayors from the West Midlands, Greater Manchester, the West of England, Cambridge and Peterborough and

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Companies that bow to the social media mob are operating in the wrong century

Companies that bow to the social media mob are operating in the wrong century

Pizza Hut is the latest addition to the list of companies grovelling to criticism on social media. The restaurant chain tweeted an apology for running a promotion in the Sun newspaper. A few weeks ago, Paperchase said that it would not place any more marketing campaigns with

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It is the private sector, not the state, that has enabled America’s economic recovery

It is the private sector, not the state, that has enabled America’s economic recovery

The American economy continues to power ahead. The widely respected and independent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reckons that the actual level of GDP in the US in 2017 is finally back at the level of potential output. The potential level of GDP is the amount of output

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The OBR’s forecasts should be taken not just with a pinch of salt, but with the contents of an entire mine

The OBR’s forecasts should be taken not just with a pinch of salt, but with the contents of an entire mine

There has been a great deal of crowing in metropolitan liberal circles over the report of the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), published with the Budget last week. The OBR revised downwards its projections for GDP growth for each of the next five years. Annual average growth

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Doublethinking or dim? Why the Labour party can’t be trusted with the economy

Doublethinking or dim? Why the Labour party can’t be trusted with the economy

Are members of the Labour Party frontbench experts in doublethink? The concept was invented by George Orwell for his novel 1984, written in the 1940s as a critique of the Soviet Union. Masters of doublethink can hold, for purposes of political expediency, two opposing opinions at the

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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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There’s a difference between priceless and worthless, but economics can’t measure it

There’s a difference between priceless and worthless, but economics can’t measure it

The so-called “productivity puzzle” just does not go away. The October, employment figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) brings it into focus. The number of people in work rose to a new record high of 32.1m, with an increase of around one per cent

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Catalonia tries to avoid repeating history, but Spain has economic reality on its side

Catalonia tries to avoid repeating history, but Spain has economic reality on its side

Karl Marx famously wrote: “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce”. The phrase might well have been coined with Catalonia in mind. Generalissimo Franco began a military coup against the elected Spanish government in the Canary Islands in 1936. The battle spread across Spain, and

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