Archive for the Economists Category

A ray of light in these dark days: Living standards have risen far more than we think

A ray of light in these dark days: Living standards have risen far more than we think

The media seems full of gloom at the moment. Chaos over Brexit, Saudi Arabia, potential nuclear escalation between the US and Russia – you name it, people are worried about it. A ray of light is shone – an apt phrase as you will see – by

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Can we innovate better outside the EU? Economic lessons from the Nobel prize winner

Can we innovate better outside the EU? Economic lessons from the Nobel prize winner

Gordon Brown’s time as chancellor will be remembered for many things. A sense of humour would be conspicuously absent from this list. But he provoked a great deal of mirth unintentionally in a speech shortly before the 1997 General Election on the theme of “post-neoclassical endogenous growth theory”.

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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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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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Comparison sites are forcing businesses and economists to rethink price theories

Comparison sites are forcing businesses and economists to rethink price theories

The competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published a report about Price comparison sites at the end of last month. They seem simple enough, but these straightforward sites raise interesting issues for economics. Overall, the CMA was pretty positive about the DCTs – digital comparison tools, to give

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Behavioural economics has had its Nobel moment, but take it with a pinch of salt

Behavioural economics has had its Nobel moment, but take it with a pinch of salt

Behavioural economics has received the ultimate accolade. Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago Business School has been awarded the Nobel Prize in economics for his work in this area. Economics over the past 20 to 30 years has become far more empirical. Leading academic journals do

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Anti-capitalists in UK universities need a refresher course in the perils of socialism

Anti-capitalists in UK universities need a refresher course in the perils of socialism

The great Harvard economist Joseph Schumpeter, writing in the 1940s, predicted the eventual demise of capitalism. He did not want this to happen. But he envisaged that the “intellectual class” would eventually develop values which were hostile to free markets and private property. Schumpeter’s definition of “intellectuals”

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Thomas Schelling – a true polymath of genius

Thomas Schelling - a true polymath of genius

Thomas Schelling is probably best known in economics for his contributions to game theory. Indeed the citation for his 2005 Nobel Prize states it was for “having enhanced our understanding of conflict and cooperation through game theory analysis”. In the early, tense years of the Cold War

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